Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dead Ranger

Dead Ranger is a book that I helped work on. The Comic Quest Creators Alliance meets once a month and together we are putting out this comic. It will have 4 covers to chose from. This is the one I worked on myself. I also wrote the story for the 24 page comic and inked 2 pages.

This is the cover that Clint Basinger created. I did the colors.

I took a sketch by Jeff Lindell and inked and colored it and came up with this cover idea from it.
This book will be a 26 or 28 page comic out by Free Comic Book Day. Soon available from my web site.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dave Stevens Interview from 1988. SUPER RARE

The following is an interview that I did with Dave Stevens in 1988 over the phone for the first issue of the Rocketpack Newsletter (With Chuck Haspel). To my knowledge it has never been seen anywhere else till today:

Allen: How, when and where did your career begin? (Your interest in art, The Rocketeer...any formal training.)

Dave: My interest in art began when I was a tiny, tiny kid. My dad drew all the time and I grew up copying his stuff. I kept drawing and drawing. This Rocketter business came out of the blue in 1981--the story for that I'm sure I've told 100 times.

Allen: But not here...

Dave: Yeah, but you know it was a question of Pacific needing a backup feature--telling me I could do whatever I wanted to.

Allen: It wasn't something you gave a lot of thought to or...?

Not really.

Allen: You just came up with it when they asked you for something?

Dave: I just came up with the visuals for it. I had the image in my head and I had no idea how I was going to handle it or what kind of strip it would be. I had that image---that was it.

Allen: Why did they ask you for a backup?

Dave: They knew my work from when I lived in San Diego. They always liked my work, so I gave it a shot.

Allen: Any formal training?

Dave: No, unfortunately that was something that if I had it to do again I would certainly have gone to art school right after high school.
Allen: But you worked with someone?

Dave: I apprenticed with Russ Manning. But it was such a short stint. I really would have rather gone for a longer stretch with someone. It was just a job. It didn't involve him teaching me things, as I would have liked. What I did was on the job experience.

Allen: What year was this?

Dave: 1975, and it was great for what if was, but as far as him telling me what was wrong with my drawing and that kind of stuff, he really didn't correct me. All I was doing was pretty much technical things--inking incidental stuff that didn't really figure in as prominently as the lead characters do. It was basically a crash course in production.

Allen: Are you doing what you want and are you happy with the way your career has gone so far?

Dave: I've always done what I wanted in the sense that I've made a living off of art. I've never had to be a fry cook or anything. I'm happy that what I've done in comics so far, as as little as it is, has gotten me a lot of attention in all different areas. In that respect I'm happy. I'm tickled to death. I never could have gotten that kind of attention from anything else, really. I was laboring in animation and films (live action) for years and would probably still be there today.

Allen: Who did you work for? Different companies?

Dave: Everybody. In animation I worked at every studio in town.

Allen: Disney?

Dave: I was about to go there, but they wouldn't pay the wage I was currently getting. You see, at that time, Disney considered it a "privilege" to work for Disney. I think that's clear enough. They just had an attitude. Still do.

Allen: Can you tell us a couple of projects that you worked on animation-wise?

Dave: Probably just about every Saturday morning animation show that was done in the late '70's. I styled some shows, storyboarded some.

Allen: Is there any one in particular that you had your hand in where people could see your style?

Dave: Not really because that stuff goes through so many hands by the time it reaches the TV screen it isn't like you originally drew it. But there was an animated Godzilla series on in 1978 that I did a lot of work on. That was Doug Wildley's show. He also did a show Jana of the Jungle--which was like a modern day Sheena, and I did a lot of the rotoscoping on that. Unfortunately who knows where you're gonna find copies of some of those things. And I worked on Scooby-Doo, Super Friends, and all that other garbage.

Allen: You probably made quite a bit in animation from what I hear?

Dave: You mean money?

Allen: Yeah

Dave: Oh, no. Uh-uhh. Any money I made was gone right away.

Allen: Just to survive?

Dave: Well, it's espensive to live here and at the time I was earning apprentice scale wages in animation. I gradually got bumped up, so that by the end of my animation stay, I was making a pretty good dollar. But it wasn't until I got into live action that I made good money again. Once I started sharing a studio with Stout and Hescox, then I started to go whole hog into advertising.

Allen: What type of hard times did you go through?

Dave: Well, when I first went back to L.A. I went through some, uh, fairly hard times.

Allen: Where did you come from?

Dave: Well, Idaho, Oregon, then San Diego, then L.A. I was originally born in L.A., but grew up elsewhere. Once I got here it was a little tough. I didn't have any training in any capacity as far as tools, or techniques.

Allen: So how did you break into animation?

Dave: Well, I just went in on an interview and Wildley hired me right there. But that was just due to drawing ability. When I first came to L.A. I spent about my first year, or year and a half, hiring out as a storyboard artist and sketch artist, freelancing for advertising agencies. I actually had periods of really good earnings and really horrible slumps. I went through my periods of eating beans, tortillas, etc. But I'm sure everybody does. I was not feeling sorry for myself at all, I was happy to be there.

Allen: What would you do different and why? (As far as your career choices.)

Dave: I probably wouldn't have stayed in animation as long as I did. That life's a velvet cage once you get in. The money is good, the hours are cushy. They don't force you to tow-the-line. I mean you can get away with murder.

Allen: Did you punch a clock?

Dave: You do and you don't. Some places you do, some places you don't. I really abused my privileges. But it was one of those jobs where I would literally take other work in there and work on it.

Allen: And they didn't care?

Dave: Well, of course they cared, but I had no respect for the animation industry. I fought it tooth and nail. After I had been there a year and a half I hated it. I got to the point where I was hopping from state to state trying to find some place where I'd be happy. But they all operate at about the same level of incompetence. So, that's one choice I made, that looking back, wasn't a real good one.

Allen: It's scary making moves.

Dave: Well, I was used to a certain amount of money each week and didn't really want to get back into the grind of taking my portfolio around. If I had done that, if I had gotten out earlier, I probably wouldn't have gone into comics at all.

Allen: You mean if you wouldn't have left the animation studios?

Dave: No, if I had left. Well I did. I went straight to the A-Team building which was Spielburg and Milius and worked on the first Raiders. And I would have stayed there probably. But I kept flirting with animation. After I worked on that picture I went back to another animation studio for a while and then I got out of it altogether.

Allen: If you weren't an artist, what do you think you would be doing now?

Dave: I guess I've be restoring old cars.

Allen: Can you tell us what your plans for the future are?

Dave: Uh, restoring some old cars. Restoring the one I wrecked. I've got one more issue to wrap up on The Rocketeer, then I've got two graphic novels to do. One of them right away, one of them later.

Allen: Can you tell us about the one coming up?

Dave: I don't want to at this point. It's a subject that hasn't been done before in comics and if I blab about it now, I'm sure some brilliant soul at DC or Marvel may try and ace me, before I can get to it.
Allen: Will it be a Comico comic?

Dave: At the moment it's not going to be a comic, it's going to be a book. An illustrated book. No word ballooons. I'm trying to integrate text with illustrations.

Allen: You are writing the story?

Dave: So far, yeah. I may recruit someone to help at some point, but we'll see.

(This was the end of part 1. Part II promised to cover The Rocketeer movie, upcoming books, the convention scene, Marvel, Dave's coupe and much more.)

If I can find issue #2 of the Rocketpack Newsletter...I'll post the rest of the interview here.


Dave Stevens passes away......

OK, I just heard about the passing of Dave Stevens. He was 52. I'm sure most of you already know about this and have read all about Dave. I'll just stick to what I know.

In 1988 I assisted a fellow artist Chuck Haspel in putting together the first issue of The Rocketeer Newsletter. Here is the cover I did for that first issue.

I also called Dave who was helping us with new news about his work for the newsletter and interviewed him for like 2 hours or so. I had tons of audio to transcribe and I think we used it in issue #2 or something. If I can find that I'll post it.

Dave was very generous and sent us lots of pages and art long before it was seen anywhere else.

I met Dave around 1989 at the Chicago Comic Con. He was very friendly. Later during that show I was with Chuck at a resturant and Dave walked in for lunch. He didn't mind that we went all fan-crazy over seeing him there.

In 2004 I saw his booth at the San Diego Comic con. He remembered me!

In 2007 they had a 25 year tribute to the Rocketeer and they printed my cover art in that collector issue!

Here is another fan piece that was used for a small press cover that Chuck penciled and I inked and grey toned back in 1988.

I'll sure miss him. Chuck and I tried to draw more like him and I'm sure that improved our work tremendously!

Goodbye Dave.....I will never forget you or your work and you will always be one of my heroes!

===Allen Freeman (03/12/2008)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

SKETCH CARD Benefit SALE on eBay!


Nearly 200 Artists and over 1,000 pieces
of Original Art Work!
Space Girl by Allen Freeman: HERE
Rocketeer by Allen Freeman: HERE
Captain Optimist (not Optimus...) by Allen Freeman: HERE
Baron Gator (needs to be rotated 90 degrees clockwise) by Allen Freeman: HERE

Monday, March 03, 2008


SLIDE SHOW ABOVE updated with more images:March 8th, 2008.

I went to the con with Clint Basinger of Cosmic Moustache Comics ( and we stayed with some of his relatives which saved us tons of money, thanks folks! The first day of the convention was Saturday, March 1st, and from the start I could tell this was going to be better than last years show, as far as the crowds, as people were coming it right at the start of the show, starting to buy stuff and talk it up. Sunday was slower but I was on a panel ANTHOLO-GEEZ. See more about it below.

SLAM BANG #3 vol III premieres at SPACE!

See all the photos I took at this show:
Last year the show was on very sunny, beautiful day and apparently was the first nice day outside since last Fall in Ohio so everyone wanted to get out in the sun avoiding our show most of the time. I did fine over all last year, but much better this year actually.

Mark Inneswho I'd known since 1989 or so was here from Canada, --my first time to meet him in person. A great guy. I'd helped him get his comic anthology THE COMIC EYE assembled for his printer and I'd contributed to the book. The book turned out fantastic and by the fact I saw lots of folks walking around with one and having me sign them, I'd say they sold well for him. They are a full size comic, square bound, 176 pages, with a Dave Sim cover. That cover didn't hurt him at all since Dave Sim was there and I got a signed one from Mark near the end of the scoop on that one!
----Rafer Roberts of Plastic Farm

I talked with Dan Taylor who had his booth and we always compare cameras as ours are similar. OK. his is a little better than mine. There Dan, happy now? His Weird Muse comics were there and I have another batch to review for him on my site. He will get a high rating even though he did try to bribe me. (Joke). See his stuff at: UPDATE: I just reviewed a batch of his new Mini Comix on my Small Press Newsroom!

Talked to Max Ink, Matt Feazell, Larry Blake, Dave Sim (for a sec), Bob Corby, Cal Crumb, the guys from who I send audio to for their Indy Comic Podcast every Tuesday, check it out. (I'll dig up their names soon I promise.)
Dave Sim and some art on his table. Dave unveiled some amazing art from his new project Jewdenhass (Jew hatred). I got to see the book and most of the original art pages! Wow.

I was on a comic panel on Sunday afternoon about Anthologies. Mark Innes (Blind Bat Comics), Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) , Dara Naraghi (Ferret Press) and Bob Corby (Back Porch Comics and organizer of the Space Con). That was fun and Matt Dimbicki was the host. Great job Matt! Matt is busy working on his own anthology TRICKSTER. Check it out here:

--Dan Taylor, Weird Muse Comics
I'll think of all the other folks I talked with soon and update this but just wanted to say the show was a big success for me as I premiered my new Slam Bang book 3 vol III, "Mostly True Stories" issue. Everyone loved it and some even said it was my best issue of the title so far. "blush".
Stay tuned for more here soon!