Saturday, October 04, 2008

Stan Lee!!!!!

I had intended to write about my experience meeting Stan Lee much earlier but alas I have been too busy of late. In any case I'm very excited to say that I was able to meet Stan and on my birthday no less. Is it possible that there are people out there who don't know who Stan is? I guess it's possible – so for those who don't know – he is the co-creator of the entire Marvel comics universe. From Spider-man to the Fantastic Four, to the Hulk, to Iron Man and so on. By co-creator I mean the founder, writer and editor in chief at Marvel who for many years, working with artists like Jack Kirby, created our favorite heroes.

Quite by chance I heard about a networking breakfast where Stan was invited to be the keynote speaker. I looked at the date and was surprised to see that it was scheduled for September 25th, my birthday. It was fate I supposed and deciding to be uncharacteristically impulsive, I signed up. It was a little bit of a logistical challenge for me to get there, living 80 miles outside of LA but I made it work. I'd like to share a few tid bits that I gathered from Stan as I hastily took notes while he spoke. Here goes (his answers are paraphrased):

Stan opened by being gracious and stating that he wasn't really sure why he had been called upon to speak. As far as he was concerned he was a creative guy and didn't understand anything about the entertainment business. He may get the executive producer title a lot but he had no idea what that meant. (Note, Stan is a funny guy and had the audience laughing throughout.)

Q: What was the secret to his crazy output?

Stan said there is no secret it was just lots of hard work. He said he was usually able to think of ideas which he figured was a talent of his. Other than that he recommended that writers should read a lot to build up story ideas in their subconscious. For example the Incredible Hulk was a monster story that was inspired by the old monster movies with Boris Karloff like Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde. In his mind he wanted the monster to be the hero who from time to time turned into a regular guy.

Q: What are a heroes key characteristics?

Stan said that there was nothing in particular other than believability. He said there must be something in them that people can relate to. Even though it's a fantasy story it must appear realistic. Like Spider-man who was a teenager with real problems, a regular guy. Characters should be credible so they come alive.

Q: Excelsior! I've heard a lot about Spider-man but I've always wondered what is the origin of Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane?

Stan started by saying "Well one night their mother and father got together..." (Audience laughs) He went on to say that they weren't based on any one but that Gwen was Peter's first love. He really liked the idea of creating tension with Gwen because she blamed Spider-man for her father's death but was still close to Peter not knowing his alter-ego. He used that kind of tension and conflict a lot. He said he figured Marvel must have had it out for the Stacy's because another writer decided to kill Gwen.

He thought it was too bad that they didn't reveal Mary Jane in the movies like they had done in the comics. MJ's introduction was always one of his favorites. He loved the idea that Aunt May was always pestering Peter to meet this "very nice girl". Of course Peter avoided her because he thought she would be so unattractive. As he put it the great John Romita drew the most beautiful girl he could on the last panel of the issue. Peter was speechless because he had just opened the door and finally found out who the "nice girl" was. Mary Jane had the last line and said "Face it tiger, you hit the Jackpot."

Q: What did you read growing up?

Stan said he read everything. Dickens, Hardy Boys, Robin Hood, Oz Books, Mark Twain, and Shakespeare because he loved the words even though he didn't understand them. He even read the bible, though he wasn't particularly religious. He read pulp stuff like the Shadow and Doc Savage. He said his mother used to say that he would even read the Ketchup bottle. He went on to say that Dickens was considered "pulp" in his generation. He thought it was funny that if you waited around long enough even pulp would become a classic. He then said "See someday you can tell your kids you met the classic writer Stan Lee."

Q: What do you do at your new company POW Entertainment?

Stan said it was his job to come up with ideas. After that someone else would take it and try to do something with it in television or movies. He was excited about a new idea that was picked up by Disney. Also his "Who Wants to be a Super Hero" show was a hit in Britain as a kids show and that maybe it would be brought back to the states that way. Who knows?

Q: How did you get your start?

Stan said first of all you need to be good at what you're trying get in to. After that and important most of all is luck. Everything, he figured, came down to luck. He said he was lucky he had applied to his wife's cousin's father's (or something like that, he couldn't seem to remember) publishing company. There was an opening in the kid's comics publishing department. At that time it was not prestigious or even considered a good thing to be working for a comics publisher, comics were thought to be for the illiterate. He was about 17 at the time. When he got there there were only two artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. It was a very small operation. The publisher didn't pay much attention to it. Because it wasn't an important department he did what he wanted and was able to become the youngest editor at the time. In those days editor also meant art director, so he picked up a number of other skills. Of course as an editor he was partial, so he always gave himself the best stories to write.

Another attribute he thought he had that was important was the ability to get along with others. He tried not to be a threat because he was always working for people older than him. Many times he was treated as a threat even though he tried hard not to be. Comics is one of the hardest business in the world and people could be very selfish so go out there and help each other and be lucky! You need to create opportunities were to can meet the right people and be lucky. If you need an agent, try to get a job at an agency. Make friends with talented people.

After a few more comments he finished by wishing everyone the best of luck and saying "We've got to do this more often."

– Patrick Scullin

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Portfolio

Here is a copy of my new illustration portfolio. Download a copy by clicking here. - Patrick Scullin

Harrison's Book

Harrison Scullin has written his own book this summer. Each day he has come to the studio and worked on his new book "Middle Age Mice". He made me promise to take it to Comic Con with my Super Siblings Comic Books to sell. I made a few copies for him and he sold a dozen of them which gave him some spending money at the show. You can download a copy of his book by clicking here. He wrote and typed the book all by himself with no help from me except for the layout. - Patrick Scullin

Comic Con 2008

Another Comic-Con has come and gone. It was great fun with lots to do and lots to see. I'd like to thank anyone that came to visit us at the Banshee Comics booth. I had a great time promoting my illustration work and my Super Siblings comics. Thanks to Doug Sirois my booth mate and to the many other cool artists and Cal State Fullerton Alumni that we met. Here are some snap shots of me and Harrison at the event.

Here are a list of some of my favorite artist contacts at the event:

Art Baltazar - Tiny Titans DC Cartoonist
Aaron Lopresti - Comic Artist
Mike Mignola - Creator of Hellboy
Moira Hahn - Fine Artist & Illustrator
Doug Sirois - Fantasy Illustrator
Matt Busch - Star Wars Illustrator
Dave Kellet - Sheldon Cartoonist
Hoang Nguyen - Illustrator
Mike Bennett - Poster Artist

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Damn Dirty Ape"

The Legendary Charlton Heston - "Taylor" from the Planet of the Apes series.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Planet of the Apes

I recently had the opportunity to complete some science fiction illustrations for Menagerie Creative. Here is the first in the series "Caesar".

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Book Expo America

Last weekend I attended the Book Expo America in Los Angeles. It was a great opportunity to meet and great folks involved in publishing and selling books and graphic novels. As an illustrator I looked for opportunities to talk with artists, buyers and publishers. One nice thing about this year's event was it's focus on Graphic Novels.

I started the event by attending the Graphic Novel breakfast hosted by Diamond and with panel members Jeff Smith creator of Bone, Art Spiegelman creator of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Maus, Mike Mignola creator of Hellboy, and Jeph Loeb who has many hollywood and graphic novel credits, including the TV show Lost. It was great fun to listen to them discuss their careers and comment on the industry. In that regard I was most surprised by Spiegelman who turned out to be a truly interesting artist, with a very funny presentation and clever comments throughout.

At the end, I took a chance and went to introduce myself to Jeff Smith. To my surprise there weren't that many people lined up to talk with him so it was fairly easy. He was very gracious and friendly and I appreciate the time he took to look at my work and talk about self-publishing.

Another surprise came when I literally, almost ran into R.A. Salvatore in the Wizards of the Coast booth. I've been reading his fantasy novels for a few years, and as luck would have it, I picked up one of his graphic novels from the Devil's Due booth earlier in the day. I had no idea he was signing at the show and must have looked really silly when I exclaimed "It's you!" after I saw him. Incredibly I had the graphic novel for him to sign and I happened to have a tearsheet with my fantasy illustration work on it. I don't know if he understood me completely but I showed him that two of the four paintings were actually inspired by characters in his books. For example Catterbrie and Bruenor.

So after all, the show turned out to be fun for me as an artist and as a fan.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Keep this Dragon!

I'm happy to report that a new paperback edition has been released of Janet Lee Carey's fantasy novel "Dragon's Keep". They re-used the cover illustration I created for the hardcover edition but this time the color and contrast are much, much better. I am very pleased, visit Amazon to take a look. - Patrick Scullin

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Aesop's Fabled Fable

Howdy – I recently finished a sample children's book based on Aesop's Fable the Lion and the Mouse. The illustrations were done in pen and ink. Feel free to download a pdf version of the 8 page book. I'd love to hear what you think. - Patrick Scullin

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wizard Wrap

Wizard World is over. It was a fun and exciting weekend. First of all THANK YOU to everyone that visited my booth. It was great to meet everyone and talk shop. This was my first year at WW so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was definitely much smaller than Comic-Con which affected product sales but the smaller crowds made it easier to chat with other professionals. Here are some highlights:

My booth mate was pop artist Mike Bennett. He's an animation industry veteran who channels Jack Kirby in his dynamic poster art (He even knew Kirby which is cool). He is so prolific that he only sells originals because he's able to produce 2 or 3 unique posters a day. We had a good time shooting the breeze and talking about the biz.

I had the opportunity to meet and talk with cover artist Michael Golden. He was a special guest of the show and happened to have a booth not too far from mine. He came by and complimented my illustration. He was very friendly and very encouraging. We had a good discussion about art and technique and I believe he proves that in spite of fame, you can still be a good guy. At this show and others I've meet plenty of artists who are not so giving which makes Golden a class act.

I also took a chance and introduced myself to Dan DiDio, Senior Vice President and Executive editor at DC. He was making the rounds and was stopping to talk with some of the big DC artists near my booth. I got his attention and we talked for a few minutes. He reminded me that he wasn't there to review anything but I was able to give him a Super Siblings promo card. Can't get much better then handing it off to the main guy, here's to taking a chance. Anyways, Dan was also very nice to me and I appreciated that.

I had the opportunity to meet with a few other celebrities but hey, who else can claim that R2D2 is a fan? He just kept coming back to my booth. Another surprise at the show came when I ran into Devin Parker. That was a real blast from the past, he and I were friends and you might even say artistic rivals in middle school and high school. It's fun to see that both of us are still out their working it to make some artistic dreams come true. I wish him the best of luck!

Well, that's it, if I think of anything else important I'll put it up later. - Patrick Scullin

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wizard World LA

Wizard World Los Angeles 2008. Can you see me through the horde of adoring fans?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Wizard This!

Wizard World Los Angeles is here, March 14th - 16th at the Los Angeles Conventions Center. Order your tickets today and visit with yours truly in Artist's Alley. That's me Patrick Scullin and I will be at booth number 2240. Don't be confused by the Wizard World listing, since the time that exhibitors were listed on their website, artist David Malki and I have switched booths. If you wind up at his or at mine by accident we will kindly direct you to the correct booth. I look forward to seeing and greeting anyone that comes by to check out the fantasy art I've got to sell and the comics I'm promoting.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Save the Date!

Wizard World LA is coming in March! Don't miss it – March 14-16, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Aside from all of the wonderful celebrities appearing this year, there will also be a host of non-celebrities like me. So when you come to the Con, don't forget to stop by and meet non-celebrity artist Patrick Scullin in Artist's Alley. Exact times and booth numbers will be posted here when the info becomes available.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Let it Snow!

This is what I get for living in the mountains.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Spider-Man "Brand New Day"

Marvel has done it again. They've gone and messed with tradition and... I love it. I've mentioned in previous posts some of the things that have happened with Captain America and now it's Peter Parker's turn. This time, instead of some one dying, it's the fact that someone "lived" that changes everything. I'm not going to discuss all the details but I found an interesting interview of Joe Quesada at AICN. Quesada points out that the things we all remember and love about comics, those things that become the "water shed" moments, all have one thing in common - change. I think it's easy to say that fans fear change but I suspect that most feel like me because I don't fear change, I fear change that serves no purpose or is just done for publicity's sake. I think these changes in Spider-man serve a purpose and I can see the creative skill and intent behind them. While the boy inside me who still reads comic books hates for things to change, it's the adult inside me that appreciates the art form who needs it.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Here is another illustration from the series I recently completed. Again I've included the sketch from my sketchbook and the finished digital painting created in Painter.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Medieval Wench

Here is another illustration from the series I recently completed. Again I've included the sketch from my sketchbook and the finished digital painting created in Painter.