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Uncle James' Wonderful World of Color

A lot of people have been asking about my color work, which is a lot harder to find than my linework. I'm a pen and ink man - but I do like the occasional color splash.

Most of my color work has been covers - but there are a few sequential pieces floating around here and there. A few years ago I produced a six page sampler (plus design work) in a bid to get the gig to turn Peter Beagle's THE LAST UNICORN into a graphic novel for Scholastic Grafix. It ended up going to my pal Mike Kaluta, but then the whole gig fell apart soon after, and nobody ended up doing it. But I do still have the pages I did - and if nothing else, it IS one complete scene, as comics, in color.

Up top is the cover of the presentation booklet, which I designed and Jeremy Owen produced (including the bound-in ribbon ties). I drew everything then did color guides in marker, and final digital color was done by Lon Saline and Jeremy here at Coppervale Studio. One page follows, and the rest are after the cut.

Plus, a few bonus character pieces:


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
What a shame this never came to pass! Lovely work, here.
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
I had a decent handle on it, I think.
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)

Pure awesome.

Feb. 19th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
LOL! Thanks, man. I still love the character sketches. Couldn't wait to do Mommy Fortuna and King Haggard.
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
I hesitated to mention it, but, yeah, as gorgeous as the finished pages are, there's some real charm to be found in those character sketches.

At the risk of being all mawkish, I'm really pleased to have gradually made your acquaintance--it's a pleasure to see your work, of course, but it's nice to have some sense of the guy behind the pencil, too, y'know?

Really good start to my day. :)

Edited for typos

Edited at 2009-02-19 07:06 pm (UTC)
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
The pages themselves were serving the double mandate of 1) fidelity to the most popular version, the animated film; and 2) the manga-style clean line market.

The sketches are pretty purely me. What Paul Chadwick calls "Eccentric characters, lovingly rendered."

And I'm very pleased to have gotten to know you, too, man. (Hm. Wonder if we have to credit Rucka for that?"

Edited at 2009-02-19 07:10 pm (UTC)
Feb. 19th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
Might as well. I can credit him for a goodly chunk of my current career, for sure.


Feb. 19th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, I am in awe.
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
*blush* Thank You!
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I am very sorry that project didn't happen.
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, me too. But on the other hand, I ended up getting to do more of these dragon whatchamacallits... ;)
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
I can't believe another publisher wouldn't jump at a chance to publish this! It's gorgeous! :D
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
I think they're working on a couple of versions of it again, but I don't know with whom.
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
Your unicorn is indeed a pretty little creature. I think you would have been ideally suited to adapt the book.

Pity it didn't come through.

But at least we have these nice pictures to look at.
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sarah.
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
You had an excellent handle on this. I too wish it would have been printed. I just love this story.
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Would have been fun, definitely!
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
I wish this had happened.
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)

Me too.
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
*jaw hits floor*
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)

Thank you.

Edited at 2009-02-19 07:04 pm (UTC)
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
Soooo beautiful - thanks for sharing!
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
You're welcome, Lisa.
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Cool illustrations and interesting story. Its a shame it didn't go through, but at least I got to see it.(i will be the ruler of earth after all, so that's an honor XP)
Feb. 19th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Absolutely stunning, and what a shame it was never produced!
Feb. 19th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
The Last Unicorn

These illustrations are exquisite; the tones -- so subtle yet rich with the high level of shading work, the textures -- also subtle but lending so much to the tone of the whole image.

If this book will not be published, I recommend putting it in a standalone format somewhere on the Internet so its easier to find. You know, a flip-through Internet book kind of thing (lastunicorn.* or similar). I imagine a publishing company might have issues with publishing something that was readily available on the Internet.

- R
Feb. 19th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
These are beautiful. I wish these had come to pass!
Feb. 19th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Back when you were first working on this, and I stumbled upon it on your site, I thought it was a real project that was going to be published and I got very, very excited. Only to discover that the above art was all we will ever have.

Looks beautiful, though.

Feb. 19th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
That is fabulous, and I also can't believe this wasn't picked up for publication. You continuously surprise me with these treasures you post.
Feb. 20th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
awww! here you had me all excited, thinking such a book existed....
Feb. 20th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
last unicorn
Love theart. It is a shame theproject fell through. Peter Beagle isamong my top five faorite authors.The last unicornonce one of the first books I read to keep me sane those few months I was an engineering major. Plus Mr. Beagle is such a great person to tlk to, also.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
Molly's my favorite character. I like what you did with her eyes.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )