And the Ultraviolet Artist Is...

Saturday, May 16, 2009 / Bloggified by Jake /

Okay, I've been sitting on this long enough. I promised a few weeks ago that I'd have an official announcement on the artist for the series, but I was waiting for both contracts to be finalized and to have some images to share. So, while I vamp a little more, I'll explain what the "Marvel and Image Comics veteran who had the #9 top selling graphic novel in the month of April" will be doing. Each book in the series will have an eight-page comic that reveals some back story that is only hinted at in the text. He'll be drawing those, as well as the covers.

All right, since you've probably already looked at the images below (and be sure to click them to get the enlargified versions), I'll make it official.

The artist for the Nate Banks series will be Chris Giarrusso, the creator of G-Man and Mini-Marvels! Check out his rough sketches for the cover:
Let it be known, Chris has a new G-Man graphic novel, G-Man: Learning to Fly, on the way from Image as well as a G-Man miniseries, G-Man: Cape Crisis.

What's interesting about this pairing is that Chris and I have been friends for about five years, we've even done a (yet-to-be-published) picture book together, but Scholastic didn't know this. The art director just loved Chris's stuff and suggested him for the job. I was on the phone with my editor, AnnMarie, discussing some revisions on the manuscript for SECRET IDENTITY CRISIS when I mustered up my courage to ask whether they had an artist in mind. For weeks I'd been fearing they would team me up with some random cover artist who had never done sequential art or whose chosen medium was chalk or watercolors or something else that might look okay on a cover, but wouldn't really work for a comic.

"We were leaning toward this guy--I don't know if you've ever heard of him but he's also a client of (our agent) Rachel's," AnnMarie said. "He's Chris... Giarruddo? Giarrusno?"

"Chris Giarrusso!?!?" I yelped in glee.

"Giarrusso? Is that how you say it? Yeah, have you ever heard of him?"

"He was supposed to be one of my groomsmen!"

So, yeah, Chris and I have heard of each other. He has attended my children's birthday parties. He is #4 on my phone's speed dial. He has been a sounding board for the Nate Banks series from about page 10 of the first draft, so I can't think of many artists who could be a better choice.

Needless to say, I'm very excited to be working with Chris for real, after spending countless hours discussing joint projects that we have no real intention of getting to in the next ten years.

Oh, and part of the reason this blog looks so plain right now is that Chris is designing me a header for it. It's just that the Nate Banks comic, two covers, and all the G-Man stuff is a little higher on the priority list. Hope you can live with that for the time being.

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