Special Features

Some special features that I have posted on my site best fit into a miscellaneous category and I thought it would be helpful to create a new section where one could find items on a permanent basis. The SPECIAL FEATURES will often contain work and content partially and even wholly from other creators. New features may be added over time.

Panther Noire: Marvel Monster Edition Vol. 2 Sketch Gallery Images

I sent the Panini/Marvel/France folk some prelim art files for the 2nd Black Panther: Marvel Monster Edition and the printed them in a sketch gallery section but they did not print my notes, below:

Sal’s design and color suggestions for the new Man-ape
Sal design with color notes for Queen Divine Justice
Sal’s prelim design of ‘killpanther’ from BP #22
Sal’s design and notes for the new Malice and another for Queen after some suggestions from Priest. The actual published design for QDJ was a hybrid of both these two prelims.
Sal’s design of T’Challa’s hover chair from BP #23 and #24
(3 images) Sal’s 2 prelim composition sketches to the cover of BP #23 and then the final pencils
Sal’s design of Tony Stark’s 2nd Iron Man Stealth Armor as it appeared in BP#44-45.

Black Panther Variant Cover Gallery

(1999-2002) Prior to being printed, the coloring of covers can go through various stages. I’ve included in this gallery color guides, variant/unseen proofs, as well as the printed color jobs without copy obscuring the images. In many cases I inked the work shown but, in some cases, I included others’ work for your viewing pleasure (I’d hate to lose these files as Tom Smith who colored many lost them when his computer crashed). In THOSE cases I will list the ink artist (as well as the color artist). All pencils (minus #24) by Sal Velluto.

Captain Gravity and The Power of the Vril

The 17 complete and unpublished Captain Gravity #1 pages of art by Mike Lilly and Bob Almond

I was hired by Penny-Farthing Press to ink the 6-issue series CAPTAIN GRAVITY & THE POWER OF THE VRIL in the beginning of November 2003 over pencil artist Mike Lilly. Between November & January I received 17 pages to ink from issue #1 which I completed. Due to circumstances a subsequent creative change was made and my pal Sal Velluto made the cut as the new pencil artist with me retained to ink my oft-partner.

Unfortunately, these originally rendered pages will most-likely not see print since it wasn’t included in the trade collection. This disappointed me since, outside of commissions, as much as I cherish our working relationship and the quality of work that we achieve as a team I don’t often get to sink my ink into artists outside of Sal and when I do it’s always a challenge but fun to delve into different creative territory.

And I ultimately felt that these inked pages rocked! I used much more drybrush effects than I tend to among other cool textural tricks. By the way, the reason that Mike drew so many 2-page spreads was because PFP puts their ads in the backs of their books so Mike figured that he’d take advantage of the uninterrupted space in laying out the story and giving it a different feel. So now that the series has debuted I can reveal what was to be and you, the reader/fan, can compare these pages to the incredible pages that Sal drew and I inked in the published (and sold out) comic book.

Sal Velluto’s Conan Sample Art & Unpublished Black Panther Art

5/9/2004 – As mentioned in my site’s NEWS/PREVIEWS (archives) for 9/19/2003, Sal Velluto was among a handful of artists asked to submit sample art to Dark Horse Comics by Conan scribe Kurt Busiek and editorial. Sal submitted a pin-up image and two pages of sequential art from a Kurt sample script. There was an emphasis not to copy the popular Marvel Comics version of the character and Kurt & Sal discussed the idea of rendering Conan as sinewy and panther-like since creator Robert E. Howard had described his hero in such a fashion in the source material.

This was interesting since Sal had recently ended his run on Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER. Ultimately, another pencil artist was chosen for the position. Had Sal been hired I would have almost certainly been the Hyborean inker. After numerous requests I decided to post this unpublished art here in my SPECIAL FEATURES section with consent from my pal Sal.

Speaking of Sal’s BLACK PANTHER, here are four unpublished pages from issue #17. Priest had accidentally submitted an earlier draft of the script to Sal and by the time he’d realized it Sal had done this deleted sequence and it was sitting on my table ready to be inked. Sal & I were perplexed initially by the sequence but we didn’t question it since non-linear and flashback sequences was the norm for CJP. Incidentally, Panther-philes may notice that page 21 and most of page 22 was used from this sequence but in issue #22 instead.

First Salvo Unpublished Art By Velluto, West, Royale & More

I had all of the A First Salvo unpublished art posted on my Special Features section from circa 2006-7. But sadly, they didn’t make the transition to the new site when archived. For a time it was posted at Comic Art House by Bob Shaw who repped me for a while but it was deleted when he stopped repping me. I decided to remedy the matter by getting it all up here at my new site venue so viewers can check out the images and blow up the thumbnails. Saga Six: Thirst was penciled by Sal Velluto and we completed a 16-page story. Saga Six: Echoes was another 16-page story pencilled by Kevin West but I only inked 5-pages (I think my pal Mark Mckenna inked the rest). I also did a Sal pin-up and two pin-ups from pencil art by their staff members like Anthony Cannonier and publisher Thad Branco.

I went off to ink A Nightmare on Elm Street for Wildstorm and reunite with Kevin West and when I came back they had me ink Danger’s Dozen: Powerplay over British artist John Royle. It was intended as a serialized digital comic series in eight-page chapters but the plug was pulled after chapter three. But I was able to squeak out a DD cover over Sal before the end. I’d done a lot of work with Sal and Kevin before but I enjoyed the Royle art because he had this Erik Larsen look to me and I’d never inked anything like that before. C’est la vie!