Rest in Peace, Al Rio

I didn’t know Al Rio personally but I have inked 6 commissions over this very talented and impressive artist over the years for different clients.  His work was inspiring and I was honored to take part in the process. As my friend and prolific client Michael Rankins stated on his Facebook page:”Sad, sad, sad. Our first commission together, Bob, was an Al Rio. Our most-recent–our 46th–also an Al Rio. I’m so sad to think that we’ve exhausted our supply of Al’s work, there won’t ever be any more new ones.  He was such a brilliant artist”


Here’s the first press release where I read about it and here’s an article by David Campiti on Al.


My condolences to Al’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.  Also to Terry Maltos, his longtime friend and art rep.  You can find examples of our collaboration in my gallery starting with his most-recent job I did of Isis (but you’ll need to go back into the gallery archives to see the others).

My own category!

Friend and prolific art commission client Michael Rankins annually posts his “Comic Art Friday: Best of…” awards in his Swanshadow blog where he chooses his favorite jobs that fall under his regular themed pieces.  I have been fortunate and honored to win these in the past (posted in various news articles here or in my archived site).  But I missed the 2011 edition (Dec. 30) altogether where he created my own category! (“Favorite Performance by the King of Inking”).  The ‘Common Elements’ job with the two Valkyries took the award this year with my inks over Val Semeiks which you can see in my gallery and I am utterly flattered.

Thanks, Mike!

More Bob Almond art for sale!

A vintage Black Panther page of original art published in issue 17 (April 2000) is up for grabs on eBay, signed by Sal Velluto to me, and signed by me to the winning bidder.

Also, my art rep will be auctioning off Heroes For Hire pages of original art by Kyle Hotz and myself every week on Sundays on eBay so bookmark the link if you want to follow that for deals!

Happy birthday to me and happy 20th anniversary!

I just missed the end of the day, January 4th, to post about it but I don’t want to diminish the significance of the occasion. Besides being my 45th birthday, today (yesterday) marks my 20th year as a professional ink artist in the comic book field. I was hired by editor Craig Anderson at Marvel Comics in October 1991 thanks to the efforts of Bernie Wrightson and especially Jim Starlin and my first pages of original pencil art by Angel Medina of ‘Warlock and the Infinity Watch’ #5 arrived on January 4th, 1992. I was so nervous to touch Angel’s meticulous and powerful work. This was always my dream career goal and at the age of 25 it’d come true, and how many people can say that? I hoped to be able to reach five years and then I exceeded that and made ten and now two decades. The life of a freelance artist has been hard over the years and fraught with perils (like no work nor income to pay the bills) but I truly feel blessed and lucky to ‘walk among the gods’, my idols from childhood, and call them my friends. To play in the same sandbox as the legends of comicdom and play with their ‘toys’. I wouldn’t recommend the role of a starving artist to most folks, only those that love it and can’t live without it. Like me. Call me a fool but how many people are known for their name and work around the globe? Money is important but some things are more essential, like spiritual peace and creative satisfaction. It’s my reward, no matter how agonizing things get. Thankfully I have a wife who understands and supports me. And fans who enjoy my efforts. Thanks for listening to me rant and for your support, and I look forward to another twenty years.