Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Local 'inker' for Dark Horse to sign comics...."

The following article ran in the Sunday Bulletin last Sunday for an event taking place in our store on Saturday.

We'll have copies of the #1 comic for the series Clone Wars, as well as graphic novels of the first two Star Wars Legacy books. Hope to see you there!

Local ‘inker’ for Dark Horse to sign comics on Saturday

Comic book artist Dan Parsons doesn’t get out of his Terrebonne home very often. Inking comics for Dark Horse Comics, a Portland-based publisher, keeps him too busy.

But you’ll be able to see Parsons at Pegasus Books of Bend on Saturday. He’ll be on hand signing these and other titles he’s had a hand in, and promises to give away a sketch to each patron (see “If you go”).

“Inker” means Parsons, 42, is an artistic middleman on the creative side of the comic book assembly line. After the writer produces a script, which resembles that of a screenplay, a penciller sketches it and does the layout.

“Then they give it to me … and I put the blacks in and basically finish the drawing,” he explains.

And, with a little help from FedEx, an inker of his ilk doesn’t need to leave home to get his completed drawings to the colorist, who scans them into a computer and does the coloring digitally.

“I basically work out of the house and pretty much don’t leave. I work night and day,” he said.

“Particularly now, with the Clone Wars series,” an in-progress miniseries.

He also inks another Star Wars spin-off, the Legacy series, which is set in the future — Star Wars’ future, that is — and features character Luke Skywaalker’s descendents, according to Pegasus Books owner Duncan McGeary.

“It’s by far the best-selling Star Wars series we’ve had since maybe way back to Dark Empire, which is the first one Dark Horse did,” McGeary said.

Before entering the comic book world of art, Parsons worked for a number of years in developmental psychology in Baltimore. Drawing was merely a sideline until about seven years ago, when he quit and moved to Eugene with the intention of pursuing a freelance art career.

He lived there for about six months, then moved to Crooked River Ranch.

“At that time, I didn’t really have a job, per se. I was just doing trading cards and miscellaneous small jobs.”

Then, in 2002, he went to Comic-Con, an annual convention in San Diego, where he had a table displaying his artwork and its classic, retro style inspired by Alex Raymond and Al Williamson, two artists behind the mid-20th century Flash Gordon comic strips.

There, a Star Wars artist from Dark Horse scouting for talent liked what she saw and approached Parsons. Dark Horse gave him some sample pages to ink, “and I’ve been working for them ever since.”

Along with the Legacy and Clone Wars titles, he also worked on Star Wars Jedi, as well as Dark Horse’s King Kong, an adaptation of the Peter Jackson film for which he did pencils and inks.

Additionally, Parsons has illustrated for the Topps brand on its Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones lines of trading cards.

2 comments:

Lori King said...

Thanks for hosting Dan at your store. My eight year old was so amazed by his illustrations that he has decided to start a "comic book drawing" club at his school.

Angie said...

I'm sorry that we missed Dan. We were in your store for the first time this weekend, and when my 7 and 4-year-olds saw your collection of Star Wars comics, they went nuts! The comics signed by Dan will make great Christmas presents, and with the selection of collectibles and books that you also have, you can bet I'll be back often! Thanks.