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Author: Michael Dolce

It’s not quite as dangerous as driving…but it’s close… No but seriously, I’m watching this god awful Thursday night game (f’real why is Jacksonville on national TV again???) And I’m thinking and blogging and tweeting. The comic book industry is changing much like the music industry has already. I can’t help but remember the convention where a fan came up, saw one of my books and said: “Oh yeah, i downloaded this. It’s pretty good.” After taking the requisite ego trip joy ride over his compliment, I thought waitaminute this is 2008. There were no digital comics and I just got jacked. Such is the state of the industry today. Digital is overtaking brick and mortar. And it sucks. Unless they transform themselves much like the music industry changed and made the concert experience what makes money for bands now. Sucks, cuz I’m an artist, but bottom line, if you don’t support retailers and artists, we can’t create while working at Dennys, or Blockbuster. Um…what’s a Blockbuster? Not bad, 5 beers and a smirnoff ice in (i got iced. Yeah, it still happens and yeah, it sucked). Thoughts?

For those of us not blessed with the artistic prowess of Jim Lee, we need to resort to little tricks of the trade to make our stuff look…well, professional.

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Namely: reference. I can spot a million miles away an artist that is either not using reference or using other comic books art AS reference. It stinks. Seriously. Even the pros, no matter how pro-y they are can’t do it alone. That being said, I still think i stink, lol. Below is an image i drew for the upcoming Sire #7. No matter how much i progress as an artist i still feel i come up short. Thank goodness for the reference art from my good friends at comicbookschool.com (shameless plug time kids!) I dread to think what it would have turned out otherwise. Enjoy and stay tuned for more Sire #7 blogs. I’m sure I’ll think of something clever to write.

Oh and be sure to follow me @Michael_Dolce on twitter. And like us on Facebook dammit! Facebook.com/SireComic and Facebook.com/MBDStudios.

Former Sire artist Dan Leister handles art chores on Image Comics’ Hack/Slash. As BleedingCool.com reports, the series has actually risen in sales as the series has progressed, following its move to Image this year. We wish Dan nothing but the best here at Mikebooks.com! You can read the full article here: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/03/12/hackslash-trending-upwards

Former Sire artist Dan Leister handles art chores on Image Comics’ Hack/Slash. As BleedingCool.com reports, the series has actually risen in sales as the series has progressed, following its move to Image this year. We wish Dan nothing but the best here at Mikebooks.com! You can read the full article here: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/03/12/hackslash-trending-upwards

More good stuff surrounding former Sire artist Daniel Leister’s new book Hack/Slash. Tim Seely comments on Dan’s work and the future of the title. From Comic Book Resources: In his continued effort to keep the story moving forward, Seeley teamed up with former Grimm Fairy Tales artist Daniel William Leister to pencil “My First Maniac” before moving on as the regular artist of the ongoing “Hack/Slash” title. Seeley summed Leister’s contributions to the book in one simple word. “Cheesecake. Dan brings a lot of cheesecake,” Seeley said. “He loves to draw butts. With Dan, he was someone I’ve known for quite a while. We have the same art dealer, and he was doing the Grimm Fairy Tales stuff and obviously knew how to do horror. He knows how to do monsters and girls. He kind of comes into it already knowing how to do what people see as the veneer of the book, which is boobs and blood and he’s learning to be good at what I think the book is actually about, which is the little character moments and the people. It’s a win-win for both of us. I get somebody who has a cool style, sort of a hot artist style, and he’s also into doing the little stuff that a lot of artists get bored by.” Seeley continued, explaining how important it is for the title and its art to remain on the right side of the line between cheesecake and smut, telling CBR, “One of the reasons I always tried to get female artists to work with is because I think they understood what my intent was for the book. I wanted it to be sexy, but I didn’t want it to be sleazy. It’s easier for girls to understand. Dan’s got his hormones firing so he occasionally slips and I’ll have to tell him to [rein it in]. But he’s been great and he’s doing great stuff. He’s on the book for the foreseeable future.” For the full article go to: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=31555 – See more at: http://secretsofthesire.com/Dissecting_Hack_Slash#sthash.NH3ZHIFp.dpuf

I will be showing you start to finish page 2 of the upcoming Sire #7 drawn by yours truly! It’s the first Sire art I’ve personally worked on in 4 years (besides sketches) Hope you like what you see. The empty panels will be filled with artwork from previous issues as the story opens with a recap, which you will see of course. Also, I’ll be digitally rendering the studio background behind the two characters. As for what the page is all about? Well, all recognize one of our stars, JJ Waterston. As for who she’s talking to and what she’s saying? Stay tuned!

Step 1: This is the pencils scanned in:

Step 2: This is the page rendered with inks:

Step 3: Flats applied:

Step 4: And finally…fully rendered!

We’re getting closer and closer to the Sire’s return. As it stands I want to get this right before launching anything and July 1st is closing fast. Will we get this launched in time? Can’t say for sure. What I can say is a whole crew of talented artists are working on bringing this to life. Including yours truly. Below I’ve got some drawings from the opener of Sire #7 that I’ve done. I’ll be tackling the first three pages followed by super talented Michael Bencic for the next installment of pages 4-10. Newcomer Jacob Newell rendered pages 11-15, while Sire vet Will Torres is finishing up pages 16-20. I’ll be rounding out this issue with the final two pages. Release dates online to come (again targeting July 1st with more installments to run all month, though timing it with San Diego seems much more likely). The issue will be available for print purchase just in time for Baltimore Comic-Con Aug 20-21. Cover by Dave Johnson! The next installment will be released online in August, with a print version in time for Comic-Con October 13th. This issue is already drawn as a matter of fact by another Sire regular Kris Karter. Cover by Talent Caldwell. Without further ado, take a look at some of the pages I’ve snapped up with my camera phone and get set for Sire to return!

Just a little tease on a Sunday night. Fresh off the hard drive, Sire #7, page #4. Drawn by Michael Bencic w/colors by yours truly. Who’s the mystery villain? Well come back here this Wednesday to sink your teeth into the new issue of The Sire! Featuring a kick ass cover drawn by an industry genius (you’ll see it released tomorrow) The Sire returns in grand fashion!

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