Sunday, December 27, 2009

William : Keeper Of The Cosmic All No.3

I noticed when I saw the layout page for this episode, that I had given William a last name, but never used it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

William : Keeper Of The Cosmic All No.2

By the second episode, I was starting to get a better feel for the character. Here's a sketch from around the time I did the second early on. The Samurai blank face dude doesn't have anything to do with William, but I liked it so left it in the scan!

William : Keeper Of The Cosmic All No.1

Here's the very first episode of 'William,' along with a rough sketch of the first panels and an abandoned finished version of them. Also shown here are some early concept drawings I did of our protagonist. You can see from these early drawings I was drawing him with brown hair, which I later changed to blond. The style that I drew William in was a continuation of a character of myself I had been doing in High School. I had first been influenced to draw his head in that shape from some graffitti drawings I saw painted large across the top wall of one of my High School classes. I thought the style was very cool and sort of appropriated it for myself. I wonder sometimes if I'd never seen those drawings how differently my art my have looked.

As for the finished Episode 1 presented here; I won't be doing much playing around with the original art on the remaining episodes posted, but I felt compelled to go into this first episode a bit. Some of the art was very crude (and still is!) and the page itself wasn't in the greatest condition. I went in and cleaned up most of it, getting rid of lots of purple pencil marks, especially when it was making some of the words hard to read. I also did a bit of redrawing in a few panels. Not drawing the new stuff as I would today, though...just cleaning up and keeping in the style of the original art.

Friday, December 18, 2009

William : Keeper of the Cosmic All - Preview Ad

Hey there, faithful readers and welcome to my new blog. Here you'll find the complete run of 24 episodes of 'William : Keeper Of The Cosmic All,' which ran in the Brooklyn College student newspaper, The Kingsman, from September of 1986 - May of 1987.

The following semester I began a continuation of the strip, called 'The Chronicles Of William,' but I only wound up doing five or six episodes. In addition to doing the 'Keeper of the Cosmic All' strip, and some other cartoons, I eventually wrote a review column, called The Keepers Notes. By that time I was assistant arts editor to Jason Dubin, who wrote and drew the long running B.C.B.S. Later, I became co-arts editor with Mike Dellavechia, who also drew some wacked out comics for the paper, including his great Mastrogodinagopoly. There were even a few collaborations. Those were fun times at the Kingsman offices.

In the twenty + years since the last William strip was published, I've done a few personal drawings and comics pages with the character; two of them are still only in pencils and the other, the only one fully inked, on 14" X 17" bristol, was destroyed when I had a flood in my basement in early 2008. I don't think I have a copy or record of it anywhere, although, I was able to save an undamaged sliver of the original artwork. Those comics will eventually be posted here, as well as other artwork and sketches related to William.

In case you were wondering - or not - the name for the character and strip, came from my long-time friend, Bill Akunevicz, Jr. Back in High School, where we met, he was known as William. One of our mutual friends for some reason took to calling him William : Keeper of the Cosmic All, and even made him a t-shirt with that name spelled out on the front, in classic felt Little League baseball team iron-on letters. Ironically, neither of them seem to remember that! I guess I had it in the back of my mind when I decided to come up with the comic, as I thought the title sounded cool. The character of William, in the comic, though, was much pretty much just myself. The real William and I collaborated on one episode; I did the writing and pencils, and he provided the inks.

The preview ad shown here, ran in a May 1986 issue of the Kingsman, promoting the comic debuting in the next school semester, after the Summer break.