Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Crowd scene, c. 2000

In his comic book work, Seth did not do his own coloring. He never felt absolutely confident of his coloring skills, and the publishers have their own colorists anyway. For himself though, and for the art he did for his website--both this one and his first one--he did a lot of coloring. He loved tinkering with photoshop, and was very skillful with it. Here is a crowd scene he did that he titled "Dante", in black and white, and in color.

Early in his career, crowd scenes were one of his favorite subjects to draw. He did them in all sorts of ways, as postcards that fit together, with a focal point, and--as in this image--with no focal point. Each person here is an individual. Seth is in this picture: I'm sure you spotted him right away. So is his father, his friend Langdon, a monocled Abraham Lincoln, Osama bin Laden with his beard braided (a nice touch), a llama (more about that in a sec), Groucho Marx, and many denizens of the bubbling fountain of Seth's mind.

How many of his fans, I wonder, knew him from his first website, www.lllama.com? He shared that website with Langdon, but then went on to open this one and gave the lllama one exclusively to Langdon. The name was from the art studio they started together, A Better Lllama Graphics.

The old lllama.com website got a mention, and a picture of Bob Spiney, on the last page of the February 1999 issue of YAHOO! Internet Life magazine, the page titled "Pretty Strange". The brief article says, "Take the family to Lllama Land, and you'll find that the old place sports much more than just llamas. There's the 'clama', a giant, poisonous clam-llama hybrid capable of spitting venom up to two meters with deadly accuracy. And who could forget the lovable Bob Spiney, a sweetheart of a half-man, half-cactus? What's more, if the kids get cranky, you can always take them on a slug ride--as long as you're willing to wait in line."

Through the time traveling magic of the Wayback Machine, you can actually visit the old Lllamaland here. Be patient, it takes a little extra digging to uncover the past; and most of the pictures are unavailable. But you can get a flavor of the delights of the place. And I actually do have access to most of the images, so if you are curious about what the heck Bob Spiney or Slugman Breel actually look like, ask me and I'll post the pictures.


j_ay said...

It’s like walking it an old abandoned saloon in a Western; one can’t help but wonder what stories the dust could tell.
Love the little winking (still active!) Llama at the bottom

And consider yourself asked, no begged of, for the old images.

Nick Pitarra said...

Awesome page! And Seth's Pop Tokyo trade paper back came out today! Just picked mine up.

Vicki said...

Thank you for the update. I hope they will send us a few comps. If not, I'll have to trek down to our neighborhood comic book store.

Nick Pitarra said...

No Problem. They changed the title for the trade paper back. It's called TOKYO DAYS, BANGKOK NIGHTS it collects both Vertigo POP stories written by Jonathan Vankin, the one Seth drew and the one Giuseppe Camuncoli drew. Giuseppe is starting to get a lot of higher profile work at Marvel now. He's really polished up scince this work and it's interesting to see how he's developed.