Who the hell is Yvonne Epstein?

Dark Horse Comics Logo for GhostIf you’ve been around here before, you’ll know how much I love pictures. Not surprising, right? Comic books? Pop graphic art? Mugshots? These things define what my blog is all about, so, yeah. Anyway, over the years I have scanned a crap load of comics and stuff and have slowly been putting them out in various posts. It’s nice to share.

What’s fun is when I stumble on stuff I haven’t seen for a while. So it was with some Dark Horse Comics material from the 1990s. Remember that whole Comics Greatest World thing that was Dark Horse’s attempt to capitalize on comic book gimmickry?  Well, setting aside Barb Wire, X, and the guy with the dragon tattoo, the best story to come from that arc was Ghost.

Wallpaper for Ghost, Dark Horse ComicsGhost was an interesting character. She was a woman that had been brutally murdered and had returned to sleuth out who done her wrong. In the course of the series she met nefarious demons and corrupt humans, all of whom she would try to dispatch with her trusty Colt 45s. C’mon. That’s just cool. The Ghost stories were smarter by far than a lot of the other pseudo-other-world tripe of the time. It reminded me a lot of the Mage series by Matt Wagner.

Bellechere the Cosplayer as Ghost from Dark Horse Comics

This isn’t Yvonne Epstein. It’s BelleChere, the incredibly talented cosplayer.

Anyway, one of the covers to the comics, Ghost Special #2, is actually a photograph of a live model rather than a drawing or painting. The art created around her is haunting and surreal, and it’s just  one of the coolest photographic covers on comic books. The model is quite fetching and she’s credited as “Yvonne Epstein.” I’d forgotten about this cover but then used it several months ago in another post. As I was cleaning up some old folders tonight, I found the scan along with some modified images based on the cover. I was curious about this Yvonne Epstein and did a quick Google search to see if she had done any other Ghost work. If so, I couldn’t find anything. So I did a search for Yvonne Epstein as a model and got nada. So, oh well, but I’m still curious. Who the hell is Yvonne Epstein?

As for Ghost, Dark Horse has picked up the series again. Go check it out.

Dark Horse Comics, Yvonne Epstein, model for Ghost Special #2.

This is Yvonne Epstein. She modeled for the cover of Ghost Special #2. And then she disappeared.


Comic-Con Posters and Wallpapers

Strictly speaking some of these images can be found elsewhere, but I made these from items I picked up at San Diego Comic Con International conventions over the years. I scanned and touched them up to make some cool wallpapers, if I don’t mind saying so myself and I really don’t mind that I do.

First up…Archer. Damn I wanted to go to that panel. Archer is one of the funniest shows on TV right now. How could I not like it? Bond. Sterling Bond. Lana “Big Hands, Hips, Tits, and Ass” Kane. Narcissism. Strangulation fetish (OK, it’s actually creepy, but funny). Cartoon booze (you know, the kind that doesn’t actually degrade your mind and cause you to drive into a loaded school bus). Lots of flip violence. Gosh. It’s like Christmas all season long.

Archer TV series poster from Comic-Con

Next, Before the Dawn promo comic for the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie in 2014.

Promo Comic for Before the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

X. Dark Horse has relaunched some of the characters from their Comics Greatest World series (published in the 1990s) and X is one of the books I’m most interested in. X is kind of like the Punisher, except he’s one-eyed and looks like he’s into S&M.

X poster from Dark Horse Comics

Here’s one that was frustrating. This handout sheet is for a … I don’t know what. I don’t even remember how I ended up with it, but after doing some sleuthing (yeah, a website URL would have been a good idea, guys), I discovered that this is some sort of project maybe called Xtreme Team 5 by a publisher named Allegory. Duh. That’s all I could figure out what with me being lazy and all.

Allegory Comics promo from Comic-Con

Legend of Korra! I like the Avatar, Airbender stuff. It’s even cooler that there are strong Steampunk themes in Korra. This promo is for a very neat-o book I was too cheap to buy.

Legend of Korra artwork promo

This Sideshow Collectibles promo sheet was actually from a while back, but it’s still cool. It does make me laugh though since it reminds me of this (scroll down to “Black Market Follies”).

Promo Sheet for Sideshow Collectibles

The Spiderwick Chronicles was a children’s fantasy/horror series that rode the Harry Potter tsunami like one of my other favorites, A Series of Unfortunate Events. These series had nothing to do with Rowling’s juggernaut but I think they benefited by igniting broad interest in the genre. I met the author (Holly Black) and illustrator (Tony DiTerlizzi) at the 2007 Con. Charming folk. I told Holly how much I appreciated her stories since it was one of the only things my son was interested in reading that wasn’t displayed on a TV screen with the words “Choose your Weapon.” These images are of very cool 3-D lenticular postcard-sized promos. Slick, huh?

Lenticular promo card for The Spiderwick Chronicles Lenticular SDCC promo card for The Spiderwick Chronicles

Thanos by Adam Kubert; the artwork for the Infinity mini-series.

Thanos by Adam Kubert

And lastly, a Walking Dead promo card. Yes, it was from the 2012 Comic-Con. [Shh. I have a secret. I still haven’t finished Season 2. What the hell?! OK, already, I’m on it! Netflix – come to papa!]

The Walking Dead San Diego Comic-Con promo

Ghost poster by Alex Ross

This is a scan of a Dark Horse Comics mini poster by the legendary Alex Ross. I love this image specifically because of Elisa Cameron’s face. Look at those eyes! Great color choice, Alex.

It sounds like there is more Ghost on the horizon. At the Comic-Con, I talked to Patrick Thorpe, the Dark Horse Comics editor for the book, and he says to watch for new projects in the near future.

Ghost is a great character. Her history alone is intriguing; Ghost comes back from the afterlife as a gun-toting apparition seeking to fight crime while working to resolve the mysteries surrounding her death. The mystical and criminal elements throughout give the book a wide range of story-telling opportunities (and there is a wicked cool character named Cameron Nemo that was a partial inspiration for my Comics A-Go-Go “The Devil You Say” signature banner). I think she’s a strong female character that doesn’t suffer from the easy characterizations you get with other female heroes/villains in comics. Fortunately, Ghost has had the advantage of getting good writing and illustrating teams.

Click on the image below to get the full-size illustration.

Ghost comic book character from Dark Horse Comics; poster by Alex Ross

And here’s your bonus. I first Alex Ross after he and Kurt Busiek launched the ground-breaking Marvels series. He was far more accessible back then and he was eager to chat up his role in painting the books. He is astonishingly good in my book. This is a scan of a promo bookmark from Comic-Con.

Alex Ross, comic book illustrator, Avengers Alex Ross bookmark from Comic-Con

SDCC 2013 Promos and Exclusive Swag on eBay

The Comic-Con is a blast but it’s also expensive, so I have to pay for my trip somehow. Here are some items that I picked up at the Comic-Con that I’m putting up for sale. Visit my page at eBay.

What’s I gots:

  • Mockingjay pins from the Lionsgate booth. These were probably the most popular swag item. Nice looking metal pin.
  • Comic-Con big bags
  • Ender’s Game T-Shirt
  • Lemony Snicket T-Shirt
  • Red 2 Sunglasses
  • Original art
  • Lanyards
  • Family Guy Stewie Pins
  • Enders Game pins
  • Divergent Pins
  • Marvel Comics stuff
  • Lots of other items

Art from the Comic-Con

I have so many pictures in my laptop that it’s impossible to get everything loaded and into a post. But, I might as well chip away at the stack. The reason most of you come to my site is because of the pictures (I have about 4,000 loaded already), so I figure I should share as many as I can. Here are a few items I picked up at Comic-Cons past.

Charles Vess’ Book of Ballads and Sagas

Charles Vess has beautiful fantasy artwork and I have several comics with his work. So, I was really happy to see him at a table and chatted him up a bit. Charles was giving away a preview of his then-upcoming personal project so I snagged one. It’s a thin, full-size, black-and-white promo that contains a couple of pages from a story written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles. What gorgeous stuff.

Charles Vess Book of Ballads and Sagas Promo booklet cover
Charles Vess Book of Ballads and Sagas Promo booklet #1

Charles Vess Book of Ballads and Sagas Promo booklet #1

Geoff Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy

Geoff has done several projects for other people, but this is a solo comic book he’s created, co-written and illustrated. Shaolin Cowboy is a weird bit of science fiction-fantasy-western-dystopian-post-apocalyptic-drug-addled-European-comix-inspired comic book fun by one of the most detailed artists in the industry. Just the art alone is a viable reason to buy this book. It’s too bad Geof hasn’t made this story an on-going thing.  Here’s a print we bought form him a few years back. He added a little sketch of the monk’s head on the lower right corner.

Geof Darrow Shaolin Cowboy Print

Geof Darrow Shaolin Cowboy Print

Here’s a close up of a quick sketch Geof did when I was buying the print.

Geof Darrow Shaolin Cowboy Cover #1

Here’s what the published artwork looked like.


Instant Piano

Instant Piano was an anthology project put out by Dark Horse Comics (which I’ve always considered to be the HBO of comic books) that took some of the most inventive yet less well known creators and gave them free reign to write and draw some short stories. The following promo sheet was handed out at a table where all of them were signing stuff. I was already a big fan of Evan Dorkin’s Milk and Cheese, and Kyle Baker’s art on The Shadow (which was a series of very good stories but also a hilarious send-up of the Howard Chaykin mini-series). The other artists were: Mark Badger, Robbie Busch, and Stephen DeStefano. Funny story: All the guys sketched and signed the sheet. Kyle Baker was last. He said something to the effect that I should buy the book because it was going to be the greatest thing ever. I kind of chuckled. He shot me back a dirty look and said something like “It IS! Why are you laughing?” I smiled, picked up my promo sheet, and hurried away. I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t actually bought the books. Hmm. Add those to my list.

Instant Piano Comic Book Anthology Promo Sheet Sketches by Kyle Baker, Evan Dorkin, Robbie Busch, Stephen DeStefano, Mark Badger

And here’s your bonus: the covers to the Instant Piano Comics mini-series.

Dark Horse Comics - Instant Piano #1 Dark Horse Comics - Instant Piano #2 Dark Horse Comics - Instant Piano #3 Dark Horse Comics - Instant Piano #4