So, admittedly, I'm a huge Image Comics junkie. When Image United was announced, I was stoked. This would be one of the most epic (and unfortunately, delayed) undertakings in the history of comics. The thought of McFarlane, Larsen, Liefeld, Valentino, Silvestri and Portacio putting ink on the same artboard for six issues of Kirkman penned mayhem brought me back to the excitement of Image Comics circa 1992.
I knew that the original artwork for the main IU title would be out of my reach, so when Image United Interlude was solicited, and subsequently cancelled, I made it my mission to get Ryan Ottley's artwork for the planned jam cover, and have it finished as intended by the intended artists:
Invincible by Ryan Ottley (which was obviously already done)
Jack Staff by Paul Grist
Madman by Mike Allred
Battlestone by Marat Mychaels
Pitt by Dale Keown
After some emails back and forth with Mark Hay (Ryan's art dealer), the deal was done, and I was the proud owner of an unfinished cover to an unpublished book (and the blueline art with more detailed silhouettes used for the solicitation art).
At this point, the challenge began (and is still underway). First up, Mr. Paul Grist, and his character Jack Staff. I contacted Paul, and he graciously agreed to add to the piece. The artwork took off across the pond to Paul, who did a fantastic job, and was an absolute pleasure to deal with.
Next up I contacted Mike Allred through his art dealer, Simon Miller, and arrangements were made to send the piece off to Mike to add his character, Madman, to the cover. I sent it off and once it arrived to Mike, he was extremely quick (1 day turnaround) and Simon was great to deal with.
The cover is now back from Marat Mychaels, who did a fantastic job on Battlestone. Marat was extremely friendly, and easy to deal with.
I'm off to email Dale Keown...
I'll continue to update as the project progresses.