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My history with Battle Chasers and a peek at my cover for #10
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Yeah, sorry. I’m going straight for the cursing. Because…I’M AN ADULT! (Kind of. Ok…fuck. Not really. But whatever.) Also, because I did a cover for Joe Mad’s Battle Chasers #10! I’M DEAD NOW!
You all are probably saying “Bruh, you do so many covers. Like, you actually do ALL THE COVERS. You’re probably doing a cover right now while you write this newsletter.” Yeah, you’re right. And I am. Ugh. Fuck. But you need to understand what this means to me.
It’s 1998, I just turned 20. I was waiting tables, playing Playstation, drawing, reading comics, making rap music…and that’s it. That was my life. No college. No idea what I was going to do for a living. Image Comics launches a line of comics called CLIFFHANGER! Crimson, Danger Girl, and BATTLE CHASERS! I was blown away. I loved them all. But Battle Chasers hit me in the heart for a very specific reason. And that reason was…
Final Fantasy VII.
Like so many other Playstation owners, I had just finished playing FFVII. It took over two months of NON-STOP playing to beat it. It hijacked my brain for over 80+ hours of game play. I lived in that world, and then just like that, I beat it. The game was finished. And I was FUCKING DEPRESSED. What? What do you mean I can’t stay in the world? Collecting GIL and finding MATERIA and raising CHOCOBOS! I missed Cloud and the huge hold in my heart he cut out with his BFS! (Big Fucking Sword!)
Then, the Cliffhanger preview book came out. And there it was. The thing I was looking for to fill that hole. It was BATTLE CHASERS! Big swords. Big guns. Big Robots. Big gloves. Big B… Okay, calm down. It was a comic that had the feel of this game I just lived in for months and it was now going to be in my sub box at Mountain Empire Comics in downtown Bristol, TN.
The comic came out and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I fell in love. Over the next few years, eight issues came out and each one blew me away more than the last. And then, in August of 2001, issue 9 came out. And that would be the last one…until now.
Here’s the thing. When that last issue came out, I was still waiting tables. I hadn’t broken into comics yet. I was still three months away from getting the call from Marvel to draw Iceman #3. I loved that series so much and wanted to draw just like Joe. Just like every other 18-25 year old did at that time! haha.
Now, decades later, Battle Chasers is coming back! This time, I’m… well, I’m not waiting tables anymore. I’m doing OTHER THINGS. Haha. Around the same time BC was announced, I was relaunching I Hate Fairyland and by now, Joe and I have become friends. I reached out and asked for a cover for IHF #1 and he agreed if I did the same for BC #10! Then I died. Right there. (As I’m typing this, my partner in crime Jorge Corona just texted after seeing my BC cover and says “OH FUCK OFF! I’m jealous!”)
Not only did I get one of my favorite artists to do a cover for my comics, but I got to do one for his. For one of the books that made me want to do this job. It’s overwhelming when I think about it.
Ugh. Anyway. I’m not even crying so shut your face mouth thing, or whatever.
Now, I’ll tell you a quick story about the cover itself. Some of you may recognize it. This is another one of those times where I’m ripping off myself. In 2014 I did a few Daily Sketches of Battle Chaser characters. I made a joke about them being late to something. It honesty wasn't about the comic being late because I never thought the comic was coming back. I just made a random joke about being lost in the woods.
When it came time to do an actual cover for Battle Chasers I started sketching what you’d expect. Group shots. Action shots. But nothing was clicking. As I searched my Battle Chasers reference, my old Daily Sketch popped up in the results. I realized…that was my cover. None of my ideas were better than that one. What’s better, the joke actually makes sense now because they decided to come back with issue #10 instead of #1.
Funny how life and timing and all the things work.
So there, my big long, babbling story on why I’m so excited to have been invited to be a part of the return of BATTLE CHASERS!!!
I Hate Fairyland Volume 5!
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