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Jim Steranko

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Guest AdminGuyX

For comics, my earliest and probably deepest influence is Jim Steranko. Not his super hero work though. Nope. It's work like this:

 

ChanderlRedTide-panel.jpg

 

His early work doing op-art, and the guy designed Indiana Jones for crying out loud!!

 

What else can I say? Do I need to say more?

 

B)

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For comics, my earliest and probably deepest influence is Jim Steranko. Not his super hero work though. Nope. It's work like this:

 

ChanderlRedTide-panel.jpg

 

His early work doing op-art, and the guy designed Indiana Jones for crying out loud!!

 

What else can I say? Do I need to say more?

 

B)

 

Yeah, I remember when I first picked up one of his comics. I think it was a crime/myster, I don't remember the title but I sure as hell remember the artwork. The darkness, the delicate lines, it amazed me. I just sat there and must have looked through it 20 times. Great artist.

 

JO

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As many no doubt know, Steranko (as he refers to himself) is one of my biggest influences.

And I gotta tell ya that back about 9 years ago . . . After the release of my art book, "Maximum Black", I was sitting in my studio one night and the phone rings.

I used to screen all my calls so I let the answering machine pick it up. Suddenly, I hear this unfamiliar voice penetrate my surroundings and the whole thing went down like this -

Voice on the machine - "Bradstreet . . . . Steranko" . . . . bit of a pause - now I'm standing in my studio and realize that it could only be Jim Steranko on my answering machine!

I kinda froze for a moment. Then he continued, "So listen, I'd like to talk to you about this artbook you just did" . . . Now I'm scrambling to get to the phone as he starts to leave his contact information. I pick op the receiver and say hello. Jim repeats his first line, "Bradstreet . . . Steranko." I say (duh), "As in JIM Steranko?" He says . . . "Do you know any other fucking Steranko's?"

Broke the ice immediately but I still couldn't quite believe that this was one of my great idols just chatting away on the phone with me like it happened every day.

He said some humbling things to me like, "You are carrying the torch man, there's no one else out there doing the dramatic lighting and realism the way you are doing it."

It's like at the moment I felt like I got instant credibility.

 

As many of you also no doubt know, I employ the use of photographs in my work to achieve the realism. Because I'm an illustrator who works primarily in comics, I end up taking heat for that. Throughout my career I have taken flak for it, from both uninformed, quick to judge fans, AND other professionals alike. I used to take that criticism badly, because I knew how much more there was to it. It wounded my pride and pissed me off. But the day Steranko called out of the blue to tell me he himself was a fan, I felt legitimized. We talked about it. Jim said, "Fuck 'em, they got no idea. Fans are a fickle bunch and they often times need to feel superior. The other artists are just jealous that you do it well and they assume it's a short cut.

I know differently." As a guy that works both ways (from reference and directly from the imagination), Steranko knew what he was talking about. A tremendous weight was magically lifted off of me. A weight that I myself put there. As much as I believed in what I was doing I still harbored doubts about it because of the occasional criticisms. That kind of pill can be tough to swallow. But Steranko fixed me of that. I feel that it's like a gift he presented me with. And to be recognized by someone I respected and admired so much was . . . Well, words cannot describe. So suffice it to say that was a very magical moment for me. Thanks Jim!

 

So, my little story aside, I'll try and post some Steranko gems here. I gotta go unearth some stuff as I still have things in boxes from a move.

I've got a copy of a piece he did for a portfolio years ago, some Robert E. Howard inspired thing. There is an illustration of "El Borak" that will blow your fucking mind.

got a lot of other stuff too.

 

Has anyone seen Steranko's adaptation of the 1980 film "Outland"? Black and white, and unfuckingbelievable. I believe it was serialized in "Heavy Metal", or at least part of it.

Also, does anyone know if "Chandler" ever came out? Jim was working on that one for years. I'll have to find out.

 

I'll post a few soon.

 

- Tb

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Guest AdminGuyX

I'd love to have his adaptation of Outland too. I remember reading it back in the day and really enjoying it. That film is a guilty pleasure of mine anyway though.

 

GREAT story about Steranko. I laughed my ass off reading it. ;)

 

Thanks for sharing that.

 

Ya know what, let me check my old copies of heavy metal, I might have the outland after all . . .

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Noeland -

NEVER feel like "Outland" is a guilty pleasure!

Not in this crowd anyway.

Aside from "Narrow Margin", the remake with Gene Hackman, and Peter Hyams regular, James B. Sikking (also in Outland) -

It was the last really good film from Hyams. I have a soft spot for "2010: The Year We Make Contact" but everything since those days seems to have gone downhill.

Jean Claude VanDamme? Hyams could do better.

 

One of the few directors that is also his own Cinematographer.

That's cool.

 

And hey, as a fan of Outland, did you happen to notice who is co-starring in Tom's new film, "The MIST"?

Francis Sternhagen! (for the uninitialed, she gives an absolute gem of a performance in Outland)

I saw a clip with her from the film and she still kicks ass at 77!

 

- tb

 

outland.jpg

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Jesus, I know we're talkin' about Steranko here but you mentioned outland, and that flick is one of my alltime favorite movies,EVER. And is with out a doubt my favorite Sci-fi movie of all time...so far.

 

As for Steranko, I love just about everything he's ever done, but specifically the black and white stuff. I love black and white drawings and some of my favorite comic books are the black and whites of yesteryear and the indie stuff from today, like Crecy from Ellis and Caceres, that's just a damn fun story to read and look at.

 

I saw an interview with Steranko somewhere? Any way he was talking about his Nick Fury work and the old god awful comic code. It was great stuff to listen to!

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Noeland -

NEVER feel like "Outland" is a guilty pleasure!

Not in this crowd anyway.

Aside from "Narrow Margin", the remake with Gene Hackman, and Peter Hyams regular, James B. Sikking (also in Outland) -

It was the last really good film from Hyams. I have a soft spot for "2010: The Year We Make Contact" but everything since those days seems to have gone downhill.

Jean Claude VanDamme? Hyams could do better.

 

One of the few directors that is also his own Cinematographer.

That's cool.

 

And hey, as a fan of Outland, did you happen to notice who is co-starring in Tom's new film, "The MIST"?

Francis Sternhagen! (for the uninitialed, she gives an absolute gem of a performance in Outland)

I saw a clip with her from the film and she still kicks ass at 77!

 

- tb

 

outland.jpg

Man, I love that movie. Sean Connery is a total badass in that. Plus, Danny Boyle. Not a bad combination.

 

-JO

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Guest AdminGuyX

I should of known I'd find other Outland fans here! I am actually a pretty big Peter Hyams fan too, and Tim I agree with your comments about his work whole heartedly, though I dig Timecop for it's cool prop guns.

 

Andy, I had no idea Outland was your favorite sci-fi film though. Guess that makes since given your love of westerns.

 

I didn't know Francis was in The Mist. One more reason to see it, right there. I will say, her voice is one of the things I relate to Outland, as much as the visuals, Connery, and the rest. Her performace was something special in the film.

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I absolutely LOVE steranko! I met him at a small con. I talked with him for 20 minutes

about sequential art! It was fascinating. Everything he did seem to have a reason

to guy the viewers eyes and evoke responses from his art.

Within 20 minutes I went from loving his work to having an IMMENSE respect for his

work! Truly one of a kind!!

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