My Karaoke Fanboy friend, Russ Kazmierczak, Jr., asked me months ago to be his featured artist for the cover of the August issue of AMAZING ARIZONA COMICS. The plan solidified when he did a 24-hour drawing stint in a storefront window in downtown Glendale (my home town!), and used those 24 hours to draw the August issue. I asked him what the deadline was, and he said two weeks would be fine. Twelve days later I met my self-imposed Thursday-Midnight deadline, giving Russ two days of wiggle room.
The story is of four vignettes, so my design of the August cover includes four panels, each relevant to a vignette. Without further ado, and with Russ’s kind permission to post before release (“It’s not NASA secrets, after all,” he said with a karaoke sidelong grin), here is a panel from Vignette 1. Santa Claus has unmasked a Hobgoblinesque troublemaker, only to find a normal, befuddled guy under the mask, who had been possessed by the hot and dire villain Heatstroke. I was fairly faithful to the source, adding an incoming, dashing Speed Cameron.
My thanks again to Russ for recruiting my involvement in his Magnum Opus. It is a privilege and an honor!