Today’s dead project is one that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s gone through several versions, with several artists, so get comfortable.
The Gentlemen’s Club is the comic. A story about the world’s most elite assassins, and a splinter group that breaks away from the main organization, which results in the world’s top hitmen in a constant battle for superiority.
This was one of the first real ideas I had, or at least one of the first that I thought could actually be marketed properly, and had a mainstream kind of bent to it.
Anyway, I wrote the first issue (and the second), and again, as always – needed an artist. I met an artist online named Dan Rice, who really dug the idea and agreed to work on it with me. Dan and I put together a lot of what became the base of the book, the design of the characters, the settings, etc.
Dan had some real world things come up and wasn’t able to continue working on the book with me, but that was cool because a) he had created the VERY FIRST piece of art based on something I had written, and b) Dan became a good friend of mine in the process, and we always kept in touch (in fact, Dan’s now inking the Apes With Uzis miniseries I’m writing.)
Here’s the first ever piece of art anyone anywhere in the world ever did based on a piece I wrote:
I still have this piece framed. It means a hell of a lot to me.
But I loved the Gentlemen’s Club, the characters, the concept, so I kept trying to make it happen. I met another artist named Lukasz Rydzewski online, and pitched the idea to him, and he ended up creating a pitch package for the first 8 pages plus the cover.
Here’s that cover:
And a page of Lukasz’s work:
But then…he just up and fell off the face of the Earth. His emails stopped, I had no contact with him. I don’t know what happened to him. I hope he’s okay.
I was stuck again. I couldn’t start pitching the book with an artist that had gone absolutely AWOL. So the Gentlemen’s Club got shelved. It happens. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but had a ton of other work on the go anyway, so it fell off my radar.
A little while later, I teamed up with an artist named Adam Sabic, who started to work on the book, but only got as far as character sketches – but man, I dug his designs. I basically told him I wanted the main character to look like Slayer guitarist Kerry King.
Here’s what I got back:
Then earlier this year, someone mentioned an artist named Kav (who worked with my buddy Josh Dahl on his “Rapid City” book), and I sent him an email, we discussed the idea, and he literally drew the entire 22-page first issue in two weeks. Yeah. It was crazy.
Here’s a sample of Kav’s work on the Gentlemen’s Club:
This is on the backburner currently, but is something I really want to move forward with when the time is right.
So it’s New Year’s Eve. Have fun, be safe, spend the time with the people you love. I know I am.
Do yourself a favor and listen to “Within and W/O” by Washed Out.