Friends, what follows is a poor reconstruction, a post-mortem in fact, of an endeavor that became misadventure. The pages below were rendered during the pinnacle of my earlier career in comics which then became an unexpected and abrupt twilight. Working for a string of small, yet robust, publishers I made the acquaintance of a young and promising writer of the Romance Fiction genre looking for his first chance to write for the Action Hero genre. He had an idea of combining the popular costumed hero comic of the North Americans with the perverse, monster, crime and fiend genre many have come to know as Japanese Comics, or Manga. We talked about some of our needs for the story and hero; location and motivation for the series. Then we discussed the title. We agreed on the title. Then we needed to classify the genre, as this was surely a thing never seen before. This young, idealistic and talented pensmith who sat before me then uttered a word that forever changed the world of illustrated hero fiction; we would call the genre "SMASHMOUTH". I fainted, then came to, on fire with the possibilities of the project.
The next hurtle would be getting approval and funding for the idea; the resources and talent that this book would require would could be daunting and might scare the publisher into canning the project before it got to paper. Again, inspiration and pure drive brought us to the perfect solution in dealing with the unpredictable president of the comic juggernaut that was Comico, Andrew Rev,..."Fuck him."
Oh, and that young writer? The man who penned four sinew-ripping, nostril-stabbing, heart-squishing issues of the legendary series known as "RED DRAGON"? None other than Mr. Brian Azzerello, hizzelf! We kicked major ass, if I may say so myself. It was fun and wrong and we totally did it covertly. Andrew Rev was not on board with the project until we showed a preview to a visiting group of reviewers visiting the Comico offices. They took one look at Red Dragon and knew that this was what they wanted to see more of. I got to ink the first issue and Simon Bisley did the cover art. I don't want to get into the demise of the series, four pages shy of completing the fourth issue. Let me, instead share some scans of Xeroxes made on Comicos' shabby-ass copier; this is all that's left, thank you Andrew. A wise, wise man, he.
There a smattering of other pages that I can't seem to make sense of as far as the continuity; I'll post those in a subsequent blog. This book and working with Azz were a complete and utter BLAST!
All I can say about the abbreviated run of Red Dragon is this; "Y'all motherfuckas was robbed!"