John Workman could not have a more suitable surname when it comes to making comics. He has done it all and for almost everybody. One healthy read of John’s Wikipedia bio and it is clear that his influence on comics is vast. Clearly he is an unsung hero of the comics industry, in part, because much of what he has done has been behind the scenes as an Art Director or in the production room.
Make no mistake about it, Workman is a Jack of all Trades when it comes to making comics. He has worn so many hats in his long career that it is hard to tag him with any single title. Writer, Penciler, Inker, Letterer, Colorist, Designer, Art Director, and Publisher are all roles that he has claimed professionally since he began in comics, working on fanzines as early as 1967.
Since then, John has left his indelible imprint throughout the industry, having worked for Archie Comics, Star*Reach, DC Comics, Heavy Metal, First Comics, Marvel Comics, Topps Comics, Image Comics, National Lampoon, Playboy Hamilton Publishing, Two Morrows, and Dark Horse. Unbelievably the list does not stop there and happily continues as CO2 Comics announces the presentation of two short stories by John Workman, “The Gold Mask” and “Revenge.”
“The Gold Mask“ is a concept that had been percolating in Workman’s mind for years before realizing itself as an overview of much of his career’s work serving as an introduction to readers unfamiliar with his creative impact on Star*Reach and Heavy Metal.
John hopes the that the story would be a sort of “visual encouragement” to those comic creators who are walking the same road that he had travelled in creating comics material and presenting it to the public.
“Revenge,” also a brief study in the power the comics medium, has an interesting back story:
According to John, “the work began as one of the “June 2050″ stories in Heavy Metal. Dick Giordano had missed his deadline on the story that he and Jack Harris were doing, so… knowing that we needed to fill that page… I went home and wrote, pencilled, lettered, and inked this story and brought it in to the HM offices the next day. John Lennon had just been killed, and I used this as an opportunity to say something about his death. It was also a way of telling a somewhat complicated story by way of the comics form, a story that would be different if done in any other medium.”
Bill Cucinotta and Gerry Giovinco, publishers at CO2 Comics could not be happier than to have the opportunity to present these two short pieces by John Workman. John’s early work at Star*Reach and Heavy Metal were significant influences, inspiring them to maintain a broader vision regarding quality, variety of subject matter and creators rights when they began publishing as Comico in the early 1980′s. That vision that continues today with their new venture CO2 Comics that features serialized web comics, publishes, in book form, graphic novels and an eleven volume set of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection.
An interview with John Workman appears in the first volume of the COMICS INTERVIEW collection and highlights John’s pet peeve regarding the number of people involved in creating a page of comics. Workman prefers to do it all himself but he is ready to jump in a moments notice to take on any creative responsibility with the utmost ability.
It is that sensibility that proves, though may take many to create great comics, there is only one John Workman and now you can read his great short stories at CO2 Comics.
Making Comics Because We Want to,