This portrait of a sleeping Liana was published in black and white once in 1984, and has been out of print since. The original is in pencil. I colored this in Photoshop for practice some time later, and this is the first time the color version has been published.
It’s also the last time it will be published, since I foolishly saved the master file at a low resolution. The master file of the black and white art is safely archived.
From a discarded edition of A Distant Soil, the intention was to publish the series entirely from my pencil art. Eventually, a collection would gather the comics. I had the idea to color directly over the pencil art, as you see here, which, I think, may have been a first for comics. In the days before Photoshop, this was challenging. I still have my original color tests.
Even more challenging: producing highly rendered pencil art on a schedule, which the publisher then upped from quarterly to bimonthly. No one does comic art in pencil like this on a regular series because of the outrageous labor involved. The pencil art was abandoned in favor of ink art. Shortly after I left the company, ditched everything, and started over.
Many years later, I am doing a graphic novel with Neil Gaiman in the highly rendered pencil style I love, which is then colored by hand or by computer. So, things worked out in the end!
Here is information about the A Distant Soil Restoration Project. If you have original art from A Distant Soil, please read it.
And here is a podcast interview with me, well over an hour long, that you may have missed. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it will become a part of you.