THE DOOR INTO SUMMER

As we roll through the end of May and into June, some thrilling things are happening on the comics horizon:

*  After a brief hiatus while awaiting coloring from Santosh Rath, EXPOSURE wraps up "Night of the Living Dad!", courtesy of yours truly, and artists Jinky Coronado and Larry Tuazon (with lettering by Zach Matheny).  After that?  We'll showcase some of the sassy-and-sexy pinups that Jinky drew as incentives for certain contributors to the EXPOSURE campaign on Kickstarter, and then it's on to the NEXT new story!



*  Speaking of which, the EXPOSURE collection is now finally at the printer, and we're eagerly anticipating seeing copies of both the trade paperback and the hardcover.  And now that I've received your full mailing addresses, we'll start shipping out the Kickstarter incentives soon.  Some of you will likely receive multiple packages, since original art and books are of such different sizes, they may ship more safely packaged separately.  For those of you who missed the KIckstarter campaign, EXPOSURE will be available through Keenspot.com's online store as well as at Conventions, such as San Diego!



*  Fans of Jinky Coronado's version of the EXPOSURE gang should be on the lookout for Jinky's series BANZAI GIRL, which premieres in June here on Keenspot.com.  It's the story of Jinky and her friends, back when she was a bona fide Asian schoolgirl -- the story of her teenage life, with monsters and aliens and madness thrown in, for good measure.  Jinky writes BANZAI GIRL and shares the artwork with Battle of the Planets and Tomb Raider artist Wilson Tortosa.  Look for BANZAI GIRL to be updated three times a week -- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I'm told -- with special bonus material on Sundays.  But that's not all:  Some of Jinky's friends -- including original EXPOSURE artist (the late, great) Al Rio, Will (X-Men) Conrad, Cliff (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Richards, and Mike (New Avengers) Deodato contribute bonus pinups.  



*  And speaking of marvelous Mike Deodato:  Some time ago, at Image Comics, Mike Deodato, Mike Buckley, and I launched a bizarre action series called JADE WARRIORS.  A story of female assassins, the Yakuza, and a battle to save Japan from the return of mythic dragons, JADE WARRIORS ran four frenetic issues, and the tumultuous tale was never completed.  This June, Keenspot plans to bring you JADE WARRIORS in all its glory, serializing not only the Image series but all the unpublished material, as well!  Look for the series to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to alternate with BANZAI GIRL so that you get scintillating storytelling every weekday!



To celebrate the return of JADE WARRIORS and the continuation of EXPOSURE on Keenspot, we're Convention-bound!  Mike Deodato (and his lovely wife Paula), Jinky Coronado, and I are guests at Philadelphia Comic Con, Thursday through Sunday, May 31st - June 3rd.  That's also the same week as Mike and Jinky's birthdays, so come by and wish them a Happy!  They'd love to chat with you!  We're also doing a Creating Comics panel and a chalk talk, so it should prove to be a lot of fun.

See you there!

-- David

WITNESS THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DAD!

As we wrap up March and surge on into April, we're told of only two things we can count on -- death and taxes.  Death came in the form of EXPOSURE artist Al Rio's recent passing.  Taxes come in the form of the dreaded April 15th deadline, over which my wife and I are toiling right now.  We've the added complication of dealing with a move from West Virginia to Florida and purchase of a new house from early last year, so I'm not sure yet exactly what that will mean in terms of tax paperwork.  A brilliant lady named Florida will be tackling that for us in about a week, so we'll see how it all turns out.

Today we also launch a 100% brand-new EXPOSURE story entitled "Night of the Living Dad!"  I've had the title of this tale set aside for quite a few years -- it was one Al Rio and I had planned to do back in the Image comics days -- and now the story is finally happening.  And the fact that Shane on The Walking Dead looks exactly like my father did when I was a kid has nothing to do with it!

"Night of the Living Dad!" is written by me, with a bit of up-to-the-minute kibitzing from Bill Yu and Rod Monteiro, and illustrated by Jinky Coronado (with a dollop of help from Larry Tuazon).  Letters are by Zach Matheny, and colors are courtesy of Santosh Rath.  The cover and a few early pages were colored by Katrina Mae Hao to set the style, before she got too busy finishing Al Rio's FEVER MOON graphic novel for Del Rey.

Speaking of which, the Karen Marie Moning/David Lawrence/Al Rio FEVER MOON graphic novel is available for pre-order on Amazon.com  Here's the direct link for you Al Rio fans! -- http://www.amazon.com/Fever-Graphic-Novel-Karen-Moning/dp/0345525485/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332444763&sr=1-1

And if you want a bit more info about it, here's a feature about the book -- http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/cover-chat-karen-marie-monings-graphic-novel-fever-moon

With all this FEVER MOON talk, we don't want to forget the EXPOSURE trade paperback and hardcover that we are finally wrapping up this weekend and sending next week to the printer.  If you were a part of our Kickstarter campaign, you know the most about the project.  For those of you who don't, the book is officially called EXPOSURE: The ParaTech Revelation  -- because libraries like full titles -- and it will be available three ways -- as a trade paperback (which you'll be able to get through comics shops and online), and as both signed and unsigned limited edition hardcovers.  Al Rio and I autographed insert cards for the book last year -- because there was no practical way to ship hundreds of hardcovers to and from Brazil --  and that's how the signed books are happening.

I expect to announce in this spot how to order these various editions online, as we get closer to that release date.

Meantime:  Enjoy!

-- David

COMING NEXT WEEK -- EXPOSURE: THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DAD!

Yup, that's right...we're only days away from the launch of a brand-new EXPOSURE story, written by me, drawn by Jinky Coronado, lettered by Zach Matheny, and colored by Santosh Rath (with a few pages colored by Katrina Mae Hao).  We've been planning this one for quite a long time. I think you'll be surprised by what we've come up with.

Meantime, we're featuring a few new Al Rio EXPOSURE images here, in honor of his passing.  A few he completed before he died but you hadn't seen before.  A couple of others were newly re-colored for the EXPOSURE book, and we  wanted you to see them.

Good news!  We are happy to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for the EXPOSURE hardcover and softcover, nearly 200 pages of great stuff from Al Rio, is all funded.  THANK YOU to all of you who became part of the campaign.  As I type this, all my work is done on the book.  It's with Erik Welch, the production guy, putting finishing touches on it, and with any luck it should go to the printer in about a week.

As I understand it, EXPOSURE as a trade paperback wIll be available in some comicbook shops -- ones that pre-ordered it -- and I will have them with me at conventions this Spring and Summer.

What's more, I will make them available both here in Keenspot's own webstore and in my own company's online store.  It's shaping up to be a lovely book.

Speaking of Conventions, I'm looking to be at quite a few this year.  Look for me on Friday, April 13th (eek!) at C2E2 in Chicago....and Saturday and Sunday, April 14th ad 15th (with Mike Deodato!) at Toronto Comic Con.  Then, May 31 through June 3rd, I'll be at Philadelphia Comic Con.  Following that, I expect to be at Comic-Con in San Diego in July, as well as at Chicago Comic Con in August and at Austin Comic Con in October.




Last Days of Kickstarter

We are in our last four days of our Kickstarter.com campaign to raise money for Al Rio's EXPOSURE collection.  Here on Keenspot, we're going to celebrate with some unseen Al Rio-drawn, newly-colored EXPOSURE images.  It's lovely artwork.

On Kickstarter, our goal is more significant.  We've been fortunate to hit the goals we set to cover the costs of the book, incentive fulfillment, and Kickstarter's own fees.  Now, any money over and above those goals is being donated to Al Rio's widow and children.  People's memories fade fast, so I think it's imperative, if we're going to help his family with this book, we need to do it now.  

Here's the link to the Kickstarter website.  If you haven't been involved yet, please do so before time runs out! --



Last week, friend and fan Marc Heller gave us his thoughts on Al Rio and EXPOSURE.  This week, I'm thrilled to have frequent Keenspot presence TekServer offer his thoughts and words...

            Okay, I’ll be the first to admit, I was initially drawn to EXPOSURE by two things:  a recommendation by Benny R. Powell, creator of Wayward Sons, and the incredibly sexy depictions of the main characters by Al Rio.  (God rest his soul, Al was, in this reader’s humble opinion, one of the best in the world at illustrating sexy female characters, and his passing makes this world a slightly less pleasant place.  He will be sorely missed.) Once I got here and started reading, I saw a story about vampires and thought, “Oh, great, another vampire story.  Oh well, at least I can stick around for the well drawn ladies.”
            As I quickly discovered, however, EXPOSURE is not just a vampire story, and even the vampire-centered portion first adventure was done in a unique way.  As a person who is both very well read in the sci-fi/fantasy field and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus in the Catholic church, the idea of linking the origins of vampirism to the soldiers involved in the Crucifixion and Judas Iscariot’s 30 silver pieces intrigued and appealed to me.  And, of course, at this point we were introduced to Graham Burroughs and Alan Wong, both of whom I identify with to some extent.  I am both a “big guy” and a geek myself, after all … ;)
            And then the stories went beyond vampires, into some truly intriguing and original concepts.  A ghostly presence manifesting as an image from a tattoo, searching for a matching image to identify its true love – and being dispelled, or at least put off, by finding that image on a man; mirror monsters charged with reintroducing souls lost through cameras or infant deaths; a plague of insanity and evil introduced by aliens and propagated by the original writings of Hans Christian Anderson (and rediscovered by his descendents); a little boy taking revenge for injustices done to his father by psychically making his nightmares real; and so on; hopefully I don’t need to list them all:  you’ve read all the stories before getting to this point!
            I particularly liked the mirror monster story.  This one brought together several fairly outlandish myths and legends, tying in such things as cameras stealing souls, a limbo dimension for infant souls that never got a chance at life, and some of the more obscure pre-Columbian American tribal “sacrifice” rituals.  And yet, in an odd way was one of the most “realistic”, at least in one way:  despite their best efforts, Lisa and Shawna are unable to save the victim, Mrs. Christensen.  They appease the monsters and save the lost souls, but poor Naomi is beyond their help.  Even super-sexy comic heroines can’t save them all.
            I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait to see what’s next for the lovely ladies of ParaTech Research.  I look forward to new and unique adventures from the mind of David Campiti, and I hope we all get to see new artistic talent come on board, inspired by the legacy of the great Al Rio and eager to carry on his work of revealing what lies beyond the truth.
 
-- TekServer





EXPOSURE: Uncovering The Next Layer

Hello, everybody -- thanks for being with us as we continue the new adventures of Lisa Shannon and Shawna Diaz in EXPOSURE, brought to you on a thrice-weekly schedule by yours truly, artist Jinky Coronado, and colorist Santosh Rath.  The COMMENTS sections have been a little light as of late, so I hope more of you will get involved.  We thrive on your comments and suggestions, so please join us -- and be a part of the conversation!

I also hope you've been following the progress of funding for the EXPOSURE graphic novel (in both hardcover and softcover) over at Kickstarter.com.  I've even posted a new video update about it.  We'd originally begun with a $3,000.00 official goal -- less than half what we needed -- so we'd get at least some funding.  We met that goal.  We even met the real goal of $6,500.00 that we need for printing and fulfillment.  We're now into an area where any money we get it now, I can pass along to Al Rio's family.  Heaven knows, they now need all the help they can get; the lives the survivors of a deceased  freelance artist doesn't come with a pension, and it's been a long time since Al drew anything for which he saw royalties.   

The EXPOSURE graphic novel has become, more than just a collection of all of Al's EXPOSURE Keenspot work, a celebration of his talents and accomplishments.  We're on track to take it to press next month and make it available to Keenspot readers in April.  I believe it will also be available in comics shops in April, because we've made the trade paperback (though not the hardcover) available through Diamond.  So if you want a copy but haven't been a part of Kickstarter, or you simply don't like ordering via the internet, order it from your friendly neighborhood comics shop!

Here's the direct link to the still-running Kickstarter campaign --



One of the finishing touches on the EXPOSURE book is an Afterword.  We received several of them of varying lengths, and we finally decided to use a splendid essay from collector and fan William Yu.  That means other folks' essays didn't get used, so I decided to feature them here.

This is a short essay from Marc Heller, a long-time fan who even helped me kibitz some early ideas for the book as he hung out at Conventions. joining Al and me and character models Tabatha Utley and Natalie Matta.  Here we go:

I suppose everything started  with me being  a fan of David Campiti's writing , having  read most of the titles he published through  Innovation.  I  began to know David through conventions and online chats. At the time, I was in school for writing, and I  was very fascinated by the whole creative process of comics. It just so happened that I began to know David as he   and Al Rio were attempting to revisit a book called Dangerous Secrets.  I was also a fan of Al Rio's work. But, like many other people at the time, I had yet to really know how incredibly talented Al  was.

I was there when EXPOSURE started.  I got to watch as David and Al bounced ideas back and forth. Occasionally, I was fortunate enough to discuss EXPOSURE with David, as he and Al fleshed out the first mini series to be published at Image Comics.  There was an excitement, there was a buzz, you had two very talented creators firing on all cylinders.     I couldn't wait to see the finished result, both David and Al had a sexy spin on the whole X-Files style story.  And EXPOSURE  would cement Al's place in the comics world as arguably one of the best Good Girl artists in the business.

David and Al may have created Lisa and Shawna, but Tabitha and Natalie personified these characters in real life. They were the final piece of the puzzle. I  was fortunate to have been at several cons, with David and the girls. Unfortunately, it was too difficult for Al to make all those appearances in the U.S., and I really wish he could have seen the girls, and the fans, and everyone's excitement for EXPOSURE, beyond that one Chicago convention we all shared.

It is not often that you get a combination of writer and artist who work so well together, that it seems as I'd they were of one mind.  Reflecting back on EXPOSURE,  it is both a testament to the raw talent of everyone involved,  and is a celebration of the creative genius of Al Rio.  What you hold in your hands is something special, something quite possibly, you won't ever see the likes of again. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


Marc Heller
2012


Thanks, Marc.

-- David Campiti



Artist Al Rio passes away


Exposure Graphic Novel Still Slated For Printing

For those of you asking: YES, we are proceeding with hardcover and softcover collecting EXPOSURE, via the Kickstarter campaign. YES, the hardcover will still have Al Rio's autograph, thanks to the tip-in plates he signed last year (because there was no practical way to ship entire hardcover books to Brazil for him to sign). Although we'd completely finished the book and it's being prepped for the printer, I am going back to the Introduction and the Afterword to write about Al Rio's passing. The book will be a celebration of our project together. I hope you'll check this out on Kickstarter and be a part of it. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/323292623/exposure-volume-one.



It's not a dream, not a hoax, not an imaginary story:  Brazil-based "good girl artist" Al Rio has passed away this morning, 01/31/12. He was 49.

Al Rio, born Alvaro Araújo Lourenço do Rio on 05/19/62, was raised in Fortaleza, in the northeast of Brazil.   Al began his career in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as an artist in the early '90s,  illustrating books for a local English School.  

After working as animation director at this same company, Al became an animator in Brazil for Disney, working on such properties as the syndicated Aladdin animated series.

Upon joining the comics-centric international art agency Glass House Graphics in the mid-'90s, Al began working for DC Comics, though his "big break"  came from succeeding J. Scott Campbell on Wildstorm's Gen 13.  From there, Al, best known for his versatility and his ability of drawing some of the sexiest women in comics, went on to draw for Marvel, Vertigo Press, Dark Horse, Chaos! Comics, Avatar Press, Crossgen, Zenescope, Image, and more -- drawing titles such as his own series Exposure, as well as Captain America, Purgatori, Lady Death, X-Men, New Mutants, Spider-Man, Vampirella, and Star Wars, among many others.

At the time of his death, Al Rio was nearing completion of Fever Moon, a graphic novel for Random House (Del Rey), written by best-selling authors Karen Marie Moning and David Lawrence, for release this summer.  

His Exposure property, which Al proudly claimed was "the sexiest supernatural story ever," has recently been serialized on exposure.keenspot.com, and a hardcover collection of Exposure was launched days ago on http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/323292623/exposure-volume-one?ref=live.  (Contributions beyond printing/production costs will be donated to Al Rio's family.)

A major fan of science-fiction, he working on a book collecting all the aliens, spaceships, alien worlds and all sci-fi material he has created over the years; he was also in the midst of creating two more books -- Al Rio's How To Draw Girls and a definitive coffee table book of his paintings, illustrations and sketches, The Sexy Art of Al Rio.

A great artist, Al Rio was also a great person, tutoring art students and donating art to worthy causes.

Al leaves behind three children: Rene, Adrielle, and Isabel, and his wife Zilda.   His funeral will be held on Wednesday, February 1st, on Cemitério São João Batista, in Fortaleza, Brazil.  

"Few could draw as well, adapting to so many styles so effortlessly, as Al Rio," said David Campiti, his agent of many years.  "We'd gotten together several weeks ago and were working hard on his projects, so news of his death came as quite s shock.  He was a long-time friend whose art was a great joy to me and even inspired my wife's drawing career.  Generous and humble, he'll be deeply missed."

Contributions may be made to his family on his behalf through Kickstarter, and condolences may be sent to his family through terry@alrioart.com and David@glasshousegraphics.com.

Al Rio - His Final Interview

Conducted by Rodrigo Monteiro in Fortaleza, Brazil
01/27/12

Glass House Graphics Brazil manager Rodrigo Monteiro flew to Fortaleza, Brazil on Friday, January 27th 2012 to be part of a Creating Comics Event with artist/painter/designer Al Rio at SANA (a pop culture festival) and to coordinate artwork for Al's various projects. Rod also conducted what turned out to be Al Rio's final interview....

Al, I understand that early in your career you did animation work for Disney and a kids' cartoony comic called Xuxa. Can you tell us about those?

Well, at the beginning I dreamed about being an illustrator. I knew it would be hard but it'd eventually give me pleasure because I've always loved drawing. I'm from Fortaleza, Ceará's capital and I'm really proud of being born in this land of hot waters. I've always watched animated series since I was born. Disney has always been one of my favorites due to its high quality, but the wonderful Hanna-Barbera's world has fascinated me due to the amount of shows that were aired. Hanna has always produced with a good quality.

So, apart from that, I read comic books and I have been fascinated by that because I love super-heroes and while I collected my favorite comic books, I took time off to draw the poses and scenes I most liked. I've always wanted to draw super-heroes, but we didn't have the chance in Brazil. Everything was very hard and we didn't have internet over here. I lived far away from publishers like Marvel and DC. Then, when I turned 20 years old, I decided to travel to the south of Brazil, to increase my chances as an artist and to make my dreams come true. I worked in São Paulo, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, among others, and I've met people that have helped me a lot in my career as an illustrator. That's when I worked for VW Studio and I drew Xuxa's comic book here in Brazil and then I felt things were going all right. I participated in a few animations for Disney (Aladdin, here in Brazil) that were released in video tape format.

Meanwhile, I started getting in touch with American comic book agents, where I was very well welcomed by Glass House Graphics (by David Campiti, to be exact), and I soon stopped my activities here in Brazil and I started working for the American market. I'm still in love with animation and comic books produced in Brazil, but the problem is that we can't make a living from art over here, since the culture differs so much from the foreign one.

What's Al Rio, the person, like? Tell us about yourself, your life, your wife, your children, your favorite things -- music, food, movies, sports....

Talk about me? I'm a dreamer and I like to work a lot to reach my goals. One of my dreams was building an office in my house to be able to work and watch my sons growing up near me and I have it nowadays, thank God. My daily life is like this: I wake up at 5 in the morning and I run around the street where I live for one hour a day. Afterwards I take my two daughters (Isabelle, 10 years old; Andrielly, 12 years old) to the school and then I get back to work. Since my office is in my home, I can work and solve the daily problems the life offers us. My wife (Zilda) is a housewife and she helps me in the office, with bank stuff and much more. Andrielly, my oldest daughter loves drawing too. Isabelle loves dancing and both enjoy playing games on the internet.

It's hard to tell you the kind of music I like because I like all them, even though I rather working in silence. I usually stop working at 11pm and sometimes I go until 2am, but I always take a nap at midday (1 hour and 20 minutes nap, precisely).

My favorite food is spaghetti and lasagna. But I don't over-exaggerate because every illustrator that thinks of drawing comic books the whole day, has to have a good will and be physically prepared. Yes! Body and mind resistance. Being too fat brings us illnesses that hinder many other things.

I like all kind of movies. As well as every job of great production. That's because I know how hard it is to be a movie director or writer or comic book penciller.
I prefer running, but I also like soccer.

Describe your studio workspace and your home....

My studio stands in a room at one end of my house, which I transformed into an office. In the past everything was different, it was tighter and harder to work, but little by little I changed it like in a metamorphosis. To make a comparison, let's say that my old house was Bruce Banner and this new and modified one is Hulk, you know? My studio became bigger and more structured. I have a wood bookcase divided in blocks. There I have my books where most of them are about several subjects, all them with high quality illustrations and photography magazines and information. They are books about culture of many countries, animals, history, artists, painters, illustrators and many Playboy and Sexy magazines. They are American, Italian and Brazilian magazines. Of course these magazines occupy a bigger section of the bookcase hahahaha. I also have my action figures and statues. Small collection though, but I love them. And sections of the bookcase are filled with comic books with a now reduced amount of issues.

Every four years I rebuild my collection and put more recent stuff there. Then I donate the ones I don't want anymore. I have my computer with a 19'' monitor and my A3 scanner, a sound system connected to my computer and a big L shaped desk to put everything. My chairs are adjustable to each kind of backache I have. Now, my main equipment is my drawing table. I actually don't know if you're going to understand, but there it goes. I've already had maybe 30 drawing tables throughout my life, but as the years passed by, I created my own way to work. My drawing table is an office desk where I adapted in a way that when I want to work with a light box, I use a piece of cut glass and I put it over that. When I want a smooth table to make rendered drawings like the ones with 6B pencil, I put a piece of wood covered up with a black plastic. I have four different table tops and I use it as I need it.

I have my guitar that when I feel tired, I go to the backyard or to the back of my house and I play accompanied by my old and good friend, caipirinha. My movie DVDs are in its majority composed by action and superheroes genres. Several paintings decorate my studio and I painted a Black Cat on my whole door, in a very sexy pose. It helps me concentrate, heeheeheehee... just kidding. This is my studio.

Where do you find inspiration to work?

Inspiration is relative. I don't know if I have it. When we have to work and show the best of ourselves, the concentration is relative. The day-to-day and the obligations we have to accept in our lives make us always do the works on time. We are soldiers in a never ending war. I don't have time and I know that many others like me also don't have it. We have to meet the deadlines, delivering works in full quality and always on time. According to your ability and the available equipment to work with, we try to do our best. What you have is what you can offer, you'll be able to work and to make offers. But the most important thing above all is that there's no use all the hi-tech resources you may have, your knowledge and experience have to be updated. The secret of the inspiration is the need to succeed. If you keep yourself strong and face your worst problems, nothing can bring you down. And at last, you have to believe yourself and all your energy, that is our God. This will make you complete.

Can you run us through your work process a little; what you have to do to sit down at your art table to produce work? Are you useless without caffeine in your system, or do you stick to tea? Do you need music on while you work, or do you work completely in silence?

For I'm able to produce a lot and without any interruptions, I need all the equipment next to me, so that I can make the work on the spot. The mechanical pencils, pencils, erasers, paints, watercolors, pen nibs, pens and papers all have to be there to be used according to the requested work. I always start working well accompanied by cigarettes and coffee. I try to balance my daily consumption of both and I hope someday I'm able to stop. I like music, but usually here in my home, everything is always balanced. That's because we work as a house and an office: while I work, my wife helps me and play the housewife role. So we split the tasks depending on what's happening. But she helps me a lot. I only have to get out from my drawing table to make very hard and important tasks, for example when the mailman arrives, I welcome him or sometimes she does and so it goes. We are a team in everything and we keep learning how to work together. I only go out to do the bank tasks and other things I have to solve in downtown when she can't solve it all alone and she needs me. But she's a great woman and she's also very smart and tough. She knows how to face a fight when it comes, despite the fact she's short. She's a great partner.

What gets you goin'?

What keeps me going? That's easy: I'm in love with drawing. It runs blood with drawing cells through my veins. My DNA is made of: sketch, pencils and inks, heeheehee. This defines me, drawing is the most important thing in my life. It is my superhero power. The super and details freak AL RIO. Thanks to my good God, my mission here on Earth is drawing.

A geeky question: What drawing tools, inking tools, do you use?

To explain about inking: I use pens for almost everything I do and to spot the blacks I use brush, black ink and white gouache to make the special effects on the drawing stand out more.

Didn't you teach artists at various times? Do you still do it?

Yes, I've already opened two courses, each one two years long. It was a cool experience because I taught and I learned a lot with the students that have become my friends. But due to the little time, I closed the courses to do the works I had to deliver. Still today, many people ask me to open new courses again. Even though I love teaching, I always tell them that I'll open new courses someday, but I haven't defined when I'm going to do it. I think a good school strengthens our knowledge and gives us confidence to establish goals for a satisfactory future. 


Who are some of your favorite characters to work on and what is it about them that draws you to them?
I like a little of everything I do. I think a person that defines things and chooses too much keeps itself away from feeling and acquiring different experiences in life. When I didn't have much experience, I chose certain things for me and kept myself away from experiencing a few things that later I needed and I didn't know how to react to that.

When I started in comic books, I had to choose which comic book I wanted to collect because in the beginning I didn't have enough money for buying everything I wanted to. I chose Iron Man, afterwards I identified myself a lot with Spider-Man and Daredevil. Later on Fantastic Four and so it goes. Nowadays I try to do my best in any character. I think the good professional can't choose too much what to do, we need to take the chances God always offers us and give the best of ourselves. But nowadays I don't read comic books anymore because the lack of time. I'm updated about the news by my friends or by the internet. But my favorites are Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men and so it goes.
You drew comic books pretty steadily for a full decade, working on some of the top American comics -- GEN 13, DV8, VOODOO with Alan Moore, STAR WARS, LADY DEATH, LADY DEMON, even SPIDER-MAN and the X-MEN.

Then you quit comics for awhile, to become a full-time sexy pin-up artist for several years. Why? What were and are the worst, and best, things about working in comics? Was the pinup work more fun, more fulfilling?

Well, working with comics is wonderful. You feel like a director of a movie in Hollywood. Playing with the scenes, expressions, drama, suspense and lots of action is fantastic. But comics require a lot from the artists, it requires almost the whole time of your life to meet the deadlines to deliver the work. My main reason for getting away from the comics was to be able to revise my entire life as an artist and to show more to the people what I most like to do and to show my countless line and quality interpretations that I could offer to my clients and fans. With the pin-ups and commissions I could show more the other faces of Al Rio as a whole. I don't mind people tell me that my work is similar to the one of other artists, but the fact people constantly said I drew similarly to Scott Campbell restricted me a lot and in my work at the http://www.alrioart.com website I show the world my countless qualities and the versatility of my lines. So, working with pin-ups is surely marvelous as well as working with comics.

I don't have a life with much spare time, both kind of jobs consume the same amount of time and struggle due to the quality and deadlines. I ask to the buyer 40 days of awaiting for its order to be delivered, and payment in advance, seen that I was swindled many times at the beginning of this project. Terry was already my fan at the beginning of our friendship when I founded the school here in Brazil, and after meeting him personally, I invited him to be my agent, since at that time I didn't know how to work with eBay and other selling websites. He made my website and we started working together. We believed everything would go well. We prepared relative prices for the arts, but certain arts asked for higher prices. As the time passed by, we established ourselves and we got experience, so the number of clients increased.

What would you consider to be a dream project to draw?

I actually don't have one single dream project to tell you, but if this is a dream, I still hope my work gets on the top of the sales chart of the best-seller comics of the American market. I think this is like getting a gold medal in an Olympics. The complete satisfaction and the satisfactory recognition. But I believe someday I'll hold up this cup.

 Maybe it'll come from the book I'm drawing right now.

How many pages of art have you created since your first break into comics? How many commission and pin-up pages have you drawn over these past several years while you took a sabbatical away from comics? Any favorites you can share?

I don't know how to answer this question properly because I produced a lot while I worked with comics. In the beginning I managed to draw two comic books monthly. There was a time I needed to draw 9 pages in a day and a half for Image's DV8 comic book. There were many arts in comic books. In the commissions or pin-ups, I keep an average of 30 to 40 pages that I send via Fedex monthly, sometimes the number is higher. There are many arts I sell that I love. I'm going to make an attachment to show which ones they are.

Although Glass House Graphics is your agency for comics and other commercial work, they do not rep you for custom commissions.

That's right. My art rep is Terry [Maltos] at www.alrioart.com

Tell us about your commission business.

My work is going well -- but what keeps me really busy, when I’m not drawing comics, are my regular commission clients. Some of my pages can go for thousands, which is nice. These ones are always asking for and scheduling works. I have some clients for covers, tags and other works for comic book agencies and other kinds of services.
Many of the old school artists have passed on like Kirby, Kane, Cockrum, etc..did any of these legends help inspire you to become an artist? Who were, and are, your inspirations now, and why?
In the past, the artists that used to inspire me were John Romita Sr., Gil Kane, afterwards Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Stan Drake (Kelly Green). Nowadays, my favorites are Bryan Hitch, McNieven, Charest and many others. I currently enjoy a lot the realistic and detailed works, but for the pin-ups, I do what I can using the comic book standard. Due to the ever short deadlines I try to use the same features, but getting rid of a few details. I like the European styles like Manara and Moebius a lot. The details of their work are fantastic.

One of the best-drawn comic books ever to come our of Image's central division was EXPOSURE, which you co-created. What was it like working on your own characters?

Still today, people ask me to draw the girls from Exposure, in their total sensuality. I really enjoyed making this project. And they have always inspired me for some reason. They are beautiful and charming girls. I think it's a good project, but when Dave and I finally return to it it and I get to draw it again, I'd do it in a more realistic and cleaner style. We’re building a new group of readers for EXPOSURE. All my original series stories are up on exposure.keenspot.com, and I’ve created many new pieces for it and for the upcoming book.

Care to talk about the EXPOSURE revival?

Of course. The year 2012 marks our 15th anniversary from the date Dave and I came up with the ideas for the series. I’d told him I wanted it to be the sexiest supernatural story ever created, and I think we did that. We wrote and drew a bunch of issues at Image and elsewhere between 1997 and 2001 or so, and Dave has collected everything into a great hardcover and a trade paperback. It will be 200 pages and includes all the new pieces I’ve done as pinup. Dave suggested that we rebuild an audience for it by launching it on a website called keenspot.com, so we have hundreds of thousands of new readers -- a new audience for my work. I’m excited and proud to have it all collected as a hardcover, which should lead to a new series. I hand-picked sexy artist Jinky Coronado to draw some new EXPOSURE stories for keenspot in the meantime, but maybe soon I’ll draw the series again. It was certainly a pleasure to draw. I just finished signing some [tip-in] cards for an autographed edition. Have you heard of Kickstarter? We’ve put the EXPOSURE book up there [on kickstarter.com] to raise money for releasing it. I’m excited.

We understand that you have several other projects in development. Can you tell us about them?

The project taking up all my time at this moment is called FEVER MOON. It’s coming out from Del Rey in the summer. It’s written by Karen Marie Moning, a beautiful writer I hope to meet, and by David Lawrence, a great comics writer who is not so beautiful but I hope to meet him, too, heeheehee. FEVER MOON so complicated, I spent half a year doing over 100 pages of character studies. It’s about 150 pages of work and is taking every waking moment.

Beyond that, I have three more books I’m working on with Dave. Everyone’s asked me to do a book about drawing sexy girls, so of course I have to do that.

Then we are assembling my paintings and line arts and sketches for an ultimate SEXY ART OF AL RIO book.

And finally, I have seen actual space ships in my life, and they inspired me to do a series of drawing and paintings about aliens from space, in a style very different from anything you’ve ever seen from me, and I am making a book out of those, too.

What the most amazing thing that ever happened to you?

It was knowing New York, Spider-Man's city, it was amazing. The proof of this is that took 600 pictures, using a non-digital camera. It was a great experience.

The scariest?

The scariest thing I've ever seen was the fall of World Trade Center twin towers. It was very sad and scaring to everyone.

Do you plan to do any Conventions in the USA over the next year or two?

I want to, but that depends on a lot of things like getting FEVER MOON done in time. I also feel insecure due to the fact of not knowing how to speak English fluently. I'd need to hire someone reliable and with lots of patience to help me in the trips outside there. I’ve only been to the USA once, and that’s when EXPOSURE first came out.

If you couldn't be an artist, what would you be?

If I wasn't an illustrator, I'd surely be a singer. I love singing and playing the guitar drinking a caipirinha or a vodka on my spare time. But life has took me to this path of art and I thank God for that.

The comics business in 2012 is quite a bit different from when you stepped away from it in 2004. How are you changing, adapting, growing with your artwork to deal with those changes?

Well, it's really getting harder to make comic books due to the richness of details, way of showing the works, line quality and amount of heroes and realistic details. Photographic adaptation, expressions and all this kind of stuff. I think the artists have to study more and exert more effort so that its work develop well. I think that's the reason why many artists have been giving up on comics to go to other areas within art. Comic book pencillers are going to other directions within art and I think that's because of the difficulty in making comics. You need to be confident and productive and, most important, you need to love what you're doing. Fortunately, with FEVER MOON and things like EXPOSURE, people love my art just the way it is. "The summary of all this is that I think when you want something, you need to believe it, fight for it, wait for it, have patience, be determined and humble to understand the difficulties. Only this way you'll be able to reach any goal in life. Believe yourself and give the best of you so that you feel happy. This is the greatest step."





 









EXPOSURE: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL!

The Sexiest Supernatural Story Ever!

At last! Fully Fifteen years in the making! Al Rio fans, celebrate! All of Al Rio's EXPOSURE is being collected into a graphic novel -- both in trade paperback form and as a signed, limited edition hardcover. We're racing to release it this Spring, under the Red Giant banner. BUT...to make this happen, we need YOUR help.

(Click for more details)
Exposure Kickstarter Link

Here are the details: Gen 13, DV8, New Mutants, and X-Men artist Al Rio's most anticipated graphic novel ever has arrived! EXPOSURE uncovers the hidden, deadly secrets around us, as two bright, gorgeous females blow the lid off the truths we take for granted. With all the slam-bang, never-come-up-for-air action of a Hong Kong John Woo movie, EXPOSURE begins with childhood friends Shawna Diaz and Lisa Shannon, long separated after a mother's suicide caused Lisa to experience "visions" of her spirit mom and develop sensitivity to incredible phenomena. One is now a uniformed cop who married and divorced a cop; the other, a doctor who delved into more metaphysical answers.
The girls meet again when careers cross paths in San Diego. Abetted by smitten scientist Alan Wong and charismatic biker bud/computer whiz Graham Burroughs, the fearsome foursome leaps into a series of explosive, action-packed adventures -- against a swarm of age-old vampires and their 2000-year-old secret origin! Against mirror-monsters and revelations of a stolen soul! Against a child seeking revenge through his own nightmares! Against a book that spreads evil and insanity! And much, much more!

EXPOSURE is the brainchild of writer David Campiti (most recently co-writer of STAN LEE’S HOW TO DRAW COMICS and THE MARVEL ART OF MIKE DEODATO) and artist Al Rio (known not only for hundreds of comics but for his massive online following of sexy babe illustrations that sometimes sell for thousands of dollars). A canny cross between Fringe and Charlies’s Angels -- or is it X-Files and She-Spies? -- the stories are fun, funny, intriguing, saucy and sexy. If you enjoy clever stories of the supernatural, and artwork in the tradition of classic cheesecake and contemporary artists of J. Scott Campbell and Jim Lee, this book will appeal to you big-time!

A recent review from Will Penny on strangekidsclub.com describes it best:
“Did you ever think The X-Files would be cooler as a late-night skin-flick on Cinemax? Okay, sure, maybe not with Mulder – but imagine if it starred two Scullys in ‘90s-superheroine inspired spandex!

“The creative minds behind EXPOSURE are here to make those teenaged dreams come true. Author David Campiti and artist Al Rio’s comic follows the adventures of Lisa Shannon and Shawna Diaz, two “ParaTech” researchers that work to expose all the creepy crawly secrets in the world. EXPOSURE is a smartly written comic with a keen sense for cheese. The art is reminiscent of such comic classics as Gen-13 and Danger Girl with an eye for blood, guts, and monsters....the story only gets better from there.”

Conceived in 1997, EXPOSURE originally appeared from Image Comics in 1999, then moved to Avatar Press before appearing, most recently, here at exposure.keenspot.com where new stories continue right now. This nearly-200-page full-color graphic novel will be coming this Spring as both a limited edition autographed hardcover and a softcover -- and it’s jam-packed with Al Rio artwork, including every new EXPOSURE piece he created from its conception up through his new material today!

To make this happen, we are running a Kickstarter campaign -- just as such terrific Keenspot projects as WAYWARD SONS have done -- to raise money to produce, print, and ship this baby.

With that in mind, we've dug deep into out files to pile on some incentives for EXPOSURE's biggest fans. Rare original artwork! Limited edition lithographs! T-shirts! Autographed books! Even new custom sketches and a chance tor a cameo in the series itself!

It's short, tight campaign, and we need your help NOW so this book can be published in March and in everyone's hands in time for the Springtime conventions.

To make things extra-fun, we've even created lively levels of involvement -- from and easy $1 Clue level through Mystery, Gumshoe, Agent, Master of Mystery, World Leader, and more!

To be one of the first to get EXPOSURE: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL and some special goodies, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/323292623/exposure-volume-one

-- David

Exposure Litho

Shawna Splash
Exposure Cover

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

At last, as we roll into 2012, this EXPOSURE: ALTERED LIVES tale begins today as the first new EXPOSURE adventure with Lisa Shannon, Shawna Diaz, Graham Burroughs, and Alan Wong in more than a decade! Careful -- and long-time -- readers of this series know that Al Rio and I began working on EXPOSURE back in 1997, so we're about to hit the 14-year mark from the moment we first put our ideas on paper, and about 12 years since Image Comics began publishing our wild and wonderful mixing of The X-Files and She-Spies....or was it a mix between Fringe and Charlie's Angels? Or was it Twilight Zone and V.I.P.? In any case, you get the idea: Weird wonders of the supernatural swirled up nice and tasty with empowered, sexy females in control. And a great mix it was! For quite a few months, co-creator/artist Al Rio and I served up a heaping helping of amazing adventures, and our fans seemed to be enjoying the series a lot.

But then, of course, politics even weirder than our supernatural stories appeared, we moved the series from Image Comics to Avatar Press, and we realized that we simply couldn't afford to do the book there for free. So we wrapped our commitment, Wilson Tortosa illustrated one last new story, and EXPOSURE went into reluctant hibernation. Al Rio continued with his busy art career both in and out of comics. I continued writing, as well as running Glass House Graphics, the largest comics-centric art agency in the world, assembling a talent roster of more than 120 creators worldwide. Al built up an amazing Rolodex of private art collectors seeking his sleek, sexy original pin-up art and drew the occasional comic book story or cover. I wrote some comics and even some books -- such as STAN LEE'S HOW TO DRAW COMICS and THE MARVEL ART OF MIKE DEODATO.

But EXPOSURE remained only a fond memory until last year, when Keenspot.com asked to bring EXPOSURE back, to a 99% brand-spanking-new audience. We couldn't say no. We went in, tweaked some coloring, fixed a few things, dug up a ton of behind-the scenes art, and let Keenspot.com run with hundreds of pages of great Al Rio imagination.



Then the subject came up: Could Al Rio and I create some new EXPOSURE stories? Good question. I even flew down to Fortaleza, Brazil to talk it out with Al. Ultimately, we realized, with his schedule and mine, we wouldn't be able to return to do a monthly book together. Part of it is financial: Once again, it would be us essentially creating the comic book for free; in more then a decade, that part hasn't changed. The other part was how busy we ultimately were, at least into the first chunk of 2012. Al Rio is drawing FEVER MOON, a major graphic novel for Del Rey Publishing, and I'm producing some feature film animation and writing another book. We simply couldn't make it all work....at least not anytime soon.

HOWEVER, Al Rio knew my wife Jinky Coronado's work. In fact, he'd drawn the back covers to her first 5 issues of BANZAI GIRL years ago. And he was tickled with the idea that Jinky take over the reins as artist for EXPOSURE for Keenspot.com. He knew she had the right "sexy sensibility" -- and her stuff, like his, has a sense of joy to it. All I had to do was squeeze it into my schedule.

So now begins EXPOSURE: ALTERED LIVES. Red Giant's own BENNY POWELL suggested that we do this story in this way, and we were happy to oblige. It's a little bizarre, a lot of fun, and gets us rolling.



We'd originally planned to launch this story in October, but new colorist Santosh Rath went into the hospital. Then again. And again. We didn't have the heart to simply yank the book from him, so we waited it out -- never suspecting we'd lose months, rather than days, in the process. Even so, Jinky's usual colorist Katrina MaeHao -- ironically coloring Al Rio's FEVER MOON graphic novel, thereby making her too busy to color Jinky's story -- squeezed in time to color the cover and set the style, to put Santosh on the proper path.

More behind-the-scenes goodness next week. In the meantime: Think about what could be done with a full-color EXPOSURE hardcover omnibus! It's about to become real, with the full announcement next week, and that is a darn good way to ring in a New Year, don'tcha think?

All our best to you and yours from us and ours,

-- David

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE EXPOSURE TEAM!

Hey, everybody! We've already rolled into December, with Christmas racing up. Some of you will be roasting Jack Frost on an open fire, some of you will get their chestnuts in a sleighload of trouble as New Years is upon us, and some of you will just be wondering, "Where the heck is that new EXPOSURE story Dave's been promising?"

As most of you know, EXPOSURE as an existing property. Al Rio and I created a number of issues of the series at Image and at Avatar Press, but work ground to a halt soon after checks stopped coming. We've gotta pay bills and eat, after all -- and I continued writing other things while running Glass House Graphics, the largest comics-centric art agency on the planet, while Al Rio kept working on such books as DV8, X-MEN, Spider-Man, New Mutants, and so on. Right now, in fact, Al is drawing a big graphic novel for Del Rey called FEVER MOON, which will be out next summer at Comic-Con.

Our love for EXPOSURE, however, continues. To that end, Al Rio has contributed numerous new pieces to our postings here on Keenspot, while I have devoted a bunch of time toward a big EXPOSURE hardcover and trade that will get its official release date announcement here around Christmastime when I write our next update. Yes, we will have a Kickstarter.com campaign, and I think you will really enjoy the incentives.

But that's not all. While Al is too busy to consider any new EXPOSURE stories, he gave his blessing for joyful JINKY CORONADO, best known for her series BANZAI GIRL and its sequel BANZAI GIRLS, most recently from Arcana Comics. She also drew three volumes of Meg Cabot's AVALON HIGH series for TokyoPop. Al Rio is one of Jinky's favorite artists, and she is fusing her own sexy, girlie style to these wonderful characters Al co-created.

Jinky has already finished her first EXPOSURE story -- also the first new EXPOSURE adventure in a decade! -- and after Christmas she will resume work on the second new EXPOSURE tale we're doing together. You've gotten to see a little of her art in the ads for EXPOSURE: ALTERED LIVES that her brother Pejee was kind enough to create here on Keenspot.com as a teaser, and we're launching that tale later this month.

Why the delay? Well, with Jinky's usual colorist Katrina Mae Hao -- who has also colored all the NEW material Al has created for EXPOSURE over the past year -- being busy coloring Al's FEVER MOON graphic novel, we had to look elsewhere for a colorist, and we thought we'd found that person in Santosh Rath, one of our colorists in far-off India, who has met Jinky, loves her work, and begged for the chance for the two of them to work together. And then...serious health problems struck. Santosh completed only 4 pages of EXPOSURE: ALTERED lives and ended up hospitalized from illness for the past two months. Recovery has been slow, but Santosh kept asking us to give him a chance to recover and not re-assign it.

Keeping in mind that there's no money in it for any of Jinky or Al Rio or me -- we're doing this all for you for free, people! -- we all agreed to wait for Santosh to get better. We're hoping he'll pull through and be back to work by the first of the week. I don't intend to post the beginning of the new story until the whole issue is in our hands colored, because we won't want any further delays. We just hope you'll like the new stories as we roll them out.

Speaking of delays, our Keenspot.com advisor suggested that we wait until after the first of the year to launch Jinky Coronado's own BANZAI GIRL -- after first giving all of you a taste of her stuff here on the EXPOSURE book -- and Marvel superstar Mike Deodato's classic JADE WARRIORS series, done with Mike Buckley and me at Image at the same time period EXPOSURE was coming out. New year, new projects on Keenspot.com. Yeah, I'm good with that.

Anyway, here's a look at Jinky herself, all dolled up for the Holidays -- and a special Christmas drawing that she did of herself as Banzai Girl, that we both hope you'll enjoy.

A big and hearty Ho Ho Ho to everyone!

All our best,

-- David