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Deadbeats Soulsearchers and Company Phantom of Fear City

ED VIA

Ed is an investor who resides in Virginia. He's a lifetime comics enthusiast and collector.

JOSEF RUBINSTEIN

Joe emigrated to the U.S. from Israel when he was 5 years old. His American cousin had a bunch of comic books Joe was fascinated by. Since Joe didn't speak the language, he was attracted to the pictures and, like all kids, he drew his own comics. Eventually he wanted to be an artist. At age 11 he attended classes in New York (where he lived) at the Arts Students League. His art teacher was Arthur J. Foster, son of the great Hal Foster (creator/artist of "Prince Valiant," one of the most highly-regarded comic strips in history).

Josef's idol at the time was Neal Adams whom he met at a comic book convention when he was 13 years old. Josef asked if he could work at his and Dick Giordano 's new studio, Continuity Associates. About 1971 or 1972 Joe became their assistant.He met and assisted many legendary artists while working there, including Wally Wood, Russ Heath, Gray Morrow, Jim Starlin, Jeff Jones, Bernie Wrightson , and Klaus Janson , among others.Then when Josef was 17 years old, he became a freelance artist and that was 32 years ago. He has worked for every major comics company and has the Guinness record for having inked more pencillers than any other inker--because of his inking "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" on and off for 20 years.

Joe is also an award-winning portrait artist and illustrator.

Examples of Joe's re-creations and commissions can be seen here.

He can be contacted through that site.

For Claypool Comics, JOSEF RUBINSTEIN has inked stories in "Elvira" #142-4, #147, 155, 157, 160 , and #162. He also inked the covers of "Deadbeats," issues #77 and #82 (the final printed issue).

NEIL VOKES

"I've been telling stories in comic books professionally now for 23 years. I started at Comico Comics in 1984, on the Japanese cartoon based Robotech Masters. This eventually led to co-creating the black-and-white comic, "Eagle," in 1986. Through the following years I've drawn: "Superman Adventures" with the legendary Terry Austin; "Tarzan the Warrior" with old friends Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel; Douglas Adams' "Life, the Universe and Everything"; "Adventures of the Mask" with that demi-god of inkers, Jay Geldhof; "Untold Tales of Spider-Man," with writers Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern (and Jay again on inks); "Jonny Demon" with Kurt; "Congorilla" (yes, I said Congorilla) with Steve Englehart; "Ninjak" with Kurt and li'l bro' Mike Oeming ; "TeenAgents" with Kurt at Topps Comics; "Parliament of Justice" with Mikey; "The Black Forest" 1 & 2 and "The Wicked West" 1 & 2 with good friends Todd Livingston and Bob Tinnell ...I've left quite a few out due to space and humility...well, okay, just space. For Claypool, though, I worked on many "Elvira" stories and   several issues of "Soulsearchers and Company," plus I inked one "Deadbeats" cover.

I have several more projects coming up,including a very dark horror story based on one of the many screenplays Bob has written, called "The Voice" --then a return to my favorite creator-owned character "Eagle" and eventually a fun double-feature comic with our Brit mate Adrian Salmon called "Baron Frankenstein/Count Dracula." Then,assuming I haven't had a stroke by the end of '07, I may be adapting a few stories by a famous English writer with noted author Denis Meikle (whom I worked with doing several chapter illos on a book called "Vincent Price/The Art of Fear" ).

It has been an honor and a privilege and a pure, unbridled joy to be a storyteller/artist all these years. I hope that I've been able to share a little of that joy with all of you.

That's All,Vokes

NEIL VOKES drew the lead features in "Elvira" issues #2, #3, #13, #26, #50 , and #70 plus a chapter in #42 , also Neil's drawn "Soulsearchers and Company" issues #9 (part), #10 (part), #11, #12, #39, #46, and #50-2 . The issue of "Deadbeats" which cover he inked was #28 .

JOHN HEEBINK

Former "Elvira" and "Soulsearchers and Company" penciler John Heebink divides his time between storyboarding for http://www.expressvisuals.com and teaching about comics and perspective drawing at the Academy of Art University. Aside from an in-progress proposal with the brilliant Jason MacNamara and Tony Talbert and occasional freelance coloring, John's out of comics for the moment. His most recent job was coloring Ronn Sutton 's gorgeous cover for "Vampira the Movie." He and the rest of the creative team for Rick Remender 's "Doll and Creature" are weighing returning to that Image series. John's work can be seen at http://www.heebink.com and http://www.expressvisuals.comJohn's dance card for commissions is full for the foreseeable future, but the patient and optimistic can reach him through his site, http://www.heebink.com

JOHN HEEBINK drew many "Elvira" stories in its long run, beginning with #12's "Mummy Dearest!" Other high points include #18-23 's Agatha Christie parody "The Host Dangerous Game!", #32-4 's "The Perils of Elvira!",     his work on the "Historical Babes!" serial ( #63-7 ), "Elvira Meets Splendidman!" ( #71 ), "The Seven Deadly Dwarves!" ( #79 ), and the "Tele-Castaways" serial ( #107-111 ), plus various lead features, such as #45, #46, #54, #57, #72 (the "Dawson's Creek" parody), #95, #104, #124,   #164 's "Enigma Don't Pay the Rent!" (with longtime pal Mike Manley ), #163's "Division of Loveliness!" , and inking Ronn Sutton 's pencils on #157 's Doc Savage parody "Death Cargo of Doom!" John also pencilled the final three issues of "Phantom of Fear City" and contributed to many issues of "Soulsearchers and Company," including #14 's "Star Trek/X-Files" parody, #16 's comics convention spectacular, #44-5 , #59 , and an extended run on #62-73 (plus the Free Comic Book Day flip book).

RICHARD HOWELL

Richard Howell has been working at some job or another comics since his independent comiic "Portia Prinz of the Glamazons (Comics' Foremost Pseudo-Intellectual Super-Heroine)" saw print in 1977. With his partner Carol Kalish , he co-edited the New Media line of comics commentary magazines and (by himself) NMI's two B&W comics publications "Adventure Illustrated" and "Fantasy Illustrated" (which, among other accomplishments, initated Englehart/Ditko/Leialoha's "The Djinn" and Doug Wildey's "Rio." ). Richard then (in 1982) segued into the world of the top-level comics companies, with credits in scripting, pencilling, inking, lettering, and coloring features like "All-Star Squadron," "Hawkman," Vision and the Scarlet Witch," "Jonny Quest," "Power Man and Iron Fist," "Iron Man," "D.N.Agents," "Firestorm," "Rick Jones," "Wolverine," "Patsy Walker," "Green Lantern," and "Willie Lumpkin," among many others. Richard also colored many stories for Marvel's first round of "Marvel Masterworks" (including the controversial "Daredevil" volume) and lettered for "Epic Illustrated." He's also been published as a columnist and/or cartoonist in "T.V. Guide," "Soap Opera Weekly," "Dig," and "Sci-Fi Magazine," and has written introduction/analysis pieces for many publications, including "Real Love: The Best of the Simon & Kirby Romance Comics," (which he also edited), "The Art of Nick Cardy," "The Newspaper Strip Art of Nick Cardy," "The Dark Shadows Comic Strip Book,"   and the current reprint series of "On Stage." With co-editor Jesse Reyes , he presided over the successful relaunch of "Vampirella" at Harris Comics, then co-founded Claypool Comics (with Ed Via ) and served as Editor during Claypool's fourteen-year run of publishing Peter David 's "Soulsearchers and Company," Steve Englehart 's "Phantom of Fear City," the licensed adventures of "Elvira® Mistress of the Dark(TM)," and writing and pencilling his own vampire epic "Deadbeats." Currently, "Deadbeats" continues on the Internet (at claypoolcomics.com), comicdom's longest-running vampire soap opera. Recently, Richard resumed contributing to DC Comics, where he's co-plotting and designing layouts for "Superman" and "Wonder Woman"   stories with long-time collaborator Kurt Busiek.   Richard is a part-time singer/musician and lives in New Jersey with his three cats Sam, Ryan, and Calista.

Richard has occasional openings in his schedule, and is available for commissions when those happen. Anyone interested can contact him through the claypool website.

RICARDO VILLAGRAN

Born in the small northern city of Correntes, Argentina in 1938, Ricardo, a natural artist and eldest of three brothers and one sister, was already drawing by the early age of four. After finishing high school, he entered into the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes inBuenos Aries.

         While still in school, Ricardo started accepting freelance work for various advertising companies, printers and comic publishers. He continued to take freelance assignments during his compulsory service in the Argentine Army.

         After receiving his discharge from the military, and returning to civilian life, Ricardo quickly put his full effort back into working as an illustrator. His list of clients grew to include most of the big advertising agencies and printing houses in Argentina. He quickly established himself as one of the top illustrators. In constant demand for his draughtmanship and speed, Ricardo spent several years, accepting top commissions.

         In 1969, Ricardo returned to the field of comics. He worked for Editorial Columba (Buenos Aries, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Caracas, Asuncion, Montevideo, Santiago) Codex Ediciones, Guisa (Spain), Eura (Rome), Fleetway (London). He illustrated numerous covers and stories covering every subject from barbarians, romance, westerns, to science fiction.

         In 1970 Ricardo was elected the Vice President of the "Association de Dibujantes," and co-creator of the " Association de Illustradores," in Argentina. The ever-increasing demand for Ricardo's work led him in 1974 to open his own studio, Nippur Quatro, with his two brothers Enrique and Carlos . At one time the studio grew to employ 20 artists and assistants, producing work for comic publishers in Argentina and Europe. Many of the famous and poplar artist of the time and today, passed through its doors. Many young, up-and-coming artists received the knowledge and experience to go on to successful careers of their own, working under Ricardo's tutelage and easy manner.

         In 1982, Ricardo came to the United States, established contacts in comics. He started working from Argentina, delivering quality work on features such as "Darkhawk," "Conan," "Omega Men," "Solar," "Vigilante," "Alien/Predator," "Atari Force," "Scout," "Star Trek" and "Aquaman," along with Dave Cockrum 's "The Futurians," among other titles. After teaming with writer/artist Richard Howell on a short feature at Harris' "Vampirella" revival, Ricardo was recruited to be the regular embellisher of Claypool's "Deadbeats" feature, with which he's continued for its entire eighty-two issue run. At Claypool, Ricardo has also inked Dave Cockrum, Jim Webb, Dan Day, John Heebink, and Tod Smith (on "Elvira" ), plus Neil Vokes (on "Soulsearchers and Company" ).   He has attended and shown his work in many conventions in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego and Detroit.

         Ricardo's first love has always been painting. He has had several exhibitions of his work including, Museo del Prado ( Madrid), Municipal De Exhibiciones (Buenos Aries), Museo de Armas, Secretaria de Turismo and many others.

         Ricardo now splits his time between Philadelphia and Buenos Aries. He continues to accept illustration and comic assigments, but is now concentrating more on his first love, painting. He's currently preparing several pictures for future exhibitions.

RONN SUTTON

Hello Claypool Readers,

I hope you'll remember my pencilling work from " Elvira® Mistress of the Dark(TM)." I didn't start drawing stories for "Elvira" until issue #57 , but I drew 46 stories over a 9-year period. I stayed right to the end, contributing the very last "Elvira" page ever--but since that issue is now been drawn and published, I continue to be busy elsewhere. I've recently drawn a story for "Tales of the Fear Agent" (Dark Horse, Summer 2007) in collaboration with Hilary Barta.

As well, I've drawn nearly 100 pages for an online romance comics website, a short comic to promote the upcoming DVD documentary "Vampira, the Movie," as well as a 22-page "Liberty Girl" story for Heroic Comics. I still continue drawing periodic magazine illustrations and courtroom drawings for the newspaper and T.V.

You're invited to view my website at www.ronnsutton.com. There's about 100 pieces of artwork, including work from "Elvira," various other comics and animation assignments and more. I'm available for commissions and other projects. You can contact me through the website. I look forward to hearing from you.

JANET HETHERINGTON

Dear Claypool Readers:

         I had the pleasure to write stories for "Elvira® Mistress of the Dark(TM)" since 2000, inluding both back-ups and leads. Those scripts were most often lively screwball parodies of movies, T.V. and other media -- with Elvira as the star, of course! -- and they were always fun to write.

         Nowadays, I'm working as an Editor with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and continue to freelance. I have written a romance comics novella, "Dangerous Seductions," for www.MyRomanceStory.com , articles on visual effects, animation and comics for Animation World Network (www.awn.com and www.vfxworld.com) and illustrated the poster artwork for "My Dead Girlfriend," a Canadian idie horror flick.

         In addition, 2007 marks the 10th anniversary of "Eternal Romance," the supernatural romance comic series that I created, wrote, and drew in 1997. For the first time, the "Eternal Romance" stories--featuring Destine the lovelorn vampire, Ankh the wise-cracking cat, and a host of other characters--appear in color in serialized form online at:  www.MyRomanceStory.com.

         I continue to write, draw and I do commissions. Along with Ronn Sutton, I continue to attend conventions and appear in artists' alley. To find out more, please visit www.best-destiny.com.

  Cheers,
Janet Hetherington