Salgood Sam ● Com

Illustrator, Cartoonist & Writer

Nature of the Beast

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One of my first books ever was published by Caliber Comics.  I often thought I should have stuck with them longer, rather than chased professional work when I did. Woulda coulda. Eh?  

Nature of the Beast, books 1 and 2, published in 1991.  Recently scanned the books, here’s some of the pages from book two.

The original idea was  a rift I wanted to do on The Integral Trees, by Larry Niven. With anthropomorphic animal people living in zero G.

Being dyslexic I didn’t have the confidence or ability frankly to write it. So I told Al Roy about it and proposed we collaborate. He was one of my local comic shop guys and had written some short stories I’d published in a zine.

As I recall it, Al agreed to do it but wanted to change the setting. Something more like Lord of the rings and Ronin. Set on an indeterminate post apocalyptic future earth with cats that evolved to elf like humanoids, and barbarous metahuman hoards ravaged the land.

At first things went ok, I had a lot of fun. I was studying a lot of other artists very closely and borrowing riffs all over the place. You’ll find some poses and layouts swiped from Sinkewitz, McKean, Mazzucchelli and many others here if you go looking for them. I was still learning largely by example.

 By book two my work had gelled in a good way I thought. A time when I could see improvement all the time, and it felt great.

After these pages were done I started working
on the script for the third book, and drew about half of it.

But I started having a serious conflict with Al about a scene near the end of it, or in the next issue – can’t recall for sure where. It involved a female character having her tits bitten off by a monster.

Just not something I was down with drawing.
It seemed random and gratuitous, off.

Al would not budge when I tried talking to him about it. I thought on it for a bit and not knowing how else to persuade him decided my only viable option was to walk.  He talked about getting another artist to finish it and I said we was welcome to. But he never did, and we didn’t really talk much after that.

I pondered trying to do somthing myself solo at Caliber, started a project call A Dogs Breakfast. But instead pursued landing a paying gig at DC or Marvel and succeeded.

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