Every once in a while, there is something wonderful you see on twitter. Sounds crazy I know, but hear me out. There is this neat society of (at least moderately) like-minded individuals, known as X-twitter. What makes you a part of X-twitter, you may wonder. Tweet about the X-Men even one time and you’re already there, that’s all it takes. There are so many critics, artists, and creatives of all sorts throughout this place. Sometimes, parts of the community even come together and make something that is truly special. This is one of those times.
Scott Modrzynski organized this behemoth, gathering over thirty different artists from the community, to illustrate double-sided X-Men cards, showcasing the duality of the characters. It’s a huge undertaking and really highlights how talented this community is. Scott was kind enough to share some of his time and answer some questions about the process.
So, how does such a thing come about? I know you did the first ColleXion, but how did you broach the idea of a follow-up to the artists?
Honestly, the follow-up was way easier. Most of the artists from Series 1 were more than willing to jump back in a second time, and with proof of concept backing me up, it was a lot easier to snag new talent. No longer was this a pie in the sky, shady deal. It was real with tangible results.
The results do certainly speak for themselves. As far as new artists go, were there any that you had in mind already whose work you wanted to see in the Collexion? Or did you let artists approach you?
A little bit of both. Some artists came to me after seeing the first series. Some, I accidentally found through my usual travels on the internet. In both cases, I jotted down their contact information, so if and when the time came, I’d have them ready.
In a few cases, I specifically wanted to find an art style – Monika Norcross-Cerminara’s beautiful jazz age children’s book illustrations come to mind – and found the artist through that reverse search.
You ended up with an incredible slew of artists with varied styles, so clearly your methods worked out. How were the characters chosen for each artist? Did everyone get their choice?
I told Dave Shevlin – editor of https://comfortfoodcomics.com/ and all-around good dude – my idea for reversible cards featuring light and dark aspects of the characters, and together, we came up with an initial list of about 40-50 for artists to choose from, with the caveat that each artist had to render both versions. (So in the end, this set has 158 illustrations!) Some artists, like Kevin Newburn and Quinn Hesters, ran their own ideas by me, and in most cases, I loved them. It’s great when other people get what you’re trying to do, and can be additive to the process.
Dave(Editor’s note: famously of Comfort Food Comics, whom we love at GC) is a great guy so I love to hear that. Could you see a similar sort of project happening with another IP? Or do you think the attachment to X-Men is the only thing strong enough to pull everyone together?
Definitely room for any number of things. The Ninja Turtles are probably the one thing IP that rivals my love and general knowledge of X-Men, but I’d throw any “boy property” that was big in the 80s (He-Man, GI Joe, Transformers, ThunderCats) into the mix.
Dave and I joked about a series that focused exclusively on C-list Spider-Man villains.
I love the idea of keeping this going, maybe once a year, and getting to contribute a little to society by donating the proceeds to charity. But I also want to find a way to do this to get the artists paid and be free and clear of any entanglements fan art presents. I have a couple ideas on that front, too. Right now I’m focused on cutting, scoring, and folding boxes to ship out the cards in my home office.
I think you and Dave might be onto something there. I know I would love to see this sort of project revisited annually with different ideas mixed in. I wish you the best of luck with figuring out how to get everyone paid, they surely deserve it. Are there any final thoughts you’d like readers to know about the new ColleXion?
This was always about art and different art styles. I really want people to check out the work of these awesome creators. Some of them (Adam Reck, Leigh Wortley and Marcelo Biott come to mind) have webcomics you can check out for the low cost of NOTHING.
A number of the crew have terrific online shops with tees (Beefcake Boss), or cool swag like patches, stickers and buttons (Valentine Smith, Elisa Barety), and most post their incredible work all over the web. I’ve tried to make it easier to find them by linking to their social channels in the free, downloadable, interactive PDF.
We would like to thank Scott for his time and insight into the process behind this project. You can check out the PDF that was mentioned right here. It’s incredibly handy and brings you right to the accounts of all the artists involved.
Consider throwing some money at these folks, whose social media accounts are also all linked below, as well as a select portion of their cards(mostly because I think the PDF is awesome and you should really look at that whole thing).
Contributors to The ColleXion: RefleXions are: Brendan Albetski, Elisa Barety, Ryan Barr, BeefcakeBoss, Marcelo Biott, Emma Burges, Karen Charm, Bradley Clayton, Josh Cornillon, Brandon Deichler, Elliot Dickson, Andrew Drilon, Roberto Duque, Chris Enterline, Quinn Hesters, B Hughes, Dave Hulteen Jr, Kenneth Laster, Scott Modrzynski, Joshua Nelson, Kevin Newburn, Monika Norcross-Cerminara, Lee Nycz, Michael O’Shields, Michael Pope, David Powell, Adam Reck, Mike Segawa, Dave Shevlin, Heri Shinato, Jean Sinclair, Valentine Smith, Jeff Somogyi, Matt Speroni, Amanda Stewart, Taylor, Jeremy Thew, Erle Tompkins, Sergio Torres, Leigh Wortley