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Swords against the Moon guy cover by Chris Peuler

Mark Wheatley is understood for his work on comics including Frankenstein Mobster, Breathtaker, Mars, Jonny Quest, as well as much more. His latest job is Swords against the Moon Men, which is part of the Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs series. He provides illustrations for the book by Christopher Paul Carey. Wheatley just recently shared more about this project, in addition to his process for producing the illustrations, with Westfield’s Roger Ash.

Westfield: You’ve been a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs for years. What is the charm of his work for you?

Mark Wheatley: I grew up in a corner of the fantastic Dismal Swamp. When I checked out the Burroughs books as a youngster I was already acting out those adventures in the forests as well as swamps around my home. I developed a succession of tree homes as well as ended up living in my final treehouse in my high institution years. That treehouse was a quite slick piece of work, with wall-to-wall carpeting, air conditioning, bunk beds, a living space as well as nice shelves to store my comic collection! So even though I was influenced by Tarzan, I had it a bit much better than he did! when I was hooked on Burroughs, I checked out anything with his name on it.

Wheatley line art for an illo in Swords against the Moon Men

Westfield: exactly how did you ended up being included with this project?

Wheatley: This past summertime at the San Diego Comic Con, Jim Sulos as well as Cathy Wilbanks of ERB Inc. came by my booth as well as asked if I would be thinking about painting covers for any type of of their new line of Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs books. I was available to the idea. We left it that we would come up with specific jobs at a later date.

Finished digital painting by Wheatley

Meanwhile, I had already painted the cover for Christopher Paul Carey’s book Exiles of Kho for Meteor House. So he as well as I understood each other as well as are buddies on Facebook. He published about his new ERB book project, I believe on the exact same day I had seen the ERB Inc. gang at SDCC. Well, I was extremely impressed with his Kho book as well as understood he must be doing something amazing for ERB Inc. So, I messaged him as well as asked if they had assigned an artist to his book yet. So everything just worked out because of timing as well as connections. The only twist is I might refrain from doing the cover since it had just been assigned to Chris Peuler who provided an excellent painting. So I don’t have any type of complaints!

Line art by Wheatley

Westfield: Do you have to understand Burroughs’ work to enjoy this book?

Wheatley: Christopher’s book likewise does a perfect task of re-introducing all the important details. He has deliberately structured this books to be a fantastic introduction, not only to the Moon guy series, however likewise to the entire Burroughs universe. anyone might begin in reading this new book without any previous exposure to the Moon guy series, or any type of other of Burroughs’ series, as well as still get the full effect of this story. as well as I should point out that, as Christopher has set things up in this book, the Moon guy series is clearly the nexus that holds the Edgar Rice Burroughs world together.

Completed digital painting

Westfield: What can you tell us about the story?

Wheatley: It is a quick paced, charming adventure. The story begins on earth in a vintage future, each time when we have been conquered by invaders from the Moon. It is a extremely personal story that complies with Julian the 7th as he is transformed into a hardened resistance competitor against the Moon Men. I don’t want to provide as well much away, since this book reads like the extremely finest Edgar Rice Burroughs books. Christopher has completely caught the tone of voice as well as the inventiveness of Burroughs at his best. All I will add is that this book contains direct connections to the Mars series as well as the Pellucidar series.

Wheatley line art

Westfield: exactly how much get in touch with did you have with writer Christopher Paul Carey?

Wheatley: We were in get in touch with just about every day. We truly got to understand each other with this process. When I painted the cover for Exiles of Kho it was an assignment from Meteor House. Christopher as well as I didn’t have much contact. however for Swords against The Moon Men, we were in constant contact. I ran every rough as well as concept past him as well as he was extremely great with comments as well as feedback. Christopher is an excellent author, extremely much to my taste. If I had any type of issue illustrating this book, it was that I was restricted to eighteen pages of illustrations, as well as Christopher quickly had a hundred fantastic scenes in his manuscript! Anyway, since he as well as I were in get in touch with so much, we cooked up the concept to do a restricted edition of the book, since ERB Inc. didn’t have any type of plans of their own for such an edition. So I painted as well as designed a signing plate as well as we each put our signatures on 100 of these.

Digital painting

Westfield: exactly how did you select which scenes to illustrate?

Wheatley: I checked out with the manuscript as well as made a note of every scene that stood out in my imagination. I was about three chapters into the book when I exceeded my limit for illustrations! So I had to speed myself as well as try to evenly area out placement of the illustrations throughout the book. I likewise gotten rid of any type of pictures that may provide away major plot spoilers. as well as that was a tough one, since there are some wonderful surprises in this book!

Line art by Wheatley

My process was to work up a little rough digital painting for approval. This went to ERB Inc. as well as likewise to Christopher. whatever was approved, with the only modifications to any type of of the illustrations being that Jim Sulos asked that I turn two of the illustrations into double page spreads. next I worked out my drawing, tightening details, proportions, perspective, etc. then I did an inked line piece, utilizing ink on paper. This line art got scanned as well as was utilized to digitally paint up the final pieces. I did the paintings in color as well as then equated them to black as well as white for their final type to be utilized in the book.

Final digital painting

Westfield: any type of closing comments?

Wheatley: When I was asked to do this book, one issue was that, even though I am a relatively quick artist, it was at minimum a forty-five day assignment. as well as I only had a thirty day opening in my schedule. On one end I had a number of existing commitments as well as I was locked into the arranged Kickstarter campaign for physician Cthulittle. At the other end I had a extremely tight deadline to show a Neil Gaiman script for the Mine! anthology. however I so wished to work with Christopher on this book that I decided that if I worked long hours as well as nothing went wrong, I would just be able to squeak by in thirty days. So, of course, come the very first day of the thirty as well as whatever started to go wrong. I came in to the studio on the very first day of the task as well as terminated up my computer, as well as my difficult drive was dying! My computer was in the shop for repairs for a week! My forty-five day task that I was squeezing into thirty days was now going have to get performed in twenty-three days! I handled to pull it off in twenty-five days. as well as I still got Neil Gaiman’s script illustrated on time. But, as nice as whatever turned out, I have no rate of interest in repeating this type of road race. That said, if I was offered one more book by Christopher Paul Carey, I would discover some method to make it in shape into my schedule, no matter what!

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