August 26, 2008

> Fables 79, Graphite and Digital, 7 x 10.5 @ 500 dpi. Funeral for a Prince.

Here's a message I just sent off to the Fables team:

"This is a difficult email for me to write. Don't worry . . . as far as I know, I don't have any tumors or crippling neuroses, and my taxes are in order. But I feel like I'm breaking up with the prom queen on prom night, after having dated through grades 6 - 12. Feeble analogies aside, it has been an amazing opportunity to work on Fables these past 7 years (8 this October). But I feel that it's time to devote myself full-time to painting and personal work. Shelly and I talked yesterday, and my last cover will be 81, at the end of the story arc. It has been a true privilege to work on a team that has produced such great chemistry on paper, and to have been a part of such an important book that has entertained and drawn together so many people.

I won't be disappearing, though -- I'll still be here in my fortress of solitude painting away, my solace found in seeing a brand new issue of Fables arrive every month with the same story and interior art that has engaged so many readers. It'll just come wrapped in a different (and hopefully more handsome) cover."

So it's done. I first received the call to create the first cover to Fables in October, 2001, a month after my roommate, Yuko Shimizu, and I watched the twin towers crumble from our loft in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Not long after, I got on a plane to Austria for 3 weeks and watched news of the anthrax scares from abroad, returning home to a message from Vertigo comics on my answering machine, asking me to create the first five covers to Fables. Now the suspected sender of those anthrax-laced letters has committed suicide this month, and we've gone 2 terms with a war-time president. In between, I've been fortunate enough to have done a lot of illustration. But for the past year or so, I've stopped working for magazines, books, and advertising as I tried to make the transition towards my personal work . . . until now, Fables has represented the last vestige of my illustration career. Now it's onto personal projects full-time. With the XOXO Postcard Book out this week and the Fables Cover Collection arriving in a couple of months, I hope to continue designing and putting out books that provide a context for my work in all its various incarnations.

> Fables 78, Acrylic and Digital, 7 x 10.5 @ 500 dpi. A Witch Awakens.

Sketches and originals for these pieces are viewable by clicking on the "originals" link on the left. Hard to believe that I will only be doing 2 more Fables covers . . . I wonder who the next cover artist will be?