Out of the more than 50 serious responses I received to my advertisement seeking an artist for Animal Control: Special Creatures Unit, there was one candidate who just seemed perfect for the project -- a talented guy by the name of Leandro Panganiban.
The character sketches of the Panda Dog hybrid in my banner and in my first post are Leandro's work. And, as I write this, he is working on pencils for the final page of the AC:SCU story that will appear in the Comics Experience anthology. We're making great progress!
Leandro first caught my attention because his initial reply to my classified advertisement was so professional. This was very important to me because I knew most of our interaction once we started would be via email. Next, I checked out his sequential artwork. In particular, a six-page story featuring Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and Norman Osborn caught my eye. I loved the realistic portrayal of the characters, especially the facial expressions. The storytelling seemed very strong to me; I could follow the story without any words. Leandro also had just recently completed work on a zombie short story titled Sacrifice, which looked great and will be featured in the horror book Dead Future #4.
I sent along a note and we exchanged a couple of emails to clarify a few points. Partially, I was seeing how we got along via email. One of the things I wanted to confirm was that Leandro was comfortable drawing animals. I mean, the project is about "Animal Control" after all, and some artists really hate drawing animals. I mentioned to Leandro that, for example, the story contained a transgenic hybrid that resembled a Gryphon. Leandro responded almost immediately with a character sketch of a Gryphon he had done for a gaming client. That pretty much sealed the deal for me! We got a contract in place and got to work.
In my opinion, Leandro's art on AC:SCU is the best sequential art he's done to date. I'll be sharing a few snippets of his work in future posts so you can see what I mean. I feel very fortunate to have him as my collaborator on AC:SCU and I can't wait for everyone to see his work on it in print!