Wednesday, March 09, 2005

KULL/Rudy Florese

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This is an illustration of KULL which I did for Cross Plains Comics back in 1999. I'm not sure if the entire piece had been published, but I think a spot detail of this appeared in their "Robert E Howard's Horror".

Me with Rafael Kayanan and Richard Ashford, Times Square, New York

I think I got this job by way of Rafael Kayanan who got me in touch with editor Richard Ashford. I based Kull's appearance solely on Robert E. Howard's detailed descriptions rather than any established look by previous Kull artists. I'm not too happy with the knee and the tangent it visually creates with the torso, but overall I'm pretty satisfied with the piece. Specially since I made 300 bucks from it, making it the one piece I earned the most money from.

I did not get that in cash though, as I asked Richard if it go to my hotel bill in New York for 3 days, which amounted to pretty much the same thing.

I had been running out of money during my stay in the US that summer of 1999 when I attended the San Diego Convention. I only had a couple hundred dollars in my pocket and I still had to go to New York to meet with Richard and Rafael. That 300 bucks to pay for the hotel will literally save my life. I mean, the taxi ride alone from JFK to my hotel was like 45 bucks tip included. So by then I only had like 150 bucks, and I can't touch the 50 so I can pay for the taxi back to the airport 3 days later. So basically I only had 100 bucks which I would use for food, museum tickets, transportation, and gifts for people back home. Not much, but I thought I can do it.

When I arrived at my hotel, I was informed that the room hadn't been paid for yet. I could check in as long as I could pay for one night so I had no choice but to use the my last 100 bucks. I had to find Richard fast. I got the Cross Plains Comics address from Richard when I met him at the convention and saw it was only a few blocks away. I could walk it no problem.

Of course, I hadn't realized how HUGE New York blocks were. And "a few blocks away" may well be "in the next town" as far as I was concerned. But I didn't get too tired because wow, it was still New York and I was walking on its sidewalk and I'm looking at all these buildings and sidewalk vendors and stores and fire hydrants and trash cans and wow, I'm actually in New York. So I was pretty much preoccupied until I got to the address.

I entered the building and I was like...hmm...this doesn't look like a comic book office. It looks more like a Fedex branch back home. I approached the counter and tentatively told the guy the address and asked if I was in the right place. He said yes, and pointed to the wall. The wall?

I turned to look and I saw numbered lockboxes called "suites" on the wall and sure enough, that little box embedded on the wall some 3 feet off the floor was the office of Cross Plains Comics.

Oh my God!! I had hoped to surprise Richard by turning up at the office, but it looks like the surprise was on me. Good thing I had Richard's number and I called him right away. I called Rafael too and we all met up at the lobby of the hotel that night. Whew!!

Still, by my last night in New York, 14 dollars was the only money left in my pocket. I felt myself breaking into a cold sweat. How am I gonna get to the airport? It's not nearly enough to pay for the taxi. 14 bucks may well just be the tip!

By some miracle, the phone rang and it was my old friend from Manila, Carlo Montesa, offering me to give me a ride to the airport. We had met the previous night and went on a tour of You Got Mail shooting locations. I don't remember telling him I didn't have money but the gesture was very VERY much appreciated. Thanks man!! Double Whew!!

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Rudy Florese

Ilyn stumbled on a bunch of her dad's original art right here in the apartment, in between some of her architectural plates. Wow! A bunch of really cool art by Rudy Florese and it was all right under my nose under all this time.

I think this is really nice because the family have long realized that they did not have possession of any of Rudy's original art except for a couple of portraits and a couple of comics pages. I've since taken it upon myself to recover as much of Rudy's art as I can find and I've so far recovered some 30 pages of his local artwork and a page from Tarzan.

If anyone out there reading this and they have some Rudy Florese artwork they wish to sell to me, please get in touch! Me and Rudy's family would really appreciate it.

email: gerryalanguilan(at)yahoo(dot)com