From the Editor's Desk: Shelly Bond
While it may seem daunting to anyone who has ever attended the San Diego Comicon, you can get discovered and procure actual work from a major publisher in the same century. Or in this case, the same summer.
I met the extremely talented painter Chrissie Zullo at the San Diego Comicon of 2008 through the DC Portfolio Review. I repeat: I met extremely talented painter Chrissie Zullo at the San Diego Comicon of 2008 through the DC Portfolio Review.
Upon following the rules that she observed at the Annual Portfolio Review Orientation, Chrissie submitted her portfolio. And then, along with a handful of my colleagues, I reviewed the hundreds/thousands of submissions and found somewhere between 8-12 people whom I wanted to meet over the course of the weekend. Chrissie was definitely at the top of my list and when we met face-to-face for a 15 minute chat, she revealed her passion for FABLES.
I remember commenting on how much I liked her painting style -- specifically the balance of the pretty and the "don't think you're going to take me home just yet" power. Chrissie has a mercurial charm, evident not only in the alluring execution of her figure work but also in her choice of rich, traditional color palettes. She finds inspiration from classical painters such as Jean Honore Fragonard and Francois Boucher, and modernists alike, including comic book artists Winsor McCay, James Jean and Adam Hughes.
I challenged Chrissie to send me a few "mock" FABLES covers on spec in the months to come to see how her sense of composition could vary as well as to see what she could do when presented with the design challenges of working the necessary text elements into her cover art.
When her camera-ready samples came in a few weeks later, I couldn't believe my eyes. And strangely enough, at that very millisecond, I was looking for a cover artist for the new CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE miniseries. One of Chrissie's images in particular happened to look like Cinderella so it seemed like there was more than a good chance that she could handle this fantastic first assignment. Upon showing Chrissie's samples to Bill Willingham, he replied "Hire that woman!" on the spot. And let me tell you: I can count the number of times Bill has uttered those three words on one pinky. When my boss Karen Berger concurred, the rest became, shall we say, art history. CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE with covers by Chrissie Zullo will be in stores beginning November 4th.
So, to those of you aspiring talents who think it's impossible to win the lottery, reread the above. And if you still find it too hard to believe straight up, chew on this: Not only is Chrissie one of the most talented new cover painters of her generation, one of us is only 22.