Wednesday, March 3, 2010


FIRESTORM FAN is a website dedicated to the first comic character I worked on back in 1983.
Working with writer/Firestorm creator Gerry Conway was so much fun. Gerry is known to have written one of the best known storylines in comics: The death of Gwen Stacy in SPIDER-MAN and created the PUNISHER character in that run as well. Another milestone was writing the very first ever meeting between Spider-Man and Superman.

Firestorm was certainly a book where I learned a lot about the creation of comics. The monthly deadlines weren't even a concern. I was having so much fun pencilling the book and couldn't believe I was working in the industry that I could pencil several pages a day. I also learned to start focusing on figure gestures better and on strengthening my storytelling. I can see how my style evolved month by month. A great on the job training ground. The inks tended to be heavy but the covers inks by the great Dick Girodano, along with a few guest inks by Romeo Tanghal were probably closest to the actual pencils I turned in. Gerry's scripts were in the old Marvel plot format and since he was also editor, he gave me a lot of leeway to mess around with the costumes.

We even did an experiment where prose was accompanied by single panel illustrations in the second Annual. Something which was quite rare in those days.

The pinup above features what could arguably be one of the first cyberpunk influenced comic characters created. Her name was Byte and her younger brother was called... Bug!

Always thought these two characters had potential to be explored further, especially these days when the general public knows way more about computers than the ancient days of 1984.

Gerry also has a great audio interview featured on here. He eventually returned to comics after a very successful run in TV shows such as Law & Order working both as writer and co-executive producer.


Andrew Wickliffe said...

Yeah, I love your Firestorm run. Just some amazing artwork.

Craig Zablo said...

It was so cool seeing the young Turk had made it into the big time... and that was just the start!!

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Rafael - Thanks so much for the shout-out to FIRESTORM! Obviously I'm a huge fan of your work on Firestorm. You were the artist on the book when I started reading it, so your version is forever imprinted in my brain. You continue to be an amazing artist.

Thanks again for the shout-out and you're always welcome over at the site.


Rafael Kayanan said...

Andrew - Thanks!
Craig - I was following the other young turk you knew!
Shag - Great site and wonderful interview with Gerry. Would be great to revisit the character with Gerry someday.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Rafael - Thanks! You're too kind. I'll pass your comments on to Gerry.

I was thinking, if you want to write-up something on what you've been up to and where to buy some of your works, I'd be happy to post it on FIRESTORM FAN. It might help get the word out to some of your fans and possibly generate some revenue for your products.

Additionally, if you have any unpublished Firestorm work you'd like the world to see, I'd be happy to post scans of those on FIRESTORM FAN also. I've been posting some unpublished Al Milgrom Firestorm work lately. Gorgeous stuff.

I love coordinating with the Firestorm writers and artists. You all are such a great bunch of people. Finding out how cool y'all are makes me proud to be promoting your creative work and reaffirms my love for Firestorm comics.

Please feel free to drop me a line anytime at: