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Tomorrow, the final issue of The Shield is on store shelves, a fact that is both a relief and not inconsiderably melancholic.?

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From a purely technical standpoint, the pressure of a monthly book under my byline pushed me pretty hard, and one major outcome of it all is that I'm simply much faster than I used to be. (Issue 7 of the series, for example, was written in one, five-hour sitting, and is probably my favorite of the whole run.)?

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I'll miss Joe Higgins terribly, because he's exactly the kind of hero I have always wanted to write. His heroism is pragmatic, intelligent, and unironic; in many ways, Higgins is the kind of person I would like to be, and -- quite honestly -- am not.?

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Which brings me to the real stars of the show: the art team.?

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Marco Rudy is a profoundly talented illustrator; cheerful, engaged, communicative, and boundlessly enthusiastic. And the fact that he's so young leads me to one inescapable conclusion: Watch him closely. ?He's a major talent, and he's going to be a huge star in the comics field, very soon.?

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Mick Gray is one of the first inkers -- along with Klaus Janson -- whose work I could identify on sight, when I first started paying real attention to such things. His work with Mike McKone (on Punisher War Journal) was eye-opening, and when I learned his clean, crisp, unbelievably-precise line was to be applied to Marco's pencils on The Shield, I literally danced for joy.?

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Art Lyon -- who also brought his talents to JSA Vs. Kobra?-- is also a treat to work with. We've only spoken a handful of times, but his investment in the stories we were telling was clear. Art brought a lot to the book -- all those crazy computer screen heads-up-display images in the Shield warsuit? That was Art. -- not the least of which was his fine sense of color and light, his willingness to experiment, and his enthusiasm for the project.?

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Thanks are also due to Cliff Richards (who stepped in on issues 4 and 8 to give Marco breathing room for the final push of the series); Wayne Faucher (who contributed inks), Sal Cipriano and Randy Gentile (who ably lettered the book); Richard and Tanya Horie (who also contributed color art); Francis Manapul and Sami Basri for their lovely covers; Brandon Jerwa, for his excellent Inferno and Fox stories; Greg Scott, Michael Gaydos and Michael Avon Oeming, for drawing them; and of course Rachel Gluckstern who kept our feet to the fire.

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Too often, comics are perceived as a one- ?or two-man operation, but that's rarely the case, and if you enjoyed The Shield, it was because of all these diverse talents working toward a shared goal.?

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For that, you all have my profound thanks--my fellow creators, and those of you who shelled out your hard-earned cash to read Joe Higgins' adventures.?

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    James Manley (Tuesday, 15 June 2010 15:57)

    Eric,
    Will they be releasing all the issues of the Shield as a collection?

  • #2

    Dwight Williams (Monday, 05 July 2010 13:13)

    Looks like two trades' worth of collection, judging by subsequent postings!

    (pleased smile)