My homage to “the Ghost Who Walks” was carefully chosen. I scanned my Phantom comics from Charleton looking for the right pose. I found an image of him punching toward the viewer. I thought, “Why don’t I put that view on horseback and have him riding toward me and punching.” Why did I think that? Who knows? As an artist, I’m kinda erratic and crazy that way. I guess that’s why I claim to be a surrealist. I do believe all comic book artists have to be surrealists to do their job. That’s true whether they do super heroes, ducks who hoard money in vaults and wear spats, pigs who wear a coat and a tie but no pants, or alien monsters hungry for the nearly naked flesh of Dale Arden. Uh… maybe I’m revealing way too much about my thought processes here… So here’s step one, the pen and ink.
Then I had to give it some colored pencil treatments. Black and white with crosshatching is cool, but it is also like bare bones, without life and energy. So I used the powers I have over cheap Roseart pencils and madly scribbled in colors carefully balanced to show just how truly chaotic my perceptions of action and adventure really are.
Now, I know the Phantom’s horse is either black or pure white, depending on which version or generation of the Ghost Who Walks is being depicted, but I did a yellow horse. I know… I know… I did pansy colors when I really should’ve gone fire red or all bloody crimson. I’m completely violating continuity. But I never completely do what I intend to do. If I don’t screw it up at least a little bit, then it really isn’t me. Besides, what else is there to yell at myself about and twist words around to make it sound like I’m being all comedically gifted and funny?