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David Marshall - Comic Book Art | Zip's Last Day

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Zip’s Last Day

(R; Crime/Horror) Story and art by David Marshall. A corrupt FBI agent arrives in Boston to solve what looks like a murder mystery. As he tracks down clues, the case evolves into something much more bizarre. Unpublished.

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Revision History

Sample of Zip art

First Draft: 1988 Orignially titled "Life Ain't Nuthin' But Bitches and Money", this was orginally a parody of Howard Chaykin's work: flashy layouts, glib conversations, corrupt authority figures, and hot broads who are up for anything (given the proper "encouragement"). In fact, the FBI agent (named Howard Ruben) was a comedic version Mr. Chaykin himself, having left cartooning behind in favor of real-life crime-fighting. Agent Rubin spent more time trying to laid than doing his job. Copies of of this rough cut were sent to the major comic book companies of the day, who were uniformily uninterested in publishing such a scathing satire.

Cast of Characters: Ron | Chris | Zip | Ines

Second Draft: 2004 I rediscovered this draft during a move (either to or from the 02143). Overlooking the embarrassing eighties fanboy trappings, I believed the story's essential themes (self-righteous rage, moral corruption, failure to communicate and the power of sex appeal) were worth developing.

Phase One was to research supporting elements, which included FBI and Boston Police procedures, demonolgy and Boston-area history. The FBI agent (renamed John "Zip" Carroll) is now based on John Connolly, a real-life FBI agent plagued with loyalty issues and his lack of self-control. Chris Perkins is now presented as a good guy only when things are going well.

With research complete, Phase Two was to write the new script. This included fleshing out dialogue, character motivations and using time as a character itself.

Once the script was finished, Phase Three was creating the finished art. To do this, the storytelling itself was redesigned. Rather than mimic Mr. Chaykin's style, I strived for the naturalism pioneered by Alex Toth, Herge and others. Instead of shackling the entire story to rigid thumbnail sketches, I used the Robert Crumb process of building each page one at a time, from start to finish, with no regard to final page count.

Whew! With all that high-falootin' back story, I can only pray the final product is entertaining!

Like the other new works (Dead by the Pool, Six-Year-Old Horse Thief), art for this story was created digitally. Details of my Digital Art Process for Comic Books


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