A few weeks ago we told you about the launch of Dynamite’s art editions line with Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja, an oversized collection of the his early, irresistible run on the book. With a flowing line and European-inspired style, Thorne’s Sonja was definitely sexy, but still a bad ass. Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci recently had a brief chat with Comic Show Newswith some details on the making of the book, and since we’re such big Red Sonja fans, we’re reprinting it, with permission, here.
Q: First off, what specific stories/issues are being collected in the Art Edition?
Barrucci: Red Sonja’s first solo adventures appeared in Marvel Premiere, a 1975-1976 series with a short seven-issue run simply to pave the way for the character’s self-titled series to appear in January of 1977. Frank Thorne illustrated six of the issues from Marvel Premiere:
Marvel Premiere #2: “Blood of the Hunter”
Marvel Premiere #3: “Balek Lives!”
Marvel Premiere #4: “Eyes of the Gorgon”
Marvel Premiere #5: “The Bear God Walks!”
Marvel Premiere #6: “Beware the Sons of Set!”
Marvel Premiere #7: “The Battle of the Barbarians”
Q: Did Frank hold on to the artwork, or did you have to do some searching to track it down?
Barrucci: It’s amazing – Frank Thorne has a treasure trove of artwork and we were able to get well more than half from him, and picked up other pieces from collectors. These pages have not been seen by anyone – ANYONE – except possibly those who owned the art for years (most would never sell as they are rare) and a few lucky visitors to the Thorne home for practically the entire lifespan of the Red Sonja franchise. That’s nearly forty years!
Q: Are you going with a matte finish or gloss finish stock for this? How closely will this resemble the actual original art, not only in look, but in the “feel” of the paper?
Barrucci: We want to give fans and collectors the realistic experience of what it would actually be like to hold original storyboard artwork. To that end, you can bet we’re going to print on a matte finish paper, one with a heavier stock. No gloss here!
Q: Will you be taking extra steps to ensure that you capture the variations in ink density that are visible in the black areas of original art?
Barrucci: Yes, we plan to scan each page of Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja Art Edition at high resolution, in 300 dpi full color. Every pencil mark, editorial note, everything will be preserved in its original state for fans to enjoy the creativity and effort that led to the final product. As you can tell from our Vampirella Archives, we put as much money and resources in to the reproduction as possible, as we want the work to last forever.
Q: What is the final trim size and page count of the Frank Thorne Red Sonja Art Edition?
Barrucci: It measures at 12” wide by 17” long, the size of the original art board pages from Frank Thorne’s archives. The page count will be 128 in full color.
Q: Do you have other Art Editions in the pipeline? If so, tell us what we have to look forward to!
Barrucci: Oh, definitely! Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja Art Edition is simply the beginning. We’ve been in talks with many beloved comic greats and looking into their private collections. Mum’s the word for right now, but we’ll have more news to share shortly.