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We’re receiving word that Travis Charest may have been removed as the artist on the Alejandro Jodorowsky-penned Dreamshifters graphic novel for Humanoids. We’re going live to John Roberts in Tustin for the latest word on this fast breaking story. John?

“Thanks, Heidi. It seems that Charest, who is known for being one of the slowest artists in the history of comics, realized after six years that he wasn’t getting anywhere, as this post on his forum shows. Instead the book will be finished by Janjetov. ”

I started working on this book over 6 years ago, the original idea was for me to do the pages in pen and ink and have them colored. I got it in my head that although I wasn’t a painter and hadn’t ever painted a comic, I would paint this one. Big mistake, a distaster. It took forever to get a page finished, I was redoing pages, changing the paints, a nightmare, by the time I’d left Paris and moved back to the USA I only had a dozen pages to show for nearly 2 years work. Since coming back, the pages haven’t really come any faster, and after all this time, I’ve only produced 30 pages of Dreamshifters. It wasn’t a case of screwing the pooch or anything like that, I’ve always worked hard, I just had a laborious process and a dismal understanding of how to really paint. I haven’t had any new script for a year or so and I figured something like this was happening but I found out like you did, someone mentioned the article to me and I asked my editors about it. I can’t blame them, if the book ends up being around 48-52 pages, then at the pace I was going, they’d be waiting another 4 years for this to be finished.


Hat tip to Tom, who cited Charest’s “productivity issues”.

In all seriousness, Charest is an amazing artist, and it’s a shame he can’t stop fuddling around and get more work out, because we’d really like to see it.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I’d like to see it, too! Is anybody going to publish the Humanoids stuff in America ever again? The future is looking bleak for us fans of the Jodoverse…

  2. Well, I guess that this project has now officially attained “Legendary” status. I, for one really want to see what’s been done and I’m sure we’ll see some “special edition” dvd-style including those “lost pages” sometime before we die.

  3. I think it’s funny that it took him SIX years ( with only a dozen pages in two years!) and only thirty pages to show for it for him to realize “Hey maybe this isn’t working.”
    Kinda makes me think of Chinese Democracy. Y’know the joke that there will be actual democracy in china before we see a charest-completed story of any kind.
    what’s the point of Great art when it’s unseen and not functional as a complete story?

  4. I love Travis’ art, and I’m always stunned at the sheer amount of effort and concentration he puts into each page.

    The thing I wonder about is how much he gets paid per page, since it seems like it would be hard to keep the wolves away with a pace of five pages a year. I guess: a) he’s really willing to suffer for his art and be poor; b) His wife or girlfriend is financially stable and very understanding; or c) he does a lot of commissions, which means the snake really starts eating it’s own tail as he falls further behind on the Dreamshifters stuff…

    And while it would be great to have seen him do the whole story, I suppose this means the book will actually be published someday. Hopefully someone saved/scanned all of the pages he didn’t feel were up to snuff so we can see an amazing book that will tell the story of an artist struggling mightily to get his vision on paper.

  5. Knock me over with a feather. The guy who sank WILDCATS v.2 with his glacial pace makes Jim Lee look like a caffeinated cheetah in comparison? Get outta town.

    Hey, Charest’s art is GORGEOUS, yessiree, but perhaps he needs to investigate either A) learning to not be such a perfectionist and to streamline his style; or B) a career path in a field where multiple pages of illustrations are not expected on a timetable measured in anything shorter than EPOCHS.

  6. To be fair, he was only requires to do a 48-page book every 2-3 years for Humanoids, something he WAS able to do in US comics on the past! European comics go in a much more sedate pace than the US ones.

    Even so, he missed the deadline in a fashion that even the slowest european artists (guys who do a book every 5-6 years or so!) never did. I very much doubt any editor will ever trust him again!

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  7. Chares is officially of the “Dreamshifters”, in an interview published in french comics magazine “Bodoi”, Jodorwosky mentions that the only problem with Charest, was that he took 6 month to do a page.

    The next book in the metabarons saga, is a Trilogy called “Castaka” and ilustred by Das Pastoras, to be released soon in France, and the “Dreamshifters” book will be published this year.

    I just wonder if they’re really going to use the original art of Charest, and finish it with Janjetov….

  8. Man, I really wanted to see this book by Charest. I actually thought it came out and I missed it somewhere. Charest’s development as an artist has truly been amazing. He went from a Jim Lee rip-off to one our best talents.

  9. Its very disappointing to see Travis pass a golden opportunity with the Humanoids. I’m certain he’ll find suitable work. However, he’s such a perfectionist he never seems to get anything accomplished. The quality of work he produces is first rate but he chose a profession that’s very consumer driven and after six year people expect something even with a company as patient as the Humanoids. While Spacegirl is a lovely divergent its hardly the caliber of work we come to expect from Travis.

    I consider myself one of Travis’s hugest fans and having seen him work at Wildstorm firsthand I can say the guy’s art is truly amazing. The pattern of falling behind is disheartening for one of the finest talents I’ve ever seen.

    I absolutely wish the best for him and his new project whichever that may be.

  10. The bottom line is that Travis needs to spend less time playing with the pencil in his pants and more time with the pencils he uses to do his work. That said, I sincerely hope he gets to finish the book.

  11. I am also a HUGE fan but seriously, if he can’t complete (in 6 years) what other AMAZING artists can complete in 1 month then I think he’s not going to get any more contracts. It’s just that simple money-wise. I’d suggest he gets out his oil paints and starts to do some serious traditional paintings and starts showing in galleries around the world. I’d buy a ticket.

  12. Now that the book is out for everyone to see, the sad irony is that it isn’t all that good, after all. There’s a BIG lesson for all artists in this story, I think.

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