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The Matriarch Variant Cover

To say that 2023 was a trying year for me and my family would be a massive understatement. We had just moved to Tennessee from Texas at the end of 2022 when I almost died in March of 2023 from acute sigmoid diverticulitis with perforation. That’s a fancy way of saying my colon exploded. I ended up needing emergency surgery with a lengthy recovery time…followed by a reversal surgery a few months later with another lengthy recovery time. Although it was painful and seemed like nothing good was going to come out of it, God was able to breathe something beautiful into this time. One of the benefits during this forced rest was that I rediscovered my passion for art and the joy it brought.

My long-time friend Johnie Busa was inspirational in fanning the embers of drawing in my life and pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I drew all the time as a kid, but I abandoned drawing somewhere around Middle School. But in my recovery I started drawing just about everyday and continued stretching myself beyond what I thought I could do. I had a lot to learn and catch up on but I just couldn’t get enough. One of the first projects/commissions I took on was for a variant cover for Johnie’s upcoming comic, The Matriarch. Johnie has already produced other amazing comics (like The Journal) and has a knack for creative story telling so I was excited to play a tiny part in it.

Up until this point I was either drawing backgrounds or individual characters, so this was a stretch for me at this stage to bring it together in a single composition. I tossed around several ideas but a few were just beyond my current ability so I opted for something simple. For inspiration I found a variant of Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1 that had the sort of close up I was imagining. I was aiming for a serious expression to signify the vengeance the protagonist is seeking without teetering on anything too sinister. You should definitely check out The Matriarch over at Kickstarter and support this cool project!

The Matriarch - Issue #1 Variant Cover
The Matriarch - Issue #1 Variant Cover (line art)
The Matriarch - Issue #1 Variant Cover (flats)