I want to be the first to say this ridiculous pun:
Thief of Thieves will steal your heart.
We’re taking the first issue of Thief of Thieves to the printer this week, and I wanted to share both a small story about my infatuation with the project, and also show some sketches that we’ve never put up anywhere.
As you are all aware, Thief of Thieves is Robert’s first project that as far as I can remember has no mystical qualities to it. No zombies, no capes, no monsters. This is, at its core, a human story. Conrad Paulson (aka REDMOND) is one of the best thieves ever, and wants to quit the game to patch up the personal life he lost. Of course when a caper too good to resist comes his way, he doesn’t know how to say no. While not entirely relatable to my day-to-day, the themes explored are ones we deal with daily: vice, avarice, redemption. Robert, along with Nick Spencer and the writers we’ve yet to announce have crafted a fantastic series. The story is a knockout.
Then there’s the art. Initially, I was only peripherally familiar with Shawn Martinbrough. Look at his initial character sketches for Redmond below. The guy is brilliant. He gives each character their own distinct personality without making them look like caricatures. We’ve been so proud of his storytelling that there’s a healthy chunk of the book available to preview on-line- you can see he’s a master storyteller (so much so that he’s written a book about it). I’m a bona fide fan now. I’m obsessed. Combined with colorist Felix Serrano, you have one of the slickest neo-noir pages to grace the stands. They’re a great team, and bring each other's work to new heights.
Again, I cannot stress how special this book is to me. With everything going on in comics today, I’m so proud that every new title we launch (remember Witch Doctor?), Skybound continues to deliver the best, original, greatest-looking comics on the stands. It’s ridiculous how much I love my job.
Make sure you tell your retailer to set aside a copy of Thief of Thieves # 1, because I’m sure pretty sure they’re not going to be around far after the February 8th release. In the meantime, enjoy trying to figure out how Shawn Martinbrough does it with these never-before-seen drawings…
Robert Kirkman's original thumbnail sketch for the cover of Thief of Thieves #1:
Shawn Martinbrough's inked thumnail for the issue #1 cover:
Shawn's original character designs for Redmond:
More of Shawn's original character designs for Redmond:
The cover to Thief of Thieves #1: