I can't remember exactly where and when I first saw Andrew's artwork, but I do know that I instantly fell in love with his style.
I think my first contact with him was to order a commission piece, which hangs on my wall, of Darkseid (you can see it here).
Since then I had been desperately trying to come up with a project for us both to work on.
We put together a short piece, called Samurai Billy, for the Samurai The Graphic Novel anthology book (which may still feature, if the book gets printed), but I always wanted more.
Department O came about after I was playing around with the idea of linking the universes of two of my other titles - Omnitarium and The Hero Code.
At first I was going to have the characters in Omnitarium form a kind of Victorian-era and very British Avengers team, and the character, The Occultist was going to be brought into their world and get into all kinds of japes and adventures with them on a monthly (or whatever) basis.
It never quite came into being, though. I do have a wonderful title page, and Andrew did a really cool cover for the book, before it kind of got aborted.
I still wanted to do a team book about a "paranormal super-team...here to protect us from dangers which exist only at the periphery of reality" though, and, of course, I still desperately wanted to work with Andrew on a book.
Someone, somewhere, mentioned that they thought the title Omnitarium was kind of terrible. It changed, the team dynamic changed a little, ideas where thrown out, new ideas brought in, and finally we started working on Department O.
And now issue one is nearly printed. I couldn't be happier with how the book has turned out. Between Andrew and Heather Breckel (the book's colourist) the book looks stunning.
Andrew is one of the greatest artists that I have had the pleasure of working with. He takes ideas off of the page, and turns them into something magical.
Heather adds to the mix perfectly.
Both are certainly talents, and will be huge (despite all my efforts to bring their work down to my level!).
I have so much faith in this book, it is quite simply something very special.
The book will be on pre-order throughout September, and I'd love to hit triple figures on it.
I'm also setting myself the goal of getting the book into at least 15 stores during this time.
Department O is currently available for pre-order here.
The book is also available for wholesale pre-order for any stores interested in carrying it - please contact me here for details.
Reviewers interested in checking the book out can also contact me here.