March 3, 2012
Old Friends In New Places by Mark Heike
I got up with an old friend recently, one dating back to fandom days of the 1970’s- stellar artist Willie Peppers. Willie and I go back to the days of Steve Streeter’s Paige Comics and Chicagocons at the Pick Congress Hotel on Michigan Avenue. Willie was an artistic idol of mine, and we had a chance to collaborate on a few projects; Willie penciling and me inking. Willie went on to illustrate a number of features, including The Protectors and The Ferret at Malibu; Seeker for Sky Comics; Southern Knights for Comics Interview; features for Comico, Caliber, and others. Anyway, after losing touch for too many years, Willie and I reconnected online via LinkedIn. Willie currently works as a Graphics Specialist for Integrated Media Corp, and operates his own graphic design LLC. He continues to develop his explorations of the panelogical world as part of The Pantheon, a Louisville-based group, self-described as “A non-profit organization with future goals of developing into a community resource and service group which will not only create a new platform from which new writers and artists can launch their careers, but also an educational force which can provide information and guidance to those who are interested in the business side of the comic industry.” Interested parties can learn more at: http://pantheoncomics.org . The group has recently begun producing an anthology comic showcasing the work of it’s members, and with the (current) second issue of the book (titled Panthology ) Willie has taken over as graphic designer, and has put together a very slick package, in addition to writing and drawing a killer lead story titled “The Quick and the Undead”. Panthology #2 is a 64-page Weird, Weird West Issue, squarebound with black & white interiors and a moody color cover rendered by Matt Edmondson. You can find out about ordering it at the previously-mentioned website. Willie has a bit of an AC connection as well, having penciled a fantasy story we used in Gorganna’sGhoul Gallery #2, “Mortal Combat”, inked by me.