Thursday, December 8, 2011

Santa Grounded!

This illustration, created for the San Francisco Examiner's Magazine section, was actually done years ago - some time in the late 1990s, I believe (note the presents in Santa's bag!) But somehow it seems more pertinent than ever...

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Attack of the Movie Monsters! ~ part 2

~ Left to right:  Catwomen of the Moon, London After Midnight, Curse of the Werewolf ~

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An In-Depth Interview About INVISIBLE HANDS ~

Here is a new interview focusing primarily on Invisible Hands, but covering other things about me as well ~  

Richard Sala Enjoys Drawing Creepy Things

The nice folks at this cool website seem to have caught me in a particularly chatty, affable & exclamation-point-using mood, which I blame on that third cup of coffee I was drinking at the time. Also: most direct title for an article about me ever.

Many thanks to Network Awesome!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Outtake from The Hidden ~ Colleen's Dream

Here is a peek at a sequence I ended up cutting from my book The Hidden.

Throughout the book there are a number of dreams and flashbacks.  In my original outline, near the end of the book, the character Colleen was going to have a dream.  This sequence would have begun on page 130, right after she is knocked unconscious and before she wakes up with a start.  However, I soon realized that the sequence, placed so close to the end, slowed down the momentum - especially because I wanted the ending to be kind of quick and breathless - so I cut it out.  Before I cut it completely, I did finish one page of the sequence, seen here.

In her dream, Colleen finds herself alone in the new world.  As she tries to avoid being spotted by a crowd of the brutal "new people", she is amazed to see a strange, ethereal woman, standing among them - it seems to be a vision of some kind - one which the "new people" are oblivious to.  In the dream, however, as Colleen is captivated by the sight, she is suddenly seized by the "new people" -- and wakes with a gasp.

There was a motive behind this sequence - a vision of hope, maybe.  It was something that would be addressed in a sequel (which is sketched out in my head, although it may have to remain there for the time being; I realized after Cat Burglar Black it's best not to automatically assume your publisher is dying for you to do a sequel).

This is the second outtake from The Hidden I've shown.  The first one showed the character Sally reacting as the "new people" crash into the old trading post.  That art was used as a limited edition print, offered to folks who purchased the book at the 2011 ComicCon International.  

Anyway ~ I thought I'd share a bit more about the process of putting together a book like The Hidden for those interested.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Illustrations for New Ghost Stories Book

Last year I did five illustrations for James Humphreys' special limited edition book of ghost stories titled The Mincer and Other Stories.  His follow up book is coming next year and I did  five new illustrations for those scary stories as well.  Above are some samples.  From top to bottom:
A Game of Chess
The Lantern Men
The Understudy

Here is a link to a post displaying a couple of drawings from the previous book ~
Ghost Stories

 And here is a link to that book on Amazon ~
The Mincer and Other Stories

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Knock Knock Knock

My original website has (finally) been updated to display my more recent books on it's opening page. If you venture "inside" by answering the knock-knock-knock, it's still pretty much as it was in the olden days of my comic book series Evil Eye. But if you've never checked it out, you'll find some fun (flash) animation and other little surprises if you decide to explore.  There are some rare odds and ends ~ and even a modest shoppe of Richard Sala products for those interested ~

Welcome To Richard Sala's Website

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Hidden ~ Latest Reviews

From BIZARRE Magazine! ~

And from my new favorite newspaper, The North Adams Transcript! ~

Monster Mash-up

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Comics Journal on The Hidden ~

An excerpt:

The Hidden is ridiculously good, silly fun from the guy who brought you such loony titles as Maniac Killer Strikes Again(German Expressionism plus whimsy plus noir) and Peculia & The Groon Grove Vampires (a witch’s brew of Charles Addams, Edward Gorey, and The Babysitters Club too).
A great big orgy of schlocky gore and cartoon deaths, the plot is every old horror film rolled into one glorious genre clichĂ©...

As ever, the true joy here is seeing Sala in brilliant colour. Layer upon layer of masterfully applied paint creates every shadow, shade and unlikely bright pajama in the cartoon horror. Undead eyes stare from blue and green sunken sockets, blood splashes across the page in spurts of dark crimson. It is, to hammer it home with a bloody mallet, an absolute demented joy. Here there are no pretentions. It is half an hour spent in a world where anything could happen and logic has no place. As one distraught character said, “It was madness… utter fucking madness.”
Read the full review here:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dr. Gruesome's Gallery of Ghouls

A limited edition portfolio of five small (6" x 9") silkscreens, printed back in the 1990s.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catching up on reviews

Here are two nice reviews of The Hidden ~

The National Post

Johnny Bacardi (Confessions of a Comic Shop Junkie)

                                            ... (Read the rest at the above link!)

And here I am being asked questions about my contribution to the recently released book of Nursery Rhyme Comics ~

Comic Book Resources

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween '11: Peculia

The Alternative Press on The Hidden

The Hidden gets a nice mention in the October 2011 issue of The Alternative Press magazine ~

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Publisher's Weekly Reviews THE HIDDEN


"An unnamed man dreams of a monster. Moments later, the world ends in nightmarish fashion, and the man flees the remains of civilization to hide in a cave, all the while saying, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Thus begins this new book by cartoonist and illustrator Sala...  Sala’s work is like a fusion of HergĂ© and Charles Addams, yielding a simple, cartoon-like style that makes his moments of gothic horror all the more disturbing... Taken as a whole... this is a beautifully pulpy and incredibly imaginative book that gives a fresh spin on a well-used set-up." 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

THE HIDDEN - Review Round-up

I really liked the following short but funny review from the site "Four Colours & The Truth":

The Hidden by Richard Sala
Holy crap. If you can find a creepier, more spine-tingling comic book story this year I’ll come over and mow your lawn*. I’ve never read a Sala story before, and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing. Sala’s expressive art perfectly accentuates the terrible sadness of the post-apocalyptic Frankenstein update he’s telling here. If you’re in the mind for great, beautifully drawn horror, this is your book.
*Offer only good  to people who live in my condo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Review of THE HIDDEN

During the time I've been knocked off the internet (as mentioned in a previous post - and I'm still trying to fix the situation), a book I worked on for over a year appeared in stores.  I missed being able to do much pre-release promotion online (not that I'm too good at that anyway), so I feel I have let down the book (and my publisher) a bit.  However, I do have some interview requests to catch up with, so those should appear eventually, and several reviews have appeared.

Here is the latest review -- I'm grateful to the writer R.J. Ryan for such an insightful and thoughtful look at the book:

THE HIDDEN reviewed at Comics Bulletin

Sunday, September 18, 2011

From Beyond

A brief "hello" from the borderlands of the internet. I have been gone from the web for some time now & although I am finally "hooked up" again, I am not yet fully "back". Part of me is still stuck in that place beyond these things. I hope to rejoin all of my internet friends again before long.

Over the last few weeks I have more than once encountered notions which rise up from the deepest, darkest corners of the brain - where the primal fears and superstitions live - wondering if perhaps my difficulty getting "back" has some cosmic significance, some reason (either sadistic or benign).

One begins to think late night thoughts during the middle of the day:  Am I being punished for my hubris or other failings?  Or is it some form of heavenly "self-help" program designed to make me "kick" the internet habit?  And (believe me) those are just the tip of the neurotic musings iceberg.

Some of you will know what I mean.  You may have had nights where you can almost make out the outline of the hand of the universe as it holds you down, preventing you from moving in any direction at all except further back.  Or those days where every one step forward is followed by three steps back.

Sometimes all one needs to "snap out of it" are the level-headed, reassuring words of a rational friend (when you can find one).  Perhaps there is a way back.  If only I'd remembered to leave a trail of bread crumbs...

In the meantime, while I'm still in a sort of limbo (that is, not 100% back on-line), here is a nice review of my new book The Hidden from the wonderful AV Club:

AV CLUB review

And many apologies to the kind folks who have tried to contact me for one reason or another in the last few weeks.  I am still trying to catch up. The wonderful Jacq Cohen at Fantagraphics Books has been really terrific in keeping some of you informed of my availability or contact information.  Speaking of which -- I have added a new email address at the top of this page.  The old one still works (for now), but this new one is better (also, for now).  And of course all letters are always welcome.

Thanks to those of you who have been checking back here for updates -- I really appreciate it and I'm sorry to have kept anyone waiting.  I  have missed posting work here and on my new tumblr.  I look forward to getting back to doing that soon.  In the meantime, some of you might like to know that I will continue to post work for sale here:

Artwork for sale

Well, I must sign off now.  I hope to be back online again before much longer -- I mean, I have to believe I can get back eventually, that a solution exists.  Until then, my very best wishes to you. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011


A note to loyal readers and other interested parties:

I am currently off the internet and without easy access to email.  This grim situation will likely continue for another week or two.  

If anyone out there needs to reach me before I return online, please contact my publisher, Fantagraphics Books.  They are good at tracking me down.

If you have recently written to me or purchased art, the situation should be resolved soon, and I will get in touch as soon as I can.  I appreciate your  patience and understanding until then.

Thanks everyone ~ Richard

THE HIDDEN Reviewed on Omnivoracious!

Thanks to Omnivoracious for the nice review of THE HIDDEN (along with Brian Ralph's equally apocalyptic graphic novel DAYBREAK):

Omnivoracious: Graphic Novel Friday: Apoca-Lit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Doll Parts"

Here is the original, uncropped (un-cleaned-up) art for a strip done especially for the PECULIA book collection ~

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The original art for my page in the big (16" x 21") 2008 anthology Kramer's Ergot #7 was so big that I actually did each 7 1/2" x 11 1/2" panel separately - on a separate piece of watercolor paper.  When each panel was done I assembled the thing with photoshop.  
While in photoshop I made some minor adjustments and then got caught up in doing more and more little tweaks and corrections and changes in the art.  It was handy and fun to be able to clean areas up a bit, make them clearer.  (I had ended up doing a lot of that on Cat Burglar Black).
But other changes I made were completely unnecessary -- I started recoloring figures,  reshaping faces.  That photoshop can be an insidious thing!  I ran right up against that age-old question of all painters:  "When is it finished?"  I could have kept going indefinitely, making it "better and better" -- it was kind of addictive.  
But if I have learned anything over the years it's to accept my artistic limitations.  I wasn't using photoshop to improve my skills or learn new ones -- I was using it to change art I had already drawn and painted.  So, finally I came to my senses and realized I was overworking the thing and it was time to just stop.
Looking at both versions now, after a couple of years, I have to say that the originals are better - none of that tweaking was necessary, really, beyond cleaning up a few messy spots.  I hadn't really improved anything.  I had just removed more and more traces of the human hand from the art. 
Don't get me wrong -- I'm sure that for most young artists who have grown up using computers that photoshop (or whatever gizmo one may use) IS like an extension of their hands.  It's just another tool after all - anyone will tell you that.  (Actually everyone will tell you that).  It ultimately comes down to having that necessary drive to do the best work you can do, whatever you're using.

I'm posting the non-tweaked original panels here -- and at the bottom is the final (tweaked) version that was printed in Kramer's - (plus a photo of the actual book) so you can see what it looked like all put together.