The Team

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Jake (Buddy) Saunders, Author 

Buddy was born in Lindsay, Oklahoma, in 1947. After living in various parts of Texas and Oklahoma, Buddy’s family moved to Arlington, Texas, in 1954. Except for a brief residence in Virginia, where Buddy worked for Capitol Hill Graphics, Buddy has always called Arlington, Texas, home.

Buddy began collecting and retailing comic books while still in junior high school. Today he owns Star Comics, the largest comic book internet retailing business in the world.

In 1970 Ballantine Books published The Texas-Israeli War: 1999, a science fiction novel Buddy co-authored with Howard Waldrop. One of Buddy’s short stories was nominated for a science fiction Nebula Award. While still in college, he wrote over 20 stories for Warren Publishing’s Creepy and Eerie.

Buddy currently lives in Arlington, Texas, with his wife Judy. Their son Conan, a graduate of MIT and a computer whiz, lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Jenny.

Russ Cochran, Publisher

Russ Cochran was born on July 3, 1937, in West Plains, Missouri. He has spent his entire life in West Plains except for eight years of college and ten years as a professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

After earning his doctorate in physics and mathematics at the University of Missouri and teaching for ten years, he made a sudden and impulsive right turn, resigning his tenured university position to devote himself to publishing books for collectors.

“I get great satisfaction with finding wonderful things and sharing them with others by publishing them. My first publishing venture was in 1971 and was sparked by seeing EC original artwork for the first time in Bill Gaines’ office. I was very impressed with how much more beautiful the original artwork was than the printed version in the comic books. I thought, “All EC fans should be able to see the artwork like this,” and that thought led to the publication of The Complete EC Library, consisting of 65 hardcover collections, in 16 slipcased sets, the only complete reprinting of a whole line of comic books from the 1940s and 1950s.

Around the same time I visited the offices of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., in Tarzana, California, and Danton Burroughs was kind enough to show me through all the many paintings and drawings stored in the vault there. Again my first thought was that all Burroughs fans should be able to see this artwork, and this thought led to my three-volume Edgar Rice Burroughs Library of Illustration.

I was like an archaeologist, digging up treasures from the past and making them accessible to other fans. At first this digging was only in the area of comic art, but then I applied the same thinking to books on guitarists Chet Atkins and Les Paul. I knew that there were many things I wanted to know about Chet and Les, and if I could find out the answers and publish them in a book, many other fans like me would support my publishing efforts. And it worked!

My most recent projects are two collections of Sunday comic pages, Gasoline Alley pages from 1920-1922 and Alley Oop pages from 1934-1936. As a collector, I knew it was next to impossible to find these rare pages on the collector market, and that if I could find them and publish them in a permanent format, many other comic art collectors would want to see them.

In 1962, I rediscovered the stories of ERB in the new series of paperbacks published by Ace Books and Ballantine Books. Reading these stories was my way of escaping from the grim reality of working on my doctoral dissertation. It is significant that my first project as a publisher was built around the Burroughs material, and my most recent (and possibly my last) project is publishing this Burroughs book by Buddy (Jake) Saunders. I think The Martian Legion is an important milestone in the Burroughs mythos. Buddy has done a wonderful job of writing and it has been a complete pleasure to work with him, the illustrators, and Zavier Cabarga in creating this latest contribution to the fantastic worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Zavier Leslie Cabarga, Book designer

Having previously designed books for Russ Cochran Publishing, Zavier Leslie Cabarga was our immediate choice for The Martian Legion: In Quest of Xonthron. We think you’ll agree he did a splendid job!

Zavier (“Leslie,” until recently) has been an illustrator, designer, and author since 1970. His many published books include The [Max] Fleischer Story, Progressive German Graphics, Dynamic Black and White Illustration, The Logo, Font & Lettering Bible, Topless Summer Love Girls, and Talks With Trees; A Plant Psychic’s Interviews with Vegetables, Flowers and Trees.

As an illustrator, Zavier’s work has appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Business Week, National Lampoon, and many other magazines. His corporate illustration clients included Sony, KLM Airlines, Random House, Simon & Shuster, Pepsi, AT&T, HBO, Showtime, General Foods, American Express, Ralston Purina, and Nintendo, for whom Zavier was the first to illustrate Donkey Kong and Mario for print advertising.

Cabarga’s work is included in the book The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, by Walt Reed (June 2001).

At the age of twelve, an interest in lettering surfaced, and he spent months copying logos and lettering out of magazines. At 16, he pieced together negatives of an alphabet he’d drawn to create a font for a photo lettering Typositer machine. By 1975 Cabarga was offering hand lettering and logo design services under the nom de plume Handy Lettering Company. By 1993 he had created the first of many successful computer fonts, including Raceway, Streamline, BadTyp, Casey Bold, and the ubiquitous Magneto Bold, which has already become a classic. Three of his fonts, Saber, Haarlem, and Jake Ultra adorn this volume.

Joe DeVito, Martian coin sculptor
Facebook: Joe DeVito-DeVito Artworks

Joe DeVito was born on March 16, 1957, in New York City. He graduated with honors from Parsons School of Design in 1981 and studied at the Art Students League in New York City. Over the years DeVito has painted many of the most recognizable 412 pop culture and pulp icons, including King Kong, Tarzan, Doc Savage, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, and various characters in World of Warcraft, with a decided emphasis in his illustration on dinosaurs, action adventure, SF, and fantasy. He has illustrated hundreds of book and magazine covers, painted several notable posters and numerous trading cards for the major comic book and gaming houses, and created concept and character design for the film and television industries.

DeVito sculpted the official 100th Anniversary limited edition statue of Tarzan of the Apes for the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate, The Cooper Kong limited edition for the Merian C. Cooper Estate, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman for Chronicle Books’ Masterpiece Editions, as well as several other notable pop and pulp characters.

An avid writer, Joe is also the co-author (with Brad Strickland) of two novels, which he illustrated as well. The first, Kong: King of Skull Island (DH Press) was published in 2004. The second book, Merian C. Cooper’s King Kong, was published by St. Martin’s Griffin, in 2005. He has also contributed many essays and articles to such collected works as Kong Unbound: The Cultural Impact, Pop Mythos, and Scientific Plausibility of a Cinematic Legend, and Do Android Artists Paint in Oils When They Dream? in Paint or Pixel: The Digital Divide in Illustration Art. Presently, DeVito is painting covers for The All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage (written by Will Murray), while also finishing the screenplay and developing imagery for his newest creation, a science fiction world of truly epic proportions tentatively titled The Primordials.

Tom Grindberg, Illustrator
Facebook: Tom Grindberg

Tom lives with his wife Mari and daughter Katie in Brooklyn, New York. His art career began at the age of eighteen when he was still living in the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase.

Tom’s first published work was illustrating political cartoons. This early success fired his desire to further pursue the field of art and publishing. As luck would have it, it wasn’t too long before he landed his first freelance work with both Marvel and DC Comics in 1981. During this time, he also worked in advertising alongside some of the industry’s best illustrators and graphic artists.

After leaving advertising, Tom devoted his full attention to the craft of storytelling and comic book publishing. Tom’s credits are varied and numerous. His DC work includes Action Comics, Batman, Detective Comics, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Secret Origins, and Teen Titans. His Marvel Comics work includes the Avengers, Daredevil, Marvel Team-Up, Punisher, Savage Sword of Conan, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Thor, and X-Factor. His cover work includes Judge Dredd and other popular British titles, plus covers for classic pulp fiction characters such as Airboy and Phantom Detective, and numerous painted covers for both Marvel and DC Comics.

Tom’s work for Newsday, a Long Island, New York newspaper, earned a graphic design award from the Associated Press. Tom has also done extensive behind-the-scene character design and licensing for Marvel, DC Comics, and independent publishers. Further credits include computer game design, commercial interior designing for leading manufacturing companies, and even motion film work. Currently, Tom is illustrating the New Adventures of Tarzan, co-created with Roy Thomas and Jim Sullos, for Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.’s online comic site.

Tom has further exciting projects in the works, so stay tuned!

Michael C. Hoffman, Illustrator

Beginning a career as a freelance comics artist in 1982, Mike eventually worked for all the large publishers, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Pacific, and many others who have since disappeared, until reinventing himself as a self-publisher in the late 1990s. Since then he has created more artwork and concepts than seemingly possible for one person, including characters such as Tigress, Squid Girl, Octavia, Minister Sinister, and The Klumpp Family.

His Monster University music albums display multiple talents as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and arranger, selling thousands of copies, and are also the source of an animated cartoon program, again 100% Hoffman in content. Other music projects include albums of spaghetti western themes, tiki mood music, and the fictional Italian pop star that never was, Arturo Bastard, which he has acted to the hilt with custom-made guitars and outrageous costumes.

Driven by wanderlust, Mike has lived all over the U.S. and visited England and Europe many times. His work is collected worldwide, with thousands of original drawings and paintings sold via the internet, in addition to myriad prints, collected volumes, and instructional materials designed for artists at any skill level.

Most recently, Mike has turned his back on the immense body of his older works and continues to move into new territories creatively, such as authoring novels and experimenting with primitive and tribal arts. Currently, an independent documentary film is in production chronicling his long stay in fantasy art and his reasons for abandoning a successful and lucrative career.

Craig Mullins, Illustrator and Cover Artist

Craig Mullins is an internationally renowned concept designer, digital matte painter, and illustrator. He was born in Sacramento, CA in 1964. At the age of three, his family moved to Ohio where he lived until he returned to California to attend college at Pitzer College. After graduating, Craig went on to study product design and illustration at Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, CA, where he received his degree in illustration in 1989.

In 1991, Craig landed at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic where he was one of the first artists given access to Photoshop. While there, Craig was encouraged by its co-creator John Knoll to create an entire painting using only Photoshop. Though artists were beginning to use the software to create images by enhancing and manipulating photographs to great effect, and by combining film and digitally painted elements together to create digital matte paintings, Craig followed Knoll’s suggestion and began exploring the possibility of using Photoshop purely as a painting tool. His thirst for knowledge, strength as a traditional painter, and his ability to push the technology, resulted in Craig creating his own digital “brushes” and a signature “painterly” style that has come to be known as “Digital Speedpainting.” Twenty years later, Craig’s innovations continue to be emulated by artists around the world.

In 1995, DreamWorks Animation commissioned Craig to create a series of visual development paintings for their first animated feature, The Prince of Egypt. He used Photoshop to paint each painting digitally. The finished images made such an impact that Craig was hired to teach the DreamWorks artists how to paint using Photoshop. His pioneering work contributed greatly to creating a process that is now the standard in animation.

For the past 20 years, Craig has inspired artists from around the world, speaking and teaching from North America to the Far East. In recognition of his unique contribution to the world of digital art, he was unanimously awarded the inaugural EXPOSE Grand Master award in 2003 and, in 2009, ImagineFX named him as one of Fantasy & SciFi Digital Arts “Top 50 Most Inspirational Living Artists.”

Craig’s credits include: illustrations for Marvel Comics’ Halo Graphic Novel; concept design and digital matte painting work for film and animation (Matrix Revolutions, Final Fantasy, The Golden Compass, Narnia, and Tangled); computer games (Halo, Age of Empires 3, Fallout 3, Assassin’s Creed, and BioShock); illustration for book covers and magazines (Halo Encyclopedia, When Gravity Fails, Exile Kiss, and Playboy); limited edition posters and trading cards (“Revelations” for Assassin’s Creed, “1959” for BioShock, and World of Warcraft and Magic: The Gathering collectible cards).

In 2008 Craig’s work crossed over into the world of fine art when he was invited to work with French artist Pierre Huyghe for his exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Craig was also one of a select few artists commissioned to make traditional paintings of the Blizzard universe for Blizzard’s Gallery of Fine Art.

Craig works from his home studio in Hawaii where he lives with his wife Jennifer Oberg and their two daughters.