Comic Previews “Apocalypse Girl #1”

By Les Garner

Hey there, I’m Les L. Garner. My journey in the art world has been quite the rollercoaster. Beginning as a wide-eyed 19-year-old from Appalachia, I relocated to just outside of NYC in the Spring of 1993 to pursue a career drawing comic books. While I did manage to get my start, it led me through a lot of different places and industries like 3D modeling and animation, advertising, gaming, film, and software development.

Roughly three decades later, that came full circle back to comics with the release of my book Apocalypse Girl. From starting out hustling sketches in Central Park, NYC to teaching myself 3D modeling and animation in the days of DOS, I’ve built my business out of a combination of the two. Through the years, I’ve worn many hats—from graphic designer to animation director, writer and illustrator, to software developer.

One of the highlights of my career was founding Sixus1 Media, a hub for freelance design, art direction, illustration, and animation. It’s been a wild ride, collaborating with small studios to corporate giants like IBM and Formula One Racing, even directing and animating a music video for Judas Priest at one point.

While all those years of working in related fields were interesting, deep down I always wanted to come back to comics. That desire turned into the development of my book, Apocalypse Girl, where I was not just an artist but the writer, penciller, inker, letterer, colorist, and cover painter. This brought me back to my first love—comic books. After having left the industry in many ways in the late ’90s, it felt good to kind of come back home.

In the time since then, the amount of comic book work that I do has grown. I produced an issue of Johnny Saturn for writer Scott Story (formerly of Image Comics) and a variety of horror shorts. In 2023, I began to work closely with writer Rich Davis, providing the A covers and B cover variants for his series Prometheus in Chains (Red 5 Comics), as well as producing cover paintings and interior art for Reign of Dracula (some of which is still in production), the third installment in his World of Dracula series.

Right now, we’re getting ready to kick off the Kickstarter for Homestead, a werewolf story set during the westward expansion and featuring quite a bit of Lakota Indian lore, written by Dirk Manning and published by Source Point Press. At the time of publication, the campaign should be underway.

Homestead, in particular, is a special project to me. I had just completed the first issue of it when I had a double ice-skimmic stroke that left me fully left-side paralyzed in February of ’23. I continued working in many ways from my iPad doing digital pencils while in the hospital, then inked those when I returned to my studio. Thankfully, my right arm was not affected by the stroke, so through the rehab, I never stopped working. I was told I’d never walk again or use my left arm, but at this point, I walk just fine and have about 80% of the function of that arm back, with a strong prognosis for a full recovery.

At the moment, I have a variety of things currently in production, including a book about Elizabeth Bathory, the second volume of Apocalypse Girl, as well as a few non-comic book projects like art and sculpting for a couple of different tabletop games. I’m also launching a Kickstarter soon for a Tarot deck that I recently completed, based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

I appreciate Mike and Mindy offering me the spot in this magazine to share some of my work, and as I’m ramping up appearances at shows this year, I hope to see some of you there.

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