Issue #20

Hello, comic fans, and welcome to the finale of "Comic Book Idol." I'm your host J. Torres. And without further ado, it is my honor and pleasure to introduce you to the first-ever Comic Book Idol…

Congratulations, Partick Scherberger

of Glendale, Arizona!

In Round 1, the art assignment was to do a character design of a Greco-Roman god and present it in a model sheet. Patrick's Hephaestus was a fan-favorite and he finished in second place out of ten with 15% of the vote in our first poll of the competition…

In Round 2, contestants were asked to draw a pin-up for the Oni Press comic book "Queen & Country." When the voting was done Patrick finished first out of eight with 20% of the vote. And not only did he wow the fans with his entry, but also Oni Editor-In-Chief and CBI Judge Jamie S. Rich who offered to publish his pin-up in an upcoming issue of the series…

In Round 3, Patrick finished second out of six, but he was not going to give up that number one spot for long. His cover design for CrossGen's "Route 666" earned him 18% of the vote that week…

In Round 4, Patrick once again finished first in the poll. This time he beat out the other "final four" contestants by garnering 28% of the vote. He did that with this one-page "quick change" entry featuring the Punisher…

Finally, in Round 5, Patrick's three-page diner scene ensured him the title that many had been saying for weeks was already his…

Although, for the first time in this competition, voter turn out did not exceed the previous week's, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Patrick was to be our Comic Book Idol from the very beginning of the of the 24-hour poll. Perhaps that's part of the reason not as many people voted this week? In any event, here's how things ended up…

Once again, here is what Partick has won along with the distinction of being named the first-ever Comic Book Idol:

1. A short story assignment written by Ron Marz and art directed by Bart Sears to be published as a back-up story in CrossGen's "The Path" issue #24. Stay tuned to this column for some exclusive preview pages from this upcoming project!

2. The opportunity to produce a comic strip for the Oni Press website "Sunday Comics" feature, which in the past has had contributions from Brian Michael Bendis, Judd Winick, Paul Dini and others. And, hey, I've got a few strips in that joint myself!

3. Marvel EIC Joe Quesada personally handing his art samples to the Epic submissions editors for review.

4. The chance to draw a pin-up for an upcoming issue of "CVO: Artifact" from IDW Publishing, inked and art directed by series creator Alex Garner.

"From the competition's first round, it was pretty obvious to me that Patrick was the class of Comic Book Idol," writes Ron Marz. "Other contestants might have had a little more flash, but Patrick was the one who consistently showed he could draw, the one who was the most ready for pro work. I couldn't be happier with the way the voting turned out, and I'm looking forward to working with Patrick on his story for 'The Path.' He'd better start gathering his samurai reference!"

"I think Patrick deserves to be the winner of this contest," writes Alex Garner. "As I stated before in my earlier critiques, I feel he shows the most immediate potential to become a pro. He does need to iron out a few things here and there, but I would say he's very, very close. I look forward to inking a 'CVO' pinup of his pencils and seeing what comes of it!"

"Patrick Scherberger was probably the easiest mark for the one that would go all the way," writes Jamie Rich. "His stuff wasn't always perfect, but sometimes the best way to recognize talent is to grab the artist when he or she is just about there. If you wait until they're 100%, chances are someone else will beat you to it! I expect him to end up on a mainstream monthly sometime soon - but I'll be able to say I published him first. His pin-up will be in 'Queen & Country' #18 in two weeks!"

As for Jonathan Hickman… don't feel too bad for him. He may have come second in this contest, but he's first in a lot of people's books. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you haven't heard the last of this very talented artist. My guess is that you'll see more of him in the coming years than that Clay Aiken dude. Congratulations on getting this far, Jonathan. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to the contest, and for helping make it as fun and exciting as it was!

Also, a super special thanks to our regular panel of judges Joe Quesada, Jamie S. Rich and Ron Marz for taking time out of their busy schedules to critique the contestants' art, impart some comic book wisdom, and even crack wise now and then for some laughs. For many people, your color commentary was what made this whole thing entertaining, and even educational. "Comic Book Idol" would not have been the same without you!

A big, big thank you also to our guest judges Scott Shaw! (column, Web site), Darick Robertson, Erik Larsen, Alex Garner, and Todd Nauck. The expert feedback you gave our artists was invaluable to them. And, I owe you all!

Thanks to CrossGen Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Marvel Comics, and Oni Press for furnishing our fabulous prizes.

Thanks to Greg Rucka, Bill Rosemann, Ted Adams, Ron Phillips, Ryan Scott, Arune Singh and everyone at CBR, especially Augie De Blieck Jr. and Jonah Weiland for helping me run this thing, stay sane, and have fun the whole time despite the ups and downs, unexpected snafus, and all those late night hours. Augie and Jonah, you guys are my idols! If people only knew what went on behind the scenes. :)

Lastly, thanks to everyone who came to the party (especially those I should have but forgot to mention by name)… whether you were a forum regular, a weekly voter, or one of the thousands of viewers who chose to just watch the exciting events unfold… THANK YOU. This contest was bigger than we could have expected and it's all thanks to you for supporting the contestants, spreading the word, and spending all that time in front of your computers. You may pull away from the desk now and be productive once again.

So, is that it? No more "Comic Book Idol"? No compilation CD? No concert tour? Not quite…

Next week, I bring back some of the contestants for a round table discussion about the competition, the "controversies," and the comments from the peanut gallery. They'll be bringing some new art to share with the class, too. You don't want to miss that!

And, yes, we'll be making some special announcements, including... nah, you'll just have to wait.

Related Links:

Next week: A conversation with some of our contestants.

Meanwhile, visit the Open Your Mouth forum for the advanced buzz on some of my upcoming columns, comics, and... contests?

Thank you for your attention.

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