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STUDIO TOURS: Joe Quesada

This week, I'm excited to announce a new series of articles on CBR called STUDIO TOURS! Quite simply, we're asking comic creators of all sorts to let us into their sanctuary - their studio/office - and show us around.

I've always been fascinated by the design and layout of my favorite writers and artists offices. I've visited a number of creator studios and they run the gamut of sparsely decorated offices with simple set-ups and little distractions, to intricately designed and laid out studios filled with art, books, toys, computers, drafting tables, video games, you name it. What's true in all cases is the work space is set-up in such a manner as to foster as comfortable an environment as possible for the creator to work in. From visiting these studios over the years, I've picked up on suggestions for my own office, whether it be a specific sectional desk, layout ideas or a creative way in which to hang art. It's always fun to see what happens behind the curtain, as it were, and I'm glad we've got the chance to take our readers into some great studios.

To celebrate the launch of this new series, we're going to bring you three different studios this week, then go to a weekly format beginning next Wednesday and every Wednesday after that. We think you'll enjoy this look behind the curtain into the creative process.

Are you a comics creator who'd like to show off your digs? Drop me an e-mail and let's talk about scheduling a look at your studio.

Before I introduce our first participant, I'd like to thank B. Clay Moore for his help and support in getting the STUDIO TOURS series off the ground.

Allright, to start things, the owner of our first studio really needs no introduction - Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada. I remember picking up the first issue of 1992's "The Ray" mini-series from DC Comics and was hooked on Joe's style, but it was his work on "Batman: Sword of Azrael" that turned me into a life-long fan. Since then he's worked for both Marvel and DC, ran his own publishing company with Jimmy Palmiotti in Event Comics, created the Marvel Knights imprint at Marvel and finally moving on to the EiC position at Marvel. While Joe's duties as EiC mean he spends less time behind the drawing table than he used to, Joe can still be found contributing variant covers and the occasional series when time permits.

Joe eagerly accepted my invitation to let readers into his home studio. Joe sat in his studio and took pictures in the round and went one step further - he Photoshopped those images together to create a panorama that really gives you a good sense of what the room is like. It occurred to me that for some, loading that image and scrolling back and forth might be cumbersome, so I asked my friend Lori Shannon for some help. Among the many hats Lori wears, she's quite expert at creating Quicktime VR videos. So, I asked if there was anything she could do with the panorama that Joe sent us. She took apart Joe's photos, reassembled them and created a QTVR out of that panorama that'll help give you a feeling for what it would be like to stand in the middle of Joe's studio. So, now you have your choice of a close-up look at the panorama, or one you can move around in. Thanks, Lori!

So, before I hand things over to Joe, I want to thank him for agreeing to participate and launch this new series. We'll be back on Wednesday with a look at "PvP" creator Scott Kurtz's studio and again on Friday as artist Frank Cho takes us into his lair.

Allright, here's Joe!

Well, Jonah, here it is, just as you requested, some pics of my studio at home. While my immediate impulse was to straighten up a bit, I figured that if what CBR was looking for was a real inside look, then why cheat the fans and misrepresent my sloppiness. By the way, for those who are wondering, I'm actually considered freakishly neat by most artists I've met. Okay, lets get on with this.

The first series of shots make an in-the-round view, standing right in front of my drawing table in the center of my studio from my point of view. You'll have to scroll right to left to get the effect.

A > Here's the entrance, there's a big pocket sliding door that's open at the moment so any sort of riff-raff can wander in, I'll explain in a bit. By the way, in the background behind the door is the deployment area for Christmas central. In other words, where my wife is wrapping, packing and shipping presents while also preparing for our tree trimming party.

B > Lots of junk, including a change machine, a bag of spare light bulbs, a framed Mucha print, some old Warner Bros. cartoon sculpts and a remote control hovercraft (don't ask).

C > The upper bookcase contains, well, books (mostly reference), a Hubie Brooks game worn autographed hat, some assorted sculpts from Marvel characters to Underdog and Wallace and Gromit plush toys.

D > TV, Kabuki sculpt, model planes built by my dad and a Playstation that I think I've used twice.

E > My life size mannequin that my daughter christened Pinocchio (that's a microphone stand with windscreen in front of him), more books, more models and my only window to the outside world, which will be sealed off by next year as they put a brand new building right up against it.

F > My home recording studio, Boris Karloff's Frankenstein death mask, more sculpts and books and the little poster behind the mixing board is a reproduction of the circus poster John Lennon was looking at that inspired him to write, "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite."

G > Tons more reference books and the best Captain America sculpt ever (I believe based on a Ron Garney design). Behind Cap, and you can't quite get the effect in this picture, is the eternal burning, uh, plasma disc, errrr, flame? Okay, it screams, "fanman," but it really does look cool in person. No, seriously it does. Stop laughing.

H > The copier and Lobo's ass by Glen Fabry.

I > Okay, here's where the real business gets done, this is my wife Nanci's portion of the studio, while immensely neater than me by a long shot, within the confines of this room, she's a slob. Yet, somehow she's the most organized person I know.

J > Just more assorted junk. Right below this area is my daughter's slice of the studio.

K > Family photos, bound books, more junk and toys and a couple of P.O.s for some freelance advertising work.

L > The last remaining bit of unused space in the studio. I call it, "wall." My computer rig underneath it.

M > An original W.W.II poster encouraging Americans to buy War Bonds and a photo tree.

N > And now we're back at the start, yay!

Wednesday - Scott Kurtz!

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