My first professional inking job was a few pages of Harriers, published by Entity Comics back in 1994. I inked Mark Vunkuykiat (did I spell that right?). It was then followed by two near-full issues of Aster: The Last Celestial Knight, where I inked Oliver Isabedra.
I was very young back then, at least very young in my career in comics. I had been very excited working in local comics (I had already finished illustrating several stories for local komiks companies by this time), but I was even more excited to have something finally published in the US.
To be honest, I was so excited I would have been glad to do it for free. Sadly, this kind of neophyte enthusiasm is something that could be taken advantage of in a variety of ways. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way. I never got back ANY of my inked original art for anything I worked on for Entity. There was a 2-page spread pin up of ASTER that I freely gave to my boss, but I never gave anyone permission to keep my other originals. They were just simply GONE.
I completely forgot about it until someone approached me a few days ago to tell me he had bought all the pages of Harriers from a local seller. I won’t name names here because I think the buyer is an innocent party, and we really didn’t talk about who the seller was.
After all this time, I’m not after any of these pages anymore. I consider those pages simply a victim of my inexperience and foolishness.
But to anyone who was in possession of these pages before it was sold, and who may still be holding the Aster pages, you have to know that some of them are NOT rightfully yours. You are in possession of it because someone DID NOT RETURN IT TO US. I say some of the pages only because I don’t know if Mark or Oliver, or maybe even Jay Anacleto, Michael V, and Leinil Francis Yu (who all did work for Entity the same time I did) got back any of their originals so I can speak only for my inked share of the artwork.
I hope you younger artists who are reading this, learn from my experience. This certainly won’t the hell happen to me anymore, and I certainly hope this doesn’t happen to you.