Monday, July 9, 2012

Creator: Byron Preiss

April 11, 1953 – July 9, 2005

How I Met Byron Preiss
by Alex Jay

Eighty percent of success is showing up.*
—Woody Allen

I was familiar with Byron’s book series Weird Heroes and Fiction Illustrated. In the summer of 1977, Tony Salmons and I drove from Casa Grande, Arizona to San Diego, California to attend the annual Comic-Con. At the time, I was a graphic design major at Arizona State University, and I wanted to share my portfolio with Frank Cirocco, Brent Anderson and Gary Winnick, aspiring comic book artists whom we met a few years earlier.

Soon after we checked in at the El Cortez Hotel, we got a call from one of them who said to come to their room now because Byron was going to be there to look at their work; Byron was at the con to promote his latest project, Empire, by Samuel Delany and Howard Chaykin, and to look for new talent. We arrived at their room and placed our portfolios on the bed. Byron showed up and after the introductions, he looked through the portfolios. My portfolio was the last one, and he asked who did the work. I said it was mine and mentioned I was moving to New York City in the Fall. Byron gave his card to me and said to call him.

This was completely unexpected, a chance meeting that changed the direction of my life and career. I moved to New York City on October 1, 1977, and in due time, called Byron and got my first assignment, a lettering job for the story, “The Furies”, for the Illustrated Roger Zelazny book. That was the beginning of nearly 25 years of creative work for Byron.

Wikiquote; scroll down to to the paragraph just above Getting Even (1971).

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