“Amazing” is just one of the many words writer, director and producer Lia Scott Price used to describe Missouri Western art students Andrew Setter and Chad Hammontree.
Setter, who is a printmaking major but insists he is the only illustration major, made an account on freelance.com and started applying for jobs all over the place. Finally one stuck.
Price, who has her own production company in California, hired Setter to create a comic book of her novel “Lia Scott Price’s Serial Killer and Vampire Guardian Angels ™” in January 2012. The storyline is about a disillusioned guardian angel that becomes a serial killer by persuading people to commit suicide. Setter explained it to be a mix between the movies “Legion” and “30 Days of Night.”
Price is also known for her movies “Normal, California” and “Dominion,” in which actor Rainn Wilson appears.
Price said Setter was the first to reply to her job offering, so she gave him a phone interview as well as had him send her some of his work.
“When I saw [Andrew’s] portfolio, it exceeded my expectations because of the care and detail that actually went into it,” Price said. “I showed it to other comic book artists I know in California, and they were impressed.”
After Price hired Setter, he decided he needed a partner. Setter turned to his close friend of three years, Hammontree, who is one of the best graphic design majors that will graduate from Western, Setter said. Price said taking on Hammontree added a whole new level.
“It’s outside of the box; it’s out of the norm,” Hammontree said. “I’m having fun with it now because I’m not just doing corporate logos or cut and dry boring stuff. It’s fun to dabble in different areas in art.”
While Setter is about the illustration, Hammontree is more of a “colorist.”
Here is the process: Setter renders the illustration in pencil and inks it; Hammontree helps ink it, too. Then they digitize it by scanning it in at high resolution, add color through digital painting and Photoshop, and then add the text. Next they save it under the right format, send it to Price and then wait for her critique.
One of Price’s biggest demands is reliability, and she said she’s never had to worry with Setter and Hammontree. They call and text her all the time for updates, which they did before she ever had to ask.
“I’ve never worked with anybody who was so on the ball,” Price said.
The senior art students also think very highly of Price, saying she’s very professional, open and has given Setter a lot of leeway to how he wants to illustrate the characters.
“She’s definitely not one of those dick-ish bosses,” Setter said. “She’s a genuinely caring boss that actually cares about you, so that’s really awesome.”
Setter and Hammontree’s ultimate goal in life is to work for themselves, which is why they want to start their own creative studio business in Kansas City. They want to hire students from Western and give them the opportunities they were not given before Price’s. They said Price has given them a lot of good advice, and this job will be a good kickstart.
“It’s just a stepping stone to hopefully more people will like the work, and we’ll get noticed more because that’s what you have to do in the art world,” Setter said. “It’s like a cascading effect—when one person sees your work, more people will see your work, and this [job] will help out immensely, I think.”
Neither Setter nor Hammontree have done anything like this before; this is their first real job. Setter and Hammontree could go from students to perhaps well-known artists, all thanks to freelance.com, which is why they encourage other students to sign up for a freelance.com account.
As for now, the current comic book should be published sometime in April. There are teasers on Facebook, and it has gotten attention from CNN. To see more, click www.horrorsociety.com/2012/02/14/exclusive-sneak-peek-of-upcoming-web-comic-by-lia-scott-price/.
“I am just amazed at how fast [Andrew] has worked, amazed at the passion he puts into it,” Price said. “He really got into the characters and was so into the whole story, which to me is very important because I know he understands the goal and vision.”
Price said they are welcome to be her official artists, and would like to have them illustrate her other two books into graphic novels, which should be finished in October.
Setter and Hammontree look forward to hopefully getting to be a part of the San Diego Comic-Con and Horror-Con. Price knows the seats next to her won’t be empty.
“They will definitely be in the booths with me when we get to that point.”