The above sketch is the only visual I drew of the birth of The Purple Heart when co-creator/writer Vito Delsante and I started to conceive what we wanted to do with the series and how it would serve the New Brooklyn Universe (NuBKU). We imagined The Purple Heart to be a version of NuBKU's "Silver Surfer," an avatar for Brooklyn's broken heart; a "Green Lantern" guardian of its citizens who eventually brokers hope in a "brave new world." I saw the heart of Brooklyn as a bizarre meteorite with a huge crack in it emitting purple psychedelia, not unlike Jack Kirby's "the source" in his fourth world NEW GODS comics. Where The Red Hook picks up one year after "the great secession" of Brooklyn, The Purple Heart shows what happened that year.
When Vito showed me an older collaboration he did with Portuguese artist Ricardo Venancio, I couldn't imagine another person designing and fully realizing The Purple Heart. Ricardo's art, colors, and storytelling is a revelation. I was honored when he decided to join our mission. If my series, The Red Hook, was inspired by Alex Toth, Will Eisner and Jack Kirby comics akin to the 1960s, The Purple Heart was going to feel somewhat like a modern version of Jim Starlin, Steve Englehart, and Steve Gerber comics from the 1970s, with the late Seth Kushner and Shamus Beyale's The Brooklynite (with additional art by Jason Goungor), stylistically picking up where the 1980s left off at the tail end of our first season trifecta.
Despite a couple of unfortunate breaks in production, this week brings The Purple Heart season one to its conclusion and I couldn't be more proud of our collaboration. A true exchange of ideas caramelized into something neither of us could have created on our own. Big Ups to our LINE Webtoon editor, Tom Akel, who believed in NuBKU when we presented it to him.
Please enjoy The Purple Heart, season one finale: http://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-purple-heart/ch-26/viewer?title_no=723&episode_no=26
And, if you haven't read it yet, you can start right here: http://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-purple-heart/ch-1/viewer?title_no=723&episode_no=1
Check out this Smash Pages interview with Vito Delsante about The Purple Heart: http://smashpages.net/2017/07/11/smash-pages-qa-vito-delsante-on-the-purple-heart/