Al Rio Tribute Art Book Volume Three: Interview with Terry Maltos

Al Rio Tribute Art Book Volume Three: Interview with Terry Maltos by Jerry Whitworth

The third volume of the Al Rio Tribute Art Book series has come to Kickstarter and it will be collecting work from the late artist’s 2008 portfolio. As with the past two crowdfunding campaigns, past volumes are available which are products of limited runs (meaning the only available copies of the first book are in fine condition with minor marks limited to only 60 remaining at the start of the campaign). Nerdfect Strangers had the opportunity to communicate with Al Rio’s friend and business partner Terry Maltos who is running the campaign for the eighty-page art book on behalf of the artist’s family.

Nerdfect Strangers: For those who maybe unfamiliar with Al Rio, would you tell us a little bit about him? Also, what was your relationship with him and how did you meet?

Terry Maltos: Al Rio was an artist from Fortaleza, Brazil. He was born in 1962 and died at the end of January in 2012. His real, full name was Álvaro Araújo Lourenço do Rio. I called him Álvaro. I also called him my friend. “Al Rio” drew for many of the major publishers over his career. From Malibu to WildStorm and Image, Dark Horse Comics, Chaos Comics, DC, Marvel, Crossgen, Harris Comics… and the list goes on.

I’m sorry to say I never met Álvaro in person. We talked by phone through the help of a good friend of mine who is originally from Brazil but mostly communicated by email. I grew to work with him from being a fan! I wrote to him directly with the help of that same friend, talking about his amazing artwork. We kept in touch regularly because we liked what each other was doing (I was running an online links directory for comic book artists at the time).

NS: You’re currently running a crowdfunding campaign for the third volume in the Al Rio Tribute Art Book series. Would you tell us a bit about what goes into these campaigns and what have you learned from running the first two successful such campaigns?

TM: It’s more work than it seems! For me, it’s 1. Figuring out the finances (printing costs, shipping costs, taxes, fees, materials, etc.) 2. Gathering the images 3. Preparing the campaign on Kickstarter 4. Revising, reworking based on feedback from others 5. Launching and hoping it catches on enough to meet the goal! I’m two for two so far, but that doesn’t mean I’m not worried about this one not reaching its goal. You can just never tell. Because the goal is higher due to rising costs, the number of backers I need this time is significantly more.

NS: In the past two campaigns, the first volume covered years 2003-2005 and second volume years 2006-2007. For the current campaign, it’s collecting work from 2008. Why only one year this time around?

TM: There were just so many good images! Al was so prolific by this time, sending a huge box of brand new art every single month. I hated to cut out so many great images just to fit the size of the book. So 2008 gets its own book.

NS: What art will the upcoming book collect? Published pieces? Commissions? Marvel? DC?

TM: Mostly commissions, some published covers, and lots of sexy original pin-ups he did for the “Signature Tags” craze from that year. Some cover prelims too. Full color and black and white.

NS: I understand proceeds from sales of these books help support the late Al Rio’s family. Would you speak a little on your relationship with them and the financial impact caused by the loss of Al Rio?

TM: Although Kickstarter isn’t a charity and we can’t advertise the books funds as going to help his family, yes, sales of the book directly help Álvaro’s widow and children. I speak to his widow regularly because I still regularly sell art and prints to help raise money for them. As you can imagine, the financial impact on them was huge. Projects like this help give her a needed boost of money. I’m going to try to have this campaign finished, printed and shipped by the end of October so I can get a payout from Kickstarter in time for Christmas!

NS: What reward tiers are being offered and what comes with each pledge? What is the funding goal and are there any planned stretch goals?

TM: For that, you just need to see the Kickstarter Page here. Basically, it’s Volume 3 (the new one), or you can buy Volumes 2 and 3, or you can buy Volumes 1, 2 and 3. Plus there are original art add-ons to buy. Stretch goals are up in the air. I have a button magnet planned but am looking around for something else unique and light weight. I love surprising people with lots of little extras in their Kickstarter package when they get it – no matter how great we did in the end.

The campaign for the Al Rio Tribute Art Book Volume Three ends September 9, 2018 on Kickstarter. Any upcoming news about Al Rio’s work and the crowdfunding campaign can be find on the late artist’s website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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