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The Diane Johnson Interview


The Diane Johnson Interview aka

The Interview with Corben Model

by SidSid Keränen
Copyright © 2002 Heart-Attack-Series, Ink!

Interview was made in March, April 2002.

“The Point Man”

Time 21.3.2002 18:26:41

I’ve got a following message from the Corben fan I’d never met before:

Att. SidSid Keränen
Sender Diane Johnson
Title Richard Corben
Dear Sidi,
What a great website, Thank You!!

I was wondering if you might be able to help me out. I am looking for certain items of Richard Corben, and found one on the cover of a French magazine. It is the cover called “The Three Graces”, on L’Echo des Savanes Spécial USA #25 French Magazine, the first one on the French magazine under Portfolios [that pict is from French web site, not mine – which leads me thinking is the great web site, mine or that French one… -SidSid’s subnote]. Is there any way to purchase this French Magazine with this cover? I emailed the site, but it looks like they don’t sell anything. I also checked Ebay, with no luck on this particular item.

I was the model for Richard for this painting, and would Love to have a copy of this cover on a French magazine!!!

Please let me know if you can help me out!!

And because of this message we run into a conversation of her modelling for Richard Corben. I asked if I can put our (edited) messages out on my web site. She liked that idea.

Time 26.3.2002 21:58:12

Att. SidSid Keränen
Sender Diane Johnson
Title Re: Richard Corben
Hi Sid Sid!
Yes, Thank You, I already have a copy of the Heavy Metal, Best of Richard Corben from Creepy & Eerie with “The Three Graces” in it. I was looking for that picture for a long time and was thrilled to find it in print!!

Are you a professional model? How did Mr. Corben find you? Did you model for him a long period, or the other projects?

No, I modelled for Mr. Corben for one session only, which he was doing a series of artwork for. This painting, “The Three Graces”, was originally done for a book cover called The Ophiuchi Hotline. It was supposed to reprint with a Corben’s cover, however I don’t believe it was ever reprinted and the only copies have a Boris cover. John Varley is the author. Another painting from this session which I modeled for was for an another book cover called The Point Man, by Stephen Englehart. And, thirdly, the session was also done for some work in Den II.

How did you meet him as a person/artist?

I met Richard Corben when I was working in a local Art Supply Store, and a fellow co-worker was friends with him. Richard had asked him to ask me if I would be interested in modeling for him. HECK YEAH!!!!! Richard was a very shy type of person, same as me, and it made me very nervous, even just talking to him, let alone modeling. So that’s probably why it was a one time deal for me.

I happened to know that Mr. Corben uses a lot of photos during drawing. Is that so?

Yes, he did. It was great because back then, he only lived a couple of blocks away from my folks’s house. So it was right in my own neighbourhood, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Do you follow his comics/art prints? Do you keep in touch with him (prob. not if you ask that pict from me)?

Occasionally, I would run into Richard at some of the local Art Shows, but it has been many, many years since I have seen him; I don’t even know if he still lives here. One day, I may try to check it out!

And it looks like you found what you were looking for, the name of that French Magazine, L’Echo des Savanes Spécial USA #25.

If you do find a way to track down a copy of the French Magazine with the “Three Graces” cover, please holler!!!


Time 27.3.2002 18:57:05

Att. SidSid Keränen
Sender Diane Johnson
Title Re: Richard Corben
Hello Sid Sid!

Do you have any idea where in Den II he used your posing picts?

I am not entirely sure about Den II, since I have not seen the whole thing, but I do know that I was Muuta in some of the chapters. I would like to find the Den II ‘s that I’m in.

Thanks, Sid,

Time 3.4.2002 22:55:51

Att. SidSid Keränen
Sender Diane Johnson
Title Re: Richard Corben
Dear SidSid,
Hi! I already have a copy of the book “The Point Man” with his cover on it.

As far as Den II, I’m of course, not in all of it, only maybe one or two chapters, and that’s what is making it hard for me to track down which ones.

Did you met Mr. Corben’s wife, Donna? Or their daughter, Beth? They worked all three together in Mr. Corben’s last projects, DenSaga and in some old stories what they transformed from B&W into full color, to reprint as extra stories in the end of DenSaga, or From the Pit, just before Fantagor Press collapsed.

No, I never meet Richard’s wife or daughter, though I heard nice things about them.

Did you make those modeling in Mr. Corben’s flat? I know he’s got drawing basement in his house (from where he used to not visit out too often, he said in the interview of early 80’s).

Yes, he lived in a very nice townhome with a basement which was his art studio. He had one part of it which he used for photography.

Did he ask you to pose in certain positions or did he show you sketches of how you suppoused to model for? Did he have clear pict of how you suppoused to get picts to be? Did you visit at his place to see how he developed paintings from your photos? You said you never saw Den II. Did you see him working on other picts?

He just directed me by “talking me through it”, telling me what to do. He already had a good idea of what he was looking for from the photographs. Then he would develop the photos there in his studio, and work from looking at the photos. I’d never got a change to see him actually painting, but I saw the finished paintings, which is how I knew about “The Three Graces”. It is my absolute favorite.

BTW, I’m thinking of to change my web server. I’m looking for new addressname for my web site. “Muuta” was one of possibilities (, because “Muuta” is from Den and it means also in Finnish as “something else” (I haven’t registered it yet).

Are you Finnish? I think if Muuta means “something else” in Finnish, that is a perfect name for a website of this kind!!!! That’s cool!!!!


Time 4.4.2002 9:09:00

Att. Diane Johnson
Sender SidSid Keränen SidSid Keränen
Title Re:
Richard Corben

Hey, have you seen Richard’s Art Books [Volume 1] and 2? I have not seen either of these books and was wondering if “The Three Graces” is in either one of these, or the Flights into Fantasy book.

“The Three Graces” is in Art Book Vol. 2 on pg 27, that’s why I asked if you were on the opposite page (pg 26) sketch. “The Point Man” is neither of books. Both books are – I think – still kind of available, though Fantagor Press does not print them anymore. That means they will be soon hard to find. I’ve got both of them.

In Flights into Fantasy “The Three Graces” is on pg 175 and “The Point Man” on 179. This books is almost impossible to get nowadays. If you do get it, buy it! It’s rare thing to get. I never saw it by myself…

Time 17.5.2002 22:55:18

Att. SidSid Keränen
Sender Diane Johnson
Title Re: Richard Corben
Dear Sidsid,
Hi, I’m so glad that you emailed me again! This aol mail deleted your mail, so I was going to write to you again anyway.

First, I wanted to Thank You for letting me know which Corben Books the “The Three Graces” are in; I was able to buy the Corben Art Book II, and a portfolio, Corben Classics, Set Two, with a print of “The Point Man”, so now all I need is Flights into Fantasy.

Besides Mr. Corben’s Indian and kinds, or his animal paintings and drawings, he does quite a few “realistic” paintings. I mean, there’s always horror/fantasy/science fiction aspect in his works. “The Point Man” has, to be frank, quite a little of any above.

Speaking of “The Point Man”, yes, I understand exactly what you mean as far as Mr. Corben’s Art, “The Point Man” is pretty “boring” compared to what he normally does!!! I don’t mean that in a bad way, it is just very obviously different than what he normaly does.

What kind of garment you’ve got on on it? Did you wear any wig?

While posing for “The Point Man”, I was wearing a [bed] sheet, like a toga.

I do not know if he uses wigs for his models, I did not wear any, though he did change my hair color in the paintings (see, a blond in “The Three Graces”).

So, again, Thank You, and write me back!!!

“The Three Graces”


Att. SidSid Keränen
Time 14.3.2003 21:35:24
Sender Diane Johnson
Title Re: “Three Graces”

Are you still interested of that FRENCH print [L’Echo des Savanes Spécial USA #25] of cover art “Three Graces”.

ABSOLUTELY!!! Yes Please!
Also, Les Savantes des Echo, is going to be at the Comic convention in England in May. It is not possible for me to go, tho they may have it.

Time 3.11.2006 06:04:35

Att. SidSid Keränen
Sender Diane Johnson
Title: What an AWESOME website you have created!

Hi Sidi!
Just a note to let you know that Richard Corben was at the comic con here in K.C. last week, and he signed some stuff for me, including “Three Graces” poster.
I had not seen him in so long, he did recognize me, tho! He and his wife said that the original had sold, but could not think of who to (I would Love to know!).
Talk to ya soon,
P.S. I’m searching for L’Echo des Savanes Spécial USA #25. I really want to buy it still.

Copyright © 2006 Heart-Attack-Series, Ink!, SidSid Keränen
Created: 27th April 2002. Modified: July 20, 2015.

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