The "I can't possibly afford you" pro was willing to make a deal. Then he saw the inks: "The work is indeed exemplary. The lead character has a great "Huntress" like feel to her, and the artist is very talented. [followed by, upon receiving the 300dpi page] ...page looks 10 times better even than the small online preview. ...I've toyed around with a few high rez McFarlane inked pieces I've got before, and the inks from your artist remind me a LOT of his ink work. I really like the art in other words :)"
Another pro said: "nice art! yes! I'd love to work with you on this!" (My rough translation: SQUEE!)
They're both doing audition pages for me. I've also got no fewer than four (and it may turn out to be more, in the end) talented amateurs (and maybe another pro or two in there, not sure) doing test pages. I expect I'll get Ardian's opinion on the colors, and perhaps I'll post 'em for all of you to consider, though odds are good I'll have an immediate favorite to go with.
I do believe I'm looking at an October 1 submission date. *rah*!
I have no other news. :)