Jason Latour, artist on the Mignola-verse titles Sledgehammer 44 and B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror, has posted the image below to his blog, and it’s a doozy. His work on those two Hellboy spinoffs has been under-praised, pitched perfectly between the contributions made to Dark Horse’s flagship line by the likes of Guy Davis and Duncan Fegredo. This composition was produced as badge designs and
program cover an exclusive print for this year’s HeroesCon, which as Latour points out, has been an ambition of his for most of his life. That’s another one scratched off the bucket list.
Close-ups of several of these panels can be seen at Latour’s Instagram feed, in various stages of completion. He’s on something of a hot streak as an artist and a writer these last couple of years. I don’t buy that many Marvel comics these days, but his presence on Winter Soldier sold it to me. I’ll miss it, but here’s hoping he makes his way back to Dark Horse for more digging around in Mignola’s sandbox.
Butcher Billy, Brazilian king of the pop culture/comic book mash-up, is at it again. This time, it’s reimagining some of the key figures of post-punk and New Wave as the Justice League. Billy defines the dichotomy behind these images as “real people or imaginary characters, the incorruptible ideals of perfect superheroes or the human flaws and desires sometimes so desperately depicted in song lyrics.”
There’s some good likenesses there, but my favorite bit is when he Photoshops his designs onto T-shirts worn by his original models. I really can’t see the famously curmudgeonly Morrissey approving of being compared to a corporate flagship alpha male like Superman. That said, didn’t Mark Waid rewrite DC Comic continuity to make Clark Kent a vegetarian? Dunno if that still stands, though. There have been at least two reboots since Birthright, haven’t there?
We’re still waiting on find out how Phil Coulson came back from that fatal impalement in The Avengers movie to star in the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, but hisseemingly inability to die is being played up by an up-and-coming indie artist.
Samir Barrett has put the Coulson character side by side with Die Hard‘s John McClane in a fully rendered pin-up that should get your fanboy (or fangirl) heart pumping:
Yuko Shimizu recently posted a gallery of amazing science fiction-style art at the portfolio site Behance. A couple were covers for the Vertigo series The Unwritten, but most consisted of book covers and illustrations that were too good not to share. Shimizu posts pictures of the unadorned illustrations beside shots of the images out in the wild, for context. As well as being a great illustrator, she’s an extremely talented designer.
My personal favorite after the jump may well be the Robert Crumb-referencing piece for a Fused TV magazine ad: Keep on space truckin’, indeed.
Real heroes know when to call for back-up. And popular webcomics artist Dean Trippe has done just that in a stunning cross-company pin-up featuring Batman and a young child meeting an ginormous assemblage of heroes from comics, television and movies. The illustration, titled “You’ll Be Safe Here,” is part of a larger project Trippe has been working on after his Oni Press graphic novel Power Lunch with J. Torres. (Full disclosure: I’m a friend of Trippe’s, and we work together on Project: Rooftop, but he didn’t solicit me to write about this.)
The pin-up is startling in the sheer number of familiar faces you see, but also in terms of the wardrobe each wears: The Fantastic Four are there, but in their white Future Foundation garb, alongside the 2099 variation of Spider-Man and the classic ’80s rendition of Transformers‘ Optimus Prime. Trippe thoughtfully documented the process in a short video presentation. And for those at a loss to name every character in the pin-up, Trippe he also provided a guide.
I’m no polyglot. My understanding of the Spanish on the pages these images come from is regrettably all from Google Translate, but I do know “awesome” when I see it, in any language. Mexican artist José Quintero has produced a series of digital paintings inserting superhero iconography into classically influenced themes. There’s “Alegoría del superhombre,” based loosely upon Michelangelo‘s mural on the Sistine chapel, and painting the Superman on the left with the face of Friedrich Nietzsche; “Alegoria de David Vs Goliat,” inserting Spider-Man and Venom into a composition influenced by Caravaggio; and “Alegoria de San Jorge y el dragon,” replacing the saint from Joseph Boehm‘s statue with Batman.
There’s extensive galleries revealing Quintero’s processes at his Behance site.
Some people wear their influences on their sleeve, while others absorb it into their own style and, from time to time, shout it from the rooftops.
Jim Rugg is doing the latter in a stunning pin-up he created for the recent Extreme Comics fanzine Rub The Blood. Extreme is the brainchild of Rob Liefeld, whose divisive style earned him legions of fans, including it seems Rugg.
Rugg’s choices for which characters to display from Liefeld’s ouvre runs the gamut from his Marvel co-creation Cable to his creator-owned work like Youngblood‘s Chapel (done in a style reminiscent of Jae Lee’s take on the character) and solo stars Prophet, Bloodstrike: Assassin and Bloodwulf.
Sure, there was plenty of news released by just about every comic publisher over the weekend at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (as rounded up right here), but the most exciting thing I noticed about the convention was Dave Johnson’s Instagram feed going ballistic. If he produced a sketch for you at the event, chances are he recorded it for posterity on his phone and has posted it already. And if you’re really lucky, Eric Canete has logged in and made a daft gag about it, too.
Also below: the sexiest Death ever.
DC Comics has hired a slew of writers and artists in the wake of the New 52; someone has to do all those new books, right? But as you would expect, there are a lot of proposed pairings of creators and projects that were nixed before they saw print.
Earlier this week, Powers artist Michael Avon Oeming revealed artwork he had done for DC when he was in line to illustrate the recently launched Katana. Although DC ultimately went down a more realistic route with artist Alex Sanchez, these two pieces by Oeming are a bittersweet taste of what could’ve been.
Or, “Betty & Veronica & Brandon & Emily.”
Cartoonist Brandon Graham is well known for thinking about the mechanics of comics. Recently, he and fellow cartoonist Emily Carroll went about examining a throw-off five-page Betty & Veronica comic be redoing it in their own styles. The results? Marvelous.
Here’s the first page from each. If you’re enticed, click over to Graham’s blog post containing both full comics as well as the original Betty & Veronica comic they are based on.
In case you somehow overlooked the listing in Dark Horse’s July solicitations, Ryan Kelly is reteaming with frequent collaborator Brian Wood for a three-part arc on Star Wars, beginning with Issue 7. The duo previously worked together on Local, The New York Four and its sequel The New York Five, and arcs of Northlanders and DMZ.
Teasing his debut on Star Wars, which is set between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Kelly has previewed on Instagram his renditions of Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, C-3PO, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
Star Wars #7 arrives July 10.
Daniel Krall posted some typically amazing-looking design work for Doom Cannon at his Tumblr, and I’ve been racking my brain ever since trying to remember if it has ever been officially announced anywhere. We can tell it’s for Offset Comics, where he’s also working on Doublecross, because Ivan Brandon posted this in February, but it has yet to appear at their (already very juicy) list of ongoing projects.
Krall states that “it’s kind of a riff on teen robot pilot cartoons (Voltron, Evangelion, etc). Like most illustration types, I think character design is one of the best parts of the job.”
Very cool-looking work, and it kinda reminds me of how much I miss Sym-Bionic Titan, too.
Just spotted this via the blog at the Art of Simon Bisley fansite: Sculptor Avinash Hegde now has a Behance gallery. It still has a long way to go before it catches up with the cornucopia of delights that is his DeviantArt page, mind you. His work-in-progress of a Batman sculpt based on Simon Bisley’s work really captures the Biz’s style to a tee. It is however, extremely pointy, and should only be handled while wearing safety goggles.
You may have already heard about Orbital Comics’ Image Duplicator art show in London (probably via this piece at The Beat): This story is right in my wheelhouse, but I was resisting writing about it until there was a large enough stockpile of art from it to present here. The show is a reaction both to the recent Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at the city’s already-iconic Tate Modern gallery, and to the BBC’s coverage of the event (which I wrote about at the time elsewhere).
Dave Gibbons is a long-standing critic of Lichtenstein (you can find footage online of him complaining about what he calls Lichtenstein’s “dishonesty” from as far back as 1993). Gibbons appeared on the BBC’s documentary to put the case for the accusations of plagiarism that may always dog Lichtenstein’s reputation. The segment featuring Gibbons debating with presenter Alastair Sooke was filmed in front of the famous “Whaam!” canvas. Sooke was all too dismissive of Irv Novick, somewhat deriding his work in order to flatter Lichtenstein. It seems odd Sooke chose to criticize Novick’s compositional decisions and praise Lichtenstein’s, when every element of Roy’s piece was lifted from Irv’s. Anyway, these new perceived slights seem to have been enough to stir Rian Hughes, Jason Atomic, and the Orbital Gallery regulars into action.
To quote our very own Michael May, “wish this was real”: Brendan McCarthy plugs the release today of IDW Publishing’s The Complete Zaucer of Zilk by slipping this sketch out into the ether, of the three magic-wielding characters he’s drawn over the years: the Zaucer, Doctor Strange, and Mirkin the Mystic, of the all-too short-lived Paradax! comic from 1987 (two issues, and one was all-reprint).
It comes with a companion piece: this sketch, of Paradax himself meeting Doctor Strange. As I never tire of pointing out, Pete Milligan and McCarthy’s Paradax (in Eclipse comics’ Strange Days) pretty much invented the whole “superhero as an unlikeable wannabe celebrity” subgenre, three years before Morrison’s Zenith in 2000AD, and 15 years before Warren Ellis’ The Authority made that trope de rigueur for mainstream comics for an extended period. And also in passing invented that whole “leather jacket over your superhero costume” thing that ruled the 1990s.