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You can do things in comics you can’t do in any other medium, and U.K. cartoonist Dan McDaid has taken advantage of that in his work on Time Lords, superheroes, gods, monsters and apes — and he’s done it all without sacrificing his style. In fact, it’s only invigorated him further.
McDaid is currently illustrating BOOM! Studios’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, taking a novel look at that world while retaining the auteur vibe that made the original movie work. Combining a diverse array of influences, Jack Kirby to John Romita Jr. and Frank Miller to Mike Zeck — even drawing in names like Nic Roeg and Sam Peckinpah — McDaid seems to showcase a different facet of his abilities in each project he tackles.
I became aware of McDaid during his run on Jersey Gods at Image Comics, but it’s Catalyst Comix that made me reconsider my assessment of his work. Since then, with Vandroid and issues of Mind the Gap and Sex, he’s risen in my mind to become a dynamic illustrator whose talent seems to be building to some unknown future project that will make him a marquee name in comics. Will it be Dawn of the Planet of Apes? Will it be the creator-owned book he’s working on? Or perhaps something else?
Nearly a year ago we wrote about Vandroid, Tommy Lee Edwards’ live-action tribute to ’80s action films, shot over just five days near the artist’s home in North Carolina. Dubbed by Edwards as merely the first of many planned live-action projects, the short was to be accompanied by a soundtrack and a comic book — and now the latter has found a home.
Dark Horse has announced the Feb. 29 debut of Vandroid, a miniseries written by Edwards and Noah Smith, with art by Dan McDaid and colors by Jordie Bellaire. Edwards will provide the covers.
Here’s the solicitation for the first issue of the project, described by the publisher as “epic 80’s Sci-Fi action, the likes of which you’ve never seen”:
Tommy Lee Edwards is known to us comics fan for his comic book work on the likes of Marvel 1985, Turf and The Question, but Edwards is more than that. Much more.
After years of doing concept, design and illustration work for movies like Batman Begins, Star Wars and Harry Potter, Edwards is delving into the movie business himself with a project called Vandroid. Planned as a short film tribute to ’80s action movies, Vandroid will be filmed in mid-December near his studio in North Carolina. In addition to the short movie, Vandroid will also come with a soundtrack album and, yes, a comic book.
Described by Edwards on the local visitors bureau website as the first of “many” live-action film projects, Vandroid looks to be a stylish piece of work and has the potential to be the start of a new phase for Edward’s career.