In honour of the fact that I’m doing some comics illustratin’ for Marvel at the moment (no telling you what it is yet, but it’s fun, fun, fun!), I figured I’d dig through the library all this week, to find some Marvel work I’ve done, that you guys have likely NEVER seen. I’m not talking about comics (Spidey-Torch, Mad Dog, Avengers, Ren & Stimpy and others) but things I’ve done for their toy department, licenses, special projects and other sundry items that fill an illustrator’s time. All Marvel, All Week! Collect them ALL!
Up above is the cover to a Fantastic Four DVD that collected up episodes of their cartoon from the mid-nineties, I think it only came out in Europe, as I’ve never been sent a copy, nor seen a colour version of the artwork. Nevertheless, it was my first time drawing the famous first family (professionally, I mean…I must have drawn the Thing a zillion times as a child) and it was a little disappointing that I couldn’t draw Ben in his more familiar Kirby design…but the client wanted him “on model” for the look of the series.
Next , the first of MANY X-Men video boxes I did for the animated show that ran on FOX TV in the nineties. I was a little ticked that they threw the title card over top of Wolverine’s arm for the first one, which mucked up the image a bit in my opinion (you’ll notice I figured out to work around it on the next two…), but I couldn’t have been happier with the colours that Paul Mounts put overtop of all three. Somewhere in the house, I have Paul’s original colour pieces for these, done in gorgeous dyes, with a real airbrush! Oh, the labour we artists had to put in, back in the primitive 20th Century! Paul was nice enough to trade me all the colour art for one of the black and white pieces. Hell of a trade on my end.
As I said, I did tons of art for the X-Men series, including designing the official jackets for the cast, with a fairly cool Wolverine patch on the back (that you can see a bit of in the corner of the video boxes, that little Wolvie is from the patch). I may not be able to find the original art for that, but worst-case-scenario, I’ll find someone to model the jacket for ya.
Doing these covers was a lovely stretching exercise for my art brain, as I was doing them at the same time as Batman Adventures stuff in the late nineties. Some days it took a few hours to shake the Bruce Timm out of my hands, and try to channel the more illustrative look of the Marvel house style. At first I expected they wanted me to make the covers resemble the show designs, but they insisted I do nothing of the sort, and said “Draw it in your own style”. Something I’m not sure I have any more. But these are close to it, I suppose.
Tune in tomorrow for some Marvel 2099 artwork you’re not expecting, a couple of Moon Knight pages you’ve never seen, and plenty more X-Men…and then on Nepotism Thursday, my wife’s first ever coloring job for Marvel…and how it nearly ended the marriage! And yes, it was all my fault, dear. (She’s reading this, gotta be cool, gotta be cool…)
Ty the Guy