Thursday, April 3, 2008

Super Heroes!



TOM- A few months back, Tim Leong of Comic Foundry Magazine contacted me to do an illustration for their number two issue. It turned out to be a great opportunity to do a published illustration where I would get to draw a whole bunch of characters from Marvel and DC battling each other! My own comics work leans more towards the 'indie' genre, but many cartoonists that I admire are from the 'mainstream' section of comics, so the pressure to do something even close to their standards was a bit nerve racking. Tim eplained to me the premise of the article. Pretty much, Marvel and DC are involved in two huge storylines to help sell books: Marvel's Secret Invasion and DC's Final Crisis. Both include events that will dramatically shake up each of their universes. The basic idea was to show Marvel and DC's prominent characters facing off. The first two sketches (above) are sketches I initially came up with. Tim liked them, but decided he wanted to do a play on the famous Crisis on Infinite Earths cover by George Perez back in the 80's. It's a pretty recognizable cover to most die hard comic fans, so the challenge was to do it justice, but at the same time make it my own. The third sketch (above) is what I came up with, a compromise of both ideas.
Here's George Perez's.

Here's mine. I inked it with the usual #2 brush and Windsor Newton ink. There was alot of challenges in this piece including composition, character recognizability, and trying to keep it energetic. As I mentioned earlier, I have always had a huge respect for super hero artists ( especially the monthly ones!), so I am still VERY critical of this piece. Looking back at it now months later, I realize all the ways I could have made it better, but I'm glad I got the chance to take a crack at it.


Here's what the tear sheet looks like. The magazine looks really great, I recommend checking it out. It gives a much more interesting take on comics than most other publications out there.







12 comments:

Gabe said...

Congrats man, Comic Foundry is probably the best comic book magazine on the shelves right now. The piece looks great.

Why can't i click on the images to embiggen them? Gabe sad.

Jon Sperry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edwin Vazkez said...

To be honest Tom, I am not that crazy about it. Very cool you were able to get on the Comic Foundry but there are some areas of the picture that defeat the image.

The Batman figure looks very great. The line strengths are remarkable. Some of your characters look like midgets unfortunately. You are losing something from your sketches which capture so much energy and fun quality. The gradient background is not very flattering to the whole picture. Add a texture maybe to break up the 'computer' look of that. Your coloring is great on the Batman character but it feels a bit muddy overall. It feels as if you gave the greatest amount of attention to Batman which is where you want your viewer to look into but falls apart around him. There are too many back sides to the super heroes as well. I think the superman/iron man sketch would have been better as you can see more of the super heroes.

What you missed about George Perez compostion is that the focal point is Superman/girl. They are colored and drawn to stand out from the rest of the DC universe.

My favorite out of the sketches would have been the rope where everyone is climbing.

Congrats and I am only hard on you cause I love you and want to see the best for you rather than just a kiss ass.

=V=
PEACE

thomas pitilli said...

Thanks everybody for the comments, I appreciate it. Edwin, I toatally agree. As I said in the post, I am REALLY critical of this one and having done it way back in December, I feel like I could have done such a better job with the things I know now. I can now see the 'midget effect' that's going on ( a couple others pointed that out as well)I was trying to capture that super hero asthetic while not overly exagerating the bodies, and in the end I think it backfired a bit. I kinda like the gradient backgroung, but do agree that some texture woulda helped distinguish things. It was an ambitious project and I gave it all I had at the time. Hopefully I'll get another chance in the future and redeem myself. Thanks for the feeedback!

Edwin Vazkez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edwin Vazkez said...

Of course you will get another chance! I didn't realize you did this in December. But compared to the Britney piece 'Train Wreck' I can see a leap forward. I get criticized a lot in the MFAI program, it has helped me get over the shyness in saying what needs to be said. (If I care to do so) To Look at work as well as my own critically. It's a case of 'Hurting Feelings vs. Seeing the best in somebody'. I wouldn't say anything if I didn't care. I feel a constructive remark to further artistic growth, if able to see it, opposed to simply glazing it over with a one liner just for the sake of saying something for a chubby is a lot valuable if one can separate their ego from it. Something that undergraduate SVA neglected? Perhaps.
I still like that Batman. Superman wouldn't even throw a punch at Wolverine, I think the Hulk would've been a better opponent. :)

james flames said...

nice thread - and overall, i agree with edo (including the comments about criticism), tho i think we've already talked about this piece back in December. it's amazing what personal progress we can see in ourselves in such a short amount of time. i guess my overall comment is that it seems like you just weren't too stoked about the sketch he chose to use, (and i 100% believe he chose the wrong one - the rope one is very original and just plain better) - and i think it comes across in the final piece. which is certainly an important lesson to all of us, to always try to make the most mundane assignment as spectacular as possible (easier said than done).

but on a positive note, i think it's an obvious departure from the usual superhero pinup you see in magazines, so it'll definitely stand out and be cause for discussion. and i also think the final layout they did, especially the yellow box on the bottom, helps to sell the piece.

james flames said...

oh, also, i know i suggested to re-post this so we can click on the images to see them better - but don't do it! cuz it'll erase all these comments, and that would suck. best bet is to try and edit the existing post by erasing the images ad re-uploading them....

i'd love to see that rope sketch more up close.

Edwin Vazkez said...

One way to avoid an art director choosing a sketch you are not that happy to do is to give sketches that relate to your favorite. Make it seem as if they are looking at different pictures but really just the same.

=v=

james flames said...

good call.

thomas pitilli said...

Word.

marco milone said...

Congrats!