Monday, April 24, 2006

Man of Iron

All freelance artists should fear the name of Francesco Francavilla. Apart from being the talented artist behind these sublime Iron Man drawings, he's also the most prolific illustrator I've ever seen. Francesco's main job right now is providing the art for his awesome creator owned the Black Coat comic book (check it out -- it's real cool!), but you'll soon be seeing his work everywhere. Why? Well, his work speaks for itself. This is a guy who has that most dreaded of combinations: talent, speed and dedication. In other words, he's got great chops, he's faster than you, and he's gotten even better while you were reading this. In fact, if he wasn't such a nice and humble guy, I'd want to hate him...well, until I saw these Iron Man drawings anyway.

I love how fluid and spontaneous these drawings look -- in an era of slick tracing, this is an artist who can still flat out draw in ink. Francesco can really move that brush and he has a unique and original style that still evokes memories of past comic masters. And need I mention he drew the tin-can suit? The guy is awesome!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Silver Age Iron!

Like me, Rich Dannys likes to kick it old-school. While his day job in animation is cool, whats even cooler about the guy is how much he helps out beginning artists. As the moderator "Attezarf" on the Instruction forum at, Rich is always there to dispense good advice in a friendly and welcoming manner to all manner of artistic inquiries. I don't know how he does it. This is a man who can answer the question "what brush do you use?" or "how do you get started doing comics" several times a week and actually convince you he's smiling while he's doing it. You gotta be a good guy to do that!

Anyway, this is Rich's tribute the the Silver Age Iron Man and its a real beauty! Iron Man looks is drawn so cool and Kirby like, and the background details are a real treat! If this was the cover of a Tales of Suspense back in the day -- I would have bought it fer sure. The great colouring by Phil Craven is also highly noteworthy and really captures the ben-day-dot-screen goodness of silver-age comic colouring. Wow -- Make Mine Marvel!

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Portrait in Pencil

Matt Schuler is one talented guy. And this Iron Man drawing of his is proof. As Matt has pointed out, its based on the very first cover appearance of shell-head, as originally drawn by the great Jack Kirby. Of course, Matt has used his skill with charcoal to add several nice touches. I especially like the lighting flare around the chest lamp and the excellent handling of reflections and hi-lights all around. In some ways, this kinda reminds me of those "collaborative" paintings Alex Ross does, where he does a tonal painting over someone else's lineart, like George Perez or Dan Jurgens. Sometimes I like those paintings, sometimes I don't. But there's no grey-area for me here -- this Iron Man drawing ROCKS!