Thursday, June 5, 2008

Variations on a Green Theme

I went online to try and find some of the other originals to Rob's and Lynn's covers to compare and contrast, but the best I could do was find some great renderings of the HULK from both artists. I even found an interpretation by Alex Ross of Hulk 1.

What separates exemplary from mediocrity when drawing an image based on realistic principles? Knowledge of the subject of coarse!

What Keown can create just proves you can never stop learning about anatomy, how it works together, and the myriad of contortions you can create with it. You can smell his studies in his works. I believe this is the same reason Frazetta cornered his market too. While other artists "faked" what anatomy they understood, Frazetta was laying it down as it actually existed. Where Hulk is concerned, having this plithora of muscular knowledge is what allowed Keown to take Hulk to a new level. He helped to develop an iconic form of a character that's been around longer than 40 years.

For 3ds sake, here is a great video of an ideal Hulk. (Sometimes I prefer him stupid and strong but I still appreciate the intelligent one Peter David ushered in.)

Above are a few more pieces by Keown, Ross, and Kirby.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Your Line Work is Showing!

If anything shows us how a technique is used, an approach to how an effect was created, or how even the artist team thinks, we can look at their pre-finished work-in-progress. I found this posted by an anonymous owner of the HULK 340 original pencils and inks.
(Click for larger image.)

Notice the feathering of the HULK's hair in the original inks to allow the light blue color to show through in the final rendering so not to oversaturate the blacks in the reflection. You can tell the inker worked mostly with technical pens when rendering McFarlane's pencils. The constant line width and even in the feathering. Maybe he used a sharpee for the solids. I also enjoy the small nuances such as the over rendering of the black that crosses over the cover border line on the left. Wycek's small ruler smudge on the lower right corner also adds a tangible proof of human error whereas today's pieces are perfected so much in Photoshop you can never tell anymore.

Circular composition so your eye wanders from Wolvie, up his claws to Hulk's face, to the title of the book and back down to Wolvie. Nicely done. One last choice I enjoyed about this piece was McFarlane's choice to have Wolvie's left hand cross in front almost giving him that running toward feeling.

There's something revealing about just the black and white image. My college professor often said that if the piece doesn't work in black and white, then it won't work in color. This piece clearly works in black and white defining that statement.

Feel free to comment on what you see and ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Rob and I were discussing about the HULK covers on the way into work this morning. Turns out I found out a couple personal preferences about HULK covers in general as far as handling the character goes.

Not very many people have handled the hulk on his covers very well especially when the entire character of the HULK is portrayed. He's usually seen with various other heroes and villains, that end up dwarfing the HULK making him look squatted, shrunk, and in ill proportion. He's as inconsistent in size as Megatron is in gun mode.

Why haven't very many talented artists, beside a couple, been able to maintain a well drawn HULK on their covers without him looking almost insignificant? The only artists we found out that can handle a HULK cover well were a couple of art moguls that were solid from the get go.

Dale Keown, Neal Adams, and Jim Sterenko to name a few 3.

Personally, I think HULK is too big to fit on a cover. The less focus the HULK gets, the stronger the cover for some reason. He needs that touch of enigma, mystery, all the while making the HULK feel HULK-ish without giving us the farm every time we see another book. Look at any HULK comic post-Sterenko and pre-Keown.

Dale's HULK is HULK as far as I'm concerned. The status quo he set for that character, his anatomy / proportion, in the quantities he did it in can't even begin to be rivaled by another HULK artist in my opinion. From the sinew to the density, he made the HULK incredible to look at and a bit frightening.

McFarlane's HULK is the ugliest and that wins it's own special reward.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cover for June 2 - 6 HULK

Monday Monday,

Welcome back everyone!

Ahhhhh, yes the early Kirby rendition Lynn. I almost picked cover 1 myself because of its history alone and it says everything the Hulk storyline is about in one drawing. Although I have to say the second cover you submitted, safe to say and though redone, doesn’t lend itself to the interior story and doesn’t fit the original scope of a solid cover via this group. (As far as I know.) Shouldn’t stop you from being a fan though!

If you can’t guess, this week’s cover was suggested by Rob to be a Hulk week in lieu of it’s, well, redone attempt at movie masterpiece. After the Ang Lee debacle, which is debatable as being good or bad, the new film almost could be attached to the end of the first attempt. Forget what the characters looked like and BAM! Continuation. I do however have to agree with my friend Brent in that Hollywood has already made a big no no for the marketing of the new Hulk film.

They already showed the Abomination in the trailer and now everyone knows what to expect. If the Hulk villain was shrouded in media mystery, it might have helped sales. The Cloverfield tactic.

That being said, here is my choice for this week’s cover. My favorite Hulk cover.

I can’t deny McFarlane’s ability
o capture my attention and a sense of tension is this GRRRRREAT cover. I almost went for Hulk 181, the first Wolvie appearance, but this one has Wolverine established as a feral creature. Even the reflection is subdued suggesting the claws aren’t chrome which I always liked as well. This battle does ensue in the book and is quite visceral.