Marvel will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first class of Young Guns by spotlighting a new group of artists at Marvel: the All-New Young Guns. They join a rare group of people possessing creative artistry on par with past Young Guns such as Steve McNiven and Jim Cheung.
Each of the six skilled storytellers will provide a distinctive variant cover for July’s LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #1, as well as make several convention appearances through the remainder of 2014, including at New York City’s newest convention, Special Edition in June.
Few have the critical eye that Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso wields to discern what it takes to be a Marvel Young Gun. To better see what he sees, he took some time to discuss what caught his attention about this new class.
Marvel.com: What criteria are used when deciding who should be tapped to be one of Marvel's Young Guns?
Axel Alonso: We picked six artists whose unique and dynamic styles have really connected with fans: Mahmud Asrar, Nick Bradshaw, David Marquez, Sara Pichelli, Valerio Schiti and Ryan Stegman.
Marvel.com: How does the Young Guns program benefit Marvel's creative reputation as a whole?
Axel Alonso: I think it underscores our reputation as a publisher who is always on the lookout for new talent, and cements the fact that we do not have a house style here at Marvel. Great artists come in all forms. Each of these artists is very different from the next.
Marvel.com: As a person respected for seeing the potential in new artists, how gratifying is it to see the talent you pick achieve that potential and flourish?
Axel Alonso: An editor is paid for his or her taste and judgment. So seeing fans validate your instincts is always gratifying.
Marvel.com: What prompted you to have the six Young Guns produce variant covers to July’s LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #1?
Axel Alonso: With all eyes turning on “Guardians of the Galaxy” this summer, we thought the premiere issue of the team captain’s solo series would be a great place to showcase the individual style of each artist.
Marvel.com: Would aspiring artists do well to look at this round of Young Guns to see what it takes to become an effective storyteller?
Axel Alonso: Of course. Every aspiring artist should take a good look at all artists who connect with fans, but especially new artists who are bringing something new to the table. A successful artist will develop a style and voice that is uniquely theirs—that they own. If you’re a comic book artist, you want the reader to recognize that you that drew that page from 20 paces.