By Kiel Phegley
There's no question that the legions of fans who pour into comic shops every Wednesday consider Marvel artists all the rage, but with the advent of digital effects, computer coloring and 21st century design, this stellar stable has begun to earn notice outside the fanboy nation.
In fact, this month fans can get a behind the scenes peek at how Marvel leads the digital art revolution in the current issue of United Kingdom magazine ImagineFX
, #31, featuring a cover by "Iron Man" artist and designer Adi Granov and a hefty feature highlighting the work of Granov, Alex Maleev, Marko Djurdjevic, Clayton Crain, Carlo Pagulayan, Juan Doe, Ariel Olivetti, Daniel Acuٌa and Francis Tsai.
is a magazine that celebrates the incredible world of digital art," explains Deputy Editor Claire Howlett. "Inside the [magazine] we have interviews with the leading lights in the world of concept art, video game and comic art to gain insight and inspiration from them, and we feature practical advice for budding artists to improve their artistic
skills. We also have an amazing community on our web site's forum
where artists share their tips and provide [critiques] on each other's art."
As for the choice to highlight artists from the House of Ideas, Art Editor Paul Tysall got right to the point: "It simply had to be Marvel. When you look at our contributing artists that work for the comics industry, Marvel are high on their CV. It appears we both have an eye for new talent."
Both members of the ImagineFX
staff came to their appreciation of Marvel as fans first, with Tysall finding imports as a young man after years reading British sci-fi comics.
"The first Marvel read that blew me away, both in terms of story and art, was Frank Miller's ELEKTRA ASSASSIN," recalls Tysall. "I've recently gone back and read it again. With hindsight it's a great example of how you allow writers and artists the freedom to explore characters. And what
by Adi Granov
can you say about Bill Sienkiewicz' art that hasn't been said tons of times already? Well, how about this: it was digital pre-digital."
But for ImagineFX
#31, the focus fell squarely on the modern Marvel era, with Granov's work on Iron Man both in the comics and on film making him the obvious choice for cover boy.
"We've been fans of Adi's work for a while—he did a tutorial for us back in issue #10," shares Howlett. "We heard he was doing Iron Man concepts, scheduled a meeting at [the] Birmingham Comic Show and took it from there. It must be incredible for Adi to have his drawings realized on the big screen—Adi, Eddie Yang, Phil Saunders and the rest of the team at Stan Winston did a great job as always."
As far as the rest of the talent featured in the issue, it proved tough for Howlett and Tysall to pick the best of the bunch, although each did discover new creators that they wouldn't have if not for delving into the Marvel catalogue.
by Alex Maleev
"Doing this actually turned me onto Alex Maleev," reveals Tysall. "His line work is relaxed and confident, and the texturing gives real weight to his color work."
"I'd say that Marko Djurdjevic's work always makes me stop in my tracks," adds Howlett. "He manages to fit so much detail into an image, and the speed at which he paints is just astounding. I also love Juan Doe's painting of the Thing from the Fantastic Four. They're my favorites, but don't tell the others."
For fans who want to root on their favorite Marvel creators and get a peek into their creative process, seek out ImagineFX
#31, on sale now at newsstands and book stores nationwide.