By Blake Garris
Addict Clothing and Marvel have partnered together to create premium custom tees with designs from three UK illustrators at the very top of their game. We spoke with one of those artists Shogun who created the Captain America design you can see below. We spoke about his love for Marvel ever since he was a child, his background in art and much more.
Marvel.com: How did you get involved in the Addict Marvel series?
Shogun: I've been an Addict collaborator for some years. I've contributed to their Artist Series in the past and we've always had strong links, so it seemed a logical progression for me to get involved with this range. They have a rich heritage of using fantastic artists from different areas and disciplines, so it was a great honor to be asked to share this project with Mitch and Odisy... two of the best around.
Marvel.com: How did you decide on which characters to use?
Shogun: With the increasing popularity of comic book movies we tried to base the range loosely around what Marvel is doing in terms of feature films. This helps to capitalize on the hype surrounding upcoming releases and to mine the residual interest generated by past blockbusters. Spider-Man and Captain America have new movies out this year and there were the recent Iron Man 3 and Avengers movies. All this helps to generate interest in the characters, but it's good to throw a few new faces in there too.
Marvel.com: Speaking of the Marvel films, do you have any particular favorites and why?
Shogun: I really liked the Sam Raimi take on Spider-Man. They really felt like the comics I grew up reading. And getting such respected character actors to play the villains lent the series great credibility.
|Addict Captain America shirt designed by Shogun|
Marvel.com: Where did you come up with the idea for your designs?
Shogun: I looked at a lot of source material from old comics and movie posters to statues and action figures. These are a particularly good source of reference for how the light falls on a particular figure and how shaded areas would appear in three dimensions. Then I make a composite of my favorite pieces from each and kind of 'weld' them together into a cohesive whole, sculpting & shaping as I go.
Marvel.com: What particular Marvel source material, comics or action figures really struck your eye?
Shogun: I looked at lots of old school Jack Kirby strips, not necessarily for style but he had a way of making the character look heroic and iconic that few have matched since. Also Michael Turner and Alex Ross. In terms of action figures, anything by Bowen, Sideshow and Gentle Giant; also Kotobukiya, Hot Toys and Medicom. There's so much inspirational material out there by amazing artists, it's sometimes difficult to know where to start. But once you have the kernel of an idea things start meshing together.
Marvel.com: Do you have a history of being a Marvel fan?
Shogun: I was a huge Marvel fan as a kid. I'd spend hours trying to draw my favorite characters and Saturday mornings were a pilgrimage to the local paper shop where I'd weigh up which sweets I could afford vs. which comics. I often came back without the sweets.
Marvel.com: Do you have any particular Marvel story lines you loved most as a kid?
Shogun: Too many to mention them all, but Spider-Man 'Torment' springs to mind; written and illustrated by the great Todd McFarlane. His take on the character proved to be a seismic shift in the Spidey aesthetic and a true inspiration for me. Also Wolverine Vol.1 written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by the legendary Frank Miller. Wolverine returns to Japan and has to battle a legion of ninjas... I'm all over that. I also really loved anything starring the Hulk as a kid. The list is endless really.
Marvel.com: Why did you decide to leave out Captain America's eyes?
Shogun: Interesting question. I wanted to portray something moody and edgier than we're used to seeing. We often see Cap portrayed as the Boy Scout or the White Knight character and I thought it would be interesting to introduce a subtle note of darkness. I came across a statue and really liked the way the light fell across the eyes. I wanted to portray his grim resolution in the face of danger and to suggest how it might feel to have the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Marvel.com: Can you tell fans about your art background?
Shogun: Under the name 'Shogun' I freelance as a graphic artist, specializing in the editorial, street wear and popular culture arenas. Currently the bulk of my work comes from New York where I am represented by Richard Solomon Artist Reps, a very cool agency with an incredible roster of talent. It's a very humbling company to be in. My regular clients include Wall St. Journal, The New York Times, CBS News, Sports Illustrated, Ford Mustang and Major League Baseball to name but a few. I also work closely with Addict on their Marvel, DC and Lucasfilm apparel projects.