Friday, August 29, 2008

Val to the third power

I'm SwanShadow, and I approve today's Comic Art Friday.

When it comes to a new Common Elements commission, the concept usually precedes the artist. In most cases, I have the character match-up in mind long before I've given any thought to the artist or artists who will create each piece. Truth to tell, I have a Common Elements concept list with more than 100 possible future entries on it, and I add new ideas as they occur to me. Most of these will never see the light of day unless I win the lottery — which is unlikely in the extreme, since I never buy lottery tickets.

Once in a great while, though, an artist actually inspires a Common Elements concept. This is one of those rare instances.



Some time ago, Val Semeiks — a comics veteran best known for well-received runs on Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian and DC's Lobo and The Demon, and most recently back at Marvel on She-Hulk — drew a stupendous Common Elements commission featuring Elasti-Girl and the Dr. Bill Foster version of Goliath. When Val alerted me that he was available to do another piece, I wanted to come up with a concept unique to him.

After some thought, I hit on the triple-Val idea (taking off from a previous CE drawn by Kyle Hotz, featuring the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern and Kyle "Nighthawk" Richmond of the Defenders). Mr. Semeiks jumped all over this one like a hungry Rottweiler on a T-bone. The scenario -- Valkyrie, the antiheroine of the long-running series Airboy (originally published by Hillman Periodicals in 1942, and more recently by Eclipse Comics), and comics' other Valkyrie, the sword-and-spear-wielding woman warrior most familiar to comics fans as a member of the Defenders -- dueling on the wing of a plummeting, flame-spewing Heinkel He-162 Salamander (also known as the Volksj├Ąger) -- sprang like Athena from the brain of the artist.

Val meticulously adjusted the complex perspective until he got it dead solid perfect. The scene's evolution can be viewed by comparing Val's initial thumbnail sketch...



...to this more developed layout drawing...



...and ultimately to the finished artwork.

As we used to say in Hawai'i, "Mo' Val, mo' bettah."

And that's your Comic Art Friday.

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1 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger ComicArt offered these pearls of wisdom...

Great one! Congrats! I love the "Common Elements" theme.

1:44 PM  

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