Revisiting a classic tale
This recent cover art shows the artist in fine form, as he portrays characters in a galaxy far, far away… This is Alex’s painted variant for the new Marvel Star Wars series, paying homage to the first Star Wars comic cover Marvel published in 1977, created by artist Howard Chaykin.
This time around Alex will share covers with fellow artists J Scott Campbell, Joe Quesada and many more. He’s also turned to the Dark Side to paint a Darth Vader cover that will adorn a comic written by Kieron Gillen, with Salvador Larroca doing the art inside. The series is set after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
history of 20th century illustration, bring it to the medium that had been in a cartoon ghetto, and applying a lot of those approaches to realism and painted styles that look and feel like you had the Loomis’s and the Rockwell’s applying their skills to these characters and concepts.” It’s more than just helping comics ‘grow up’ though. “If you use realism to only illustrate real things, then you’re not using it to its greatest reach. Apply realism to something fantastic and you’ve brought that thing to life.”
Living in this fantasy world, you can get too close to your creations. “I’ve been given the rope to make projects with abundant freedom, and in some ways that way can lie madness,” says Alex, “because if you start thinking that your version of a thing is the most popular version, you get it in your head, then when [the comic companies] go a different way, as they have with Superman, it breaks your heart and makes you think that everything you did wasn’t appreciated. So, you gotta calm down. That’s the lesson I’m trying to absorb.”
Devil in the detail
Surprisingly, for an artist who’s made his reputation on solid draftsmanship enriched with detail, Alex is worried about today’s art trends. “I often refer to today’s expanded detailed palette as being a fussy period of design,” he says. “I’m not negating or dismissing it as far as rendering goes, but often when people approach designing costumes and things, if you get up close you see an infinite amount of little tiny details, and that almost becomes visual noise.”
I’ve been given the rope to make projects with abundant freedom, and in some ways that way can lie madness