Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Every day this month I’m going to feature a current comic book art “star,” someone whose work I absolutely love.
I’m mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of JH Williams, Frank Quitely and Darwyn Cooke? Here‘s the archive of the artists mentioned so far!
Here’s one of the best cover artists in all of comics (in honor of not re-inventing the wheel, most of the following is reprinted from a fill-in Reason to Love Comics bit I did last year)!
Djurdjevic worked for a number of years as a concept artist, working mostly in the role playing game field. He had produced work for Feder & Schwert, FanPro, Alderac Entertainment Group, White Wolf, Moloch Studios, and Rackham Confrontation.
In fact, awhile back, he released a DVD solely on the topic of creating characters, called (appropriately enough) “Marko Djurdjevic: Character Ideation.” Here is a link to a site where you can read more about the DVD, and maybe purchase a copy (I’m looking out for you, Marko! ;)).
In any event, one day, while talking with his friend, fellow concept artist, Nic Klein, Djurdjevic worked up some redesigns for the X-Men, and posted them on a message board. He relates the experience as such:
They get into the fangs of some hardcore comic fans, who start ripping them apart. People are actually brewing shitstorms against me, I get tons of beautiful hate-mail with recommendations on how to improve my designs skills, if I ever want to make it in the comic industry.
Sadly (for us), the X-Men redesigns are no longer up on the net.
Here is an example of Djurdjevic’s redesigning skills, though, as he turns his pen on He-Man…
While the redesigns may have drawn the ire of some comic fans, it also drew the interest of Marvel Comics, who quickly hired Djurdjevic to draw some covers for them.
“Some” covers soon turned into “a whole crapload of” covers, and soon, Djurdjevic was signing a 3-year exclusive deal with Marvel Comics, and drawing about 2,493 Marvel covers a month, all of them using his unique sense of style, as he uses interesting angles to make his images pop off the pages, all the while infusing his covers with a distinct sense of fun (and sometimes, outright humor).
His covers for Blade probably highlight his sense of humor the best (I especially love the quote on the third cover)…
Here are examples of where I think Djurdjevic uses angles and differing perspectives to give his covers life where a similar scene by a different artist would almost seem listless…
Here is a more traditional cover he did for Daredevil’s 100th issue, but I still think it is very impressive – the amount of coherence he packs in there while using a TON of characters in the drawing is striking…
I also admire his ability to make his painted drawings seem fluid, and not stiff like some other painted artists. Here are some examples of his work from pencils to finished cover (all these covers and drawings, by the by, are courtesy of his MySpace page, which you can find here).
Meanwhile, Djurdjevic’s concept art background is not going to waste at Marvel, as they allowed him to do the character designs for their Annhilation Conquest storyline (where his friend, Nic Klein, did similarly awesome covers for Starlord). Check ‘em out…
A couple of years ago, Djurdjevic married Jelena Kevic, who is also an artist (she even did some recent sequentials in last year’s Iron Fist Annual – and they were quite nice). Here is an example of her cover work…
Two great artists in the same family…pretty impressive, huh?
Just this past year, Djurdjevic made his debut as a sequential PENCILER on two issues of Thor.
Here are a number of sample pages…
Perhaps not as amazing as his stunning covers, but still strong work!
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