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Month of Art Stars: Artist’s Choice – Dan Panosian

Every day in June I featured the work of a great artist, only instead of me picking the artist to feature, they were picked by their peers, fellow professional comic book artists who are picking out artists (from the past and present) who they think deserve special attention. Do note that most artists I asked about this gave me multiple answers and I picked out one choice out of a number of suggestions, so these are not definitive answers, like “Artist X likes Artist Y and he thinks all other Artists are terrible!” Here is an archive of the artists featured so far!

I ended up with more suggestions than there were days in the month, so enjoy a few BONUS installments!

The sixth and FINAL bonus installment is the pick of Mark Irwin, former Creative Services Manager at WildStorm, former Art Director at Heavy Metal Magazine, current Art Director (for the past almost nine years) at Upper Deck Entertainment and longtime inker, mostly at Marvel Comics.

Mark’s pick is Dan Panosian!

Dan Panosian got into comics in his early 20s during the early 1990s, working for Marvel and Image Comics.

After a long break from comics for the world of commercial art, Panosian has returned with a vengeance, with some brilliant work for Marvel Comics…

Here he is on a Juggernaut story…

Here he is on a Sabretooth one-shot…

Here he is on a Skaar one-shot…

Here’s a design sheet for Snake Eyes by Panosian…

Here’s a recent Red Sonja cover…

Finally, here are samples from an upcoming book Panosian has coming out WITH Mark Irwin, called Jack Secret…

See more of Dan’s work at his DeviantArt account here!

Thanks to Mark for the pick!

Thanks to all the artists involved!!

31 Comments

Eww those first few pages are awful.

He seems decent now though

Re: DanCJ — the layouts in those first batch of pages are pretty well done, it’s just that the characters are suffering from 90s Image-itis.

I always liked Panosian’s work back in the day though — he did a Marvel-Malibu crossover that looked pretty cool. He’s done a great job defining his style since his first run though.

Have a good day.
John Cage

I have to admit that he’s amazingly talented when allowed to work in his own style, which he is clearly doing these days. I am actually shocked, since Pacella and Panosian were previously two of my all-time absolute least favorite comics artists of all time.

Yikes, those first few pages make me cringe but the newer stuff is fantastic. At least the industry is doing something right in letting artists use more of their own style; the first pics look like an editor told him to “Draw it like Liefeld”, which I’m sure caused him to die a little inside….

Yeah, that Liefeld-esque style is pretty hard on the eyes. I really dig the composition and expression on that Red Sonja cover.

I remember him being a horrible horrible Liefeld clone, so I thought this was a joke when I saw the title. But WOW has he improved after his stint doing commercial art. It reminds me a bit of Joe Kubert along with someone else whose name I can’t remember.

Yeah, I believe I did a bit on his first Marvel story in his “comeback” awhile ago, and it was just – WOW!

And he’s kept it up ever since.

Irwin was not the only guy who picked Panosian, by the way!

I think the other artist he’s reminding me of is Ron Garney. I see some Joe Kubert and Ron Garney and possibly someone else. I’m still in awe of his improvement. I think it was a really good idea to include his 90s stuff to show his evolution.

Irwin was not the only guy who picked Panosian, by the way!

Is Marc Pacella still drawing? I’m wondering if he’s had a massive improvement as well.

T. –
It reminds me a lot of Tony Moore (Walking Dead, Fear Agent), another artist whose work I love.

I realize it’s not adding a whole lot to the conversation, but I’d like to throw my voice in with the people who’ve been digging Panosian’s work for the past few years. Then again, I have a soft spot for the Liefeldian era of comics, so I kind of like the old stuff, too. Sue me. It’s what I grew up with.

I just Googled Tony Moore’s work…yeah, I can see some of him in there for sure.

Wow … I also thought this must be a joke. That new work is really great, though. Thanks, Mark and Brian, for this pick; he certainly deserves wider recognition.

Thanks for putting this up Brian! And for the record, I’m not a fan of that old style of rendering either. And I would say that Dan isn’t it either; it’s just what was expected in those days. Dan’s always been able to draw well; I’m just blown away by how each piece seems even better than the last! Pick up the Drink And Draw book if you can find it and you’ll see some really creative, fun stuff out of Dan and the other fine folks that attend those events.

Dan is insanely talented and one of the nicest guys I have ever met in the business.

Wait until you see the art he’s done for the Jade Claw story in Agents of Atlas- I had to staple my jaw back on!

Dan has some preview pages up on his deviant art from his Agents of Atlas issues, Jeff, and yeah, they’re amazing.

Kind of related….I asked about Mark Pacella earlier. Well he and Panosian were the two really awful Liefeld clones in the 90s. In fact, Brian used pages from a Pacella Avengers Annual story as an example of one of the worst all-time comic books.

After seeing Panosian’s incredible improvement, I was curious to see if Pacella improved as well. Turns out he’s doing storyboards now but man, he has a great style these days as well. Check it out here:

http://www.markpacella.com/

I can’t believe I would ever say this but I’m glad Panosian is back in comics and I wish Pacella would come back too.

I think in Dan’s case, he always had good taste, but the early 90′s really, really didn’t reward you for that. I was always missing art jobs and having editors tell me I was too retro and so on. See also my man Tomm Coker. Both he and Dan are now bringing a strong Toppi influence that I love.

Also I saw a lot of guys who went on to work doing animation and storyboards where the only concern was storytelling and absolutely nothing else, and then the fact that L.A. offered a lot of life drawing sessions, and artists that you would have written off later, become incredible art-monsters.

The great thing about being an artist is that you can keep growing if you keep your head in the right place. Alex Toth was still innovative right up to the end! I wish a lot of people who get stuck in a style- even if it’s a good one, would open themselves to more alternatives. They’d almost always be happier.

Dan hired a very talented artist with all the money he made while at Image to teach him a better way of art. Unfortunately that artist was a ceramic tile artist. Dan didn’t realize this fact until all his money was gone. Not the kind of guy who gives up, Dan went on to use this skill to do bathroom renovations for 8 years until he decided to try comics again. How he got so much better is still a mystery.

In fact, Brian used pages from a Pacella Avengers Annual story as an example of one of the worst all-time comic books.

That wasn’t Pacella (and it wasn’t an Avengers Annual, either, actually :) ).

i liked the old dan better. and by the old dan i mean the one who did bathroom makeovers.

No, then he used the old Image style of laying tile, with lots of little lines of grout everywhere.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 9, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I think in Dan’s case, he always had good taste, but the early 90’s really, really didn’t reward you for that. I was always missing art jobs and having editors tell me I was too retro and so on. See also my man Tomm Coker. Both he and Dan are now bringing a strong Toppi influence that I love.

My mind was blown reading (to mock I admit) an interview with Jeph Loeb where he mentioned that Ian Churchill doesn’t like his own style and was told to draw that way, and has a much more cartoony style.
The mean part of me thinks ‘why would anyone tell him to draw the way he has been?’ but the other (smaller) part of me is now really curious.

Hey Brian – thanks so much for the spotlight. Looking at the old Spiderman story makes my head hurt but it’s good to see that after years and years of studying – things can improve!

I’m honored by the mention! Thanks for all the kind words, everyone!

No problema, Dan, thank you for the great work you’ve been doing – it’s been a blast to read!

Oops, it was MC Wyman and Avengers Unplugged that Brian posted. The holy trinity of Liefeld ripoffs of the era were Wyman, Pacella and Panosian, so I tend to get them confused. Anyway, my point remains, Mark Pacella improved a lot as well. Can’t find any new artwork from Wyman though.

Oops, it was MC Wyman and Avengers Unplugged that Brian posted. The holy trinity of Liefeld ripoffs of the era were Wyman, Pacella and Panosian, so I tend to get them confused. Anyway, my point remains, Mark Pacella improved a lot as well.

Yeah, it’s not a big deal, I just didn’t want to see Pacella “blamed” for that issue. ;)

Yeah, it’s not a big deal, I just didn’t want to see Pacella “blamed” for that issue.

I don’t blame you, even by 90s standards that was bad. In fact, let me take the time to apologize to Dan for even associating his name with that book. Sorry Dan.

One last point Brian, now that month of art stars is over, this Panosian post gives me an idea for another series you guys can do, “Art Shifts.” Artists who started with one style and shifted radically over the years to a new style. For example Bill Sincweicz starting off as a Neal Adams clone, Hitch starting off as a Alan Davis clone, Travis Charest’s evolution, etc.

You could also do artists who arguable “evolved” then “devolved” again, like Greg Land, who started out as a wannabe Image guy in the vein of Pacella, Wyman and Panosian, evolved into a great art style, then devolved into Photoshop hell.

No offense taken T. The work speaks for itself [ sadly! ]. I think a decade of working in the commercial art field really helped me to look outside of my comfort level [ not that my comfort level was easy on the eyes for anyone... ] and discover new inspirations and techniques. These days I find the process of illustration much more interesting and ever evolving. A little daunting at times – but certainly there’s so much room for growth.

I’m glad Mark did this. Everyone should know about Dan’s work these days!

It’s awesome!!

-B*

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