Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am Captain America

I love comics.  It  all started back in elementary school.  I remember constantly going to the local library and checking out "Origins of Marvel Comics", "Son of Origins", "Bring on the Bad Guys" and "Superhero Women" by Stan Lee.  After reading these books, I've became hooked on Marvel comics.  I remember around 6th grade, that I picked up "How to Draw Comics the Marvel way" and that was it, I knew then that I wanted to be a comic book artist when I grew up.

I've been fortunate to have many teachers along the way who have guided me towards a career in art. Two of my biggest influences were my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Edwards and my art teacher in high school Ms.Carlin. They both encouraged me to do my own artwork and create my own stories.  In fact, both of them allowed me to draw comics for class projects.  Looking back, they were so wonderful and nurturing and I hope that every child would have teachers like Ms.Carlin and Mr. Edwards.

A few months ago,  I found out through my job, that Marvel was looking for freelance artists for some covers.  I jumped at the opportunity, for it was a childhood dream to draw a Marvel cover.  George Beliard from Marvel contacted me.  He informed me of the "I am Captain America" campaign and that my assignment was the "teacher" theme.  I was ecstatic and a bit concerned.  Concerned, only in "how am I going to make this teacher cover cool?"  My first pitch to George was a kid reading a Captain America comic in class and the teacher had just caught him in the act.  George felt that in this scenario, the kid was the focus and that the "teacher" needed to garner the most attention.  He suggested I add a Cap Sheild broach to her outfit or add a Cap Shield somewhere near her to spotlight her.

So I did some sketches and the one that caught my eye was a teacher reading to her class and all of them were sitting on a Cap shield rug.  I thought it would be cool to dress up the children as the Avengers.  This is the sketch I sent to George-

George approved the sketch and I went on to tie down the sketch-

George approved the line work, so I continued on with the color.  I'm still very new at coloring my own work so I asked my co-workers for their opinions and recieved great advice from Noah Klocek and Garett Sheldrew.  There are a couple of minor changes that I added to the drawing, one was the Wasp's wings needed a couple more little wings and I added a toy tank to the kid dressed up like the Hulk.  My friend and fellow Story Artist, Ted Mathot suggested it and I liked that it helped to make Hulk more recognizable beyond the green shirt and purple pants.

Another cool thing that I was able to do was put all my sons' artwork on the cover, here is their work-

Alex Rubio (3 years old):

Harrison Rubio (5 years old):

Will Rubio (3 years old):

The boys also did some artwork that was in TS3 for the daycare center (uncredited)!  Another cool thing is I drew my son, Harrison as the kid dressed up like Iron Man!

Here is the cover with the "Marvel logo" template on top, so you get a better idea of what the final will look like-

It's been a long time since those elementary school days, and I would like for all teachers to know that this cover artwork is dedicated to you.  You inspire, guide and prepare children for their future.  As a father of 3 boys, I appreciate and respect all the work that you do!

So here is my first Marvel cover, I had a blast drawing it!  My cover is the variant to Incredible Hulks #632 so be on the look out for it.  I'm so excited to being a part of the "I am Captain America" project.  I'm looking forward to seeing my cover on the comic book shelves and to seeing the Captain America movie!  The trailer looks bad ass!  Here is a link for more information on the Captain America variant covers http://geek-news.mtv.com/2011/05/31/marvel-comics-unveils-new-i-am-captain-america-covers


  1. They released the I am Captain America covers in two batches. Yours and Skottie Young's are my favorites.

  2. Thanks Ken! There is a lot of talent that worked on this project, so I'll take that as a compliment!

    I've been a fan of Joe Quesada since his stint on "The Ray" and my buddy and Pixar animator, Austin Madison did a sweet cover too!

  3. This is AWESOME! I'm going to see if I can find this edition at my local comic shop here in the UK. Thanks for the step by step walkthrough - it's great to see how this art comes to fruition!

    Great work as usual! :-)

  4. P.S. Is your son Will's painting of Totoro by any chance? :-)

  5. Thanks Alex! And Will's painting isn't Totoro. Which all my boys love by the way. Will has drawn him in the past. Actually it's his rendition of another superhero. He just had yellow paint, usually he would paint him "darker".

  6. Lovely cover, and the step-by-step is really interesting, thanks for sharing the process. I think elsewhere you said that you work digitally - is that the case here? Do you go digital after the pencil thumbnail? (Also - what tablet do you use? I'm shopping around and looking for a recommendation.)

  7. i really like this! i'm gonna pick up the book but would love a print of this too. great work!!

  8. @citygod, Thank you. I'm glad you liked the piece and the process.

    I do pencil sketches of ideas and then I do a very rough layout "sketch" in digital. The rough layout "sketch" was the first image I sent to my editor. I don't want to spend more time on that sketch, noodling it and making it pretty. I want to get the idea in front of him as soon as possible. If he is familiar with my work, he knows it will look great in the end.

    I draw on a Wacom Cintiq. It's a few years old, but pretty good for what I need. I'm not a tech guy, so you might want to ask someone more familiar with Cintiqs. Good luck!

  9. @O Maiquinho, Thanks! I know that the book is coming out in early July, but I'm not too sure if there will be prints available. Marvel owns this artwork, so I guess it's up to them.

  10. Sorry, you'll have to excuse me but I've got something in my eye...