Thursday, February 14, 2008
For those who came in late...
Some have become familiar with my work because of my painted Phantom covers for the Moonstone Books series that started with the (now sold out) trade paperback collection back in 2003. Moonstone publisher and editor-in-chief, Joe Gentile has described my relationship with Moonstone and The Phantom best:
Joe explains, "With The Phantom, we were really looking to do something that would be noticed. We are basically dealing with a man in purple tights running through the African jungle. So, we wanted to showcase what makes the Phantom who he is: the 'Ghost Who Walks'. He has been looked upon with awe and respect for 20 generations. We needed to amp up the character's innate mystery and power, and somehow make him look like a real human being, but show that he may be MORE than that. That's where Doug Klauba comes in. With Doug's painting of the Phantom, by far the most powerful and most emotion - provoking depiction of this character that I have ever seen, he shows the Phantom realistically, but with that extra touch of otherworldliness that befits the 'Ghost Who Walks'. The Phantom is a guy who, when he walks into a room, the bad guys immediately want to leave. Here, with Doug's painting, I think he captures the inner intensity of the character like never before."
The current Phantom team headed by Mike Bullock is currently approaching issue #25 with an exciting, all out-action packed double issue. Mike invited me to illustrate his story arc across a wrap around cover and I wholeheartedly accepted the challenge. What you see here is a study of the cover image without the back cover elements. The back cover will be a montage of story elements and characters from issues #19-#25. Normally, my studies for The Phantom stop at pencil drawings with some added acrylic color over scanned print outs- but with this one, I couldn't resist! I did a finished painted study as I continue to fine tune the rest of the drawing for the complete wrap around cover. You'll find this image as Moonstone solicits issue #25, but you'll see the full wrap around art when that issue hits the stands. Order yours now!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
This art deco inspired cityscape was originally imagined for my calendar illustration of Buck Rogers for The Adler Planetarium and Space Museum in Chicago. I used art deco elements and incorporated them into buildings from old 1930’s – 1940’s photographs and the film, Just Imagine. After working on the study I soon realized that it wasn’t going to work in the futuristic video monitor. The shape wasn’t fitting into the video screen as I had intended (partly because I decided to change the monitor’s shape into a much more “retro-futuristic” design). But, the buildings just weren’t foreboding enough either. So, I filed it away and resurrected it later on into a personal and experimental painting of Batman and named it Gotham City.
The illustration of Buck Rogers was imagined for the Adler’s 2001 calendar. When the project was presented to me, my subject for the given month was “Haley’s Comet”. I soon developed a sketch that represented my thoughts of the museum that I remembered from visiting many times as a young boy. The memories of my visits always filled my super charged imagination with epic space travel, planetary tales, stars and sci-fi heroes. This is what I wanted to illustrate and now I had my concept in mind. I placed my space hero from yesteryear in front of a video monitor (from the film Things To Come), alarmed by the foreboding meteor and ready for adventure with his dome helmet and raygun in his holster. I incorporated my admiration of pulp art and vintage sci-fi into the Haley’s Comet theme. And even more suiting was the tie-in with the Buck Rogers character frozen and awaken some 500 years later into the future world of New Chicago. I thought it was a very well rounded piece for a Chicago institution. The finished illustration was later accepted into the pages of Spectrum 8: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art and then re-used as a promotional poster and advertising for CF3: The Chicago Fantastic Film Festival.