Friday 30 September 2011

Marvel Heroes and Spider-Man Annuals 2012

This years MARVEL HEROES and SPIDER-MAN Annuals, published by those fine folks at Panini Comics UK both feature a little dose of Soulmania! Yep, both books feature comics strips by yours truly!

First up is MARVEL HEROES Annual 2012, which features among others, an Incredible Hulk strip of mine.... and is a re-print from MARVEL HEROES #5. I drew this strip wayyy back in 2008, and am still proud of it to this day. I'm doubly thrilled to see it printed in a hard-back format as well. It's a great little story written by James Peaty... and features ol' Greenskin against the forces of Hydra (as seen recently on the big-screen in this years awesome Marvel movie, Captain America: The First Avenger)! Other strips in this awesome annual feature Captain America, a Doctor Strange/Hawkeye team up, Iron Man and a certain web-slinger, who does whatever a spider can!

Which brings us to this years SPIDER-MAN Annual, which features not one, but THREE Spidey strips... reprinted from my work on Panini Comic's SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES (all inked by Simon Ecob, with colours by the brilliant Jason Cardy)!!
First up there is a Spidey/Thor team up from SPEC SPIDEY#129 (also recently re-printed in MARVEL HEROES #34).. written by Ferg Handley. Then there is the Spidey/Fantastic Four two-parter (as featured in SPEC SPIDEY issues 119 & 120).. written by Mitch Scanlon. Add to that a Spidey/Avengers team-up from SPEC SPIDEY issue 126, and you've got an action-packed annual featuring a multitude of guest-stars!

With Christmas coming up, would make some MARVELous stocking fillers! Both annuals are out now in all good UK bookshops, priced £7.99.

Sunday 11 September 2011

The proudest moment of my career....

Here is a recent commission I was asked to do by comic art fan/collector Kevin Moorhead. Kevin, who commissioned me awhile ago to do a cover recreation of the Frank Miller/Al Milgrom cover to Incredible Hulk #258 (which you can see here) asked me this time to do an imaginary cover for Savage She-Hulk Annual #1... featuring the She-Hulk versus classic Hulk villains the U-Foes (who Kevin had me feature in the previous commission, replacing the Soviet Super-Soldiers). In Marvel continuity, it was the Hulk who first did battle with the U-Foes (in Incredible Hulk #254)... but for the purposes of this commission, Kevin asked if I could do a 'What-If' style cover, in which the She-Hulk is the first to battle the villainous U-Foes, who were created by Marvel Legend Bill Mantlo.

This cover was great fun to work on, but the thing that makes it so special for me is who Kevin commissioned to ink it.. none other than my all-time hero in comics, the legendary Sal Buscema!! Here is what Kevin wrote on his comicartfans gallery page:

"Seriously, how is it possible that Simon isn't drawing something for one of the big guys? Seriously!

I've loved Simon's Bronze Age look since I first saw it. Such a wonderful mix of the Buscema's styles. Sal's poses and John's curved lines. After the first commission that I got from him (the Hulk cover) turned out so well I knew that one day I'd want to ask for something else. A few months back he and I started talking about just what that'd be. I forget what I originally suggested but it very quickly came to She-Hulk vs. the U-Foes (Vector, Vapor, Ironclad and X-Ray). Simon stepped up to the plate and went for a full cover. A long lost original cover for She-Hulks first annual. At the time I was only able to go with the pencils but still, ~man~, was it a good looking piece of work.

Things changed and I was able to look into getting it inked and, with Simon's approval (and a big grin on his face) I approached Sal Buscema about inking it. I'm also a big fan of Sal's and he created the Foes along with Bill Mantlo during their great Hulk run. Sal agreed and not only turned out a great piece of work but also talked about how much he liked Simon's work. Sal's a class act, as is Simon. Now if I can only hit the lottery and have them do the rest of the book ...

Original size 11x17"

And without further ado, here is the finished piece of work:

The Savage She-Hulk... versus the U-Foes!
Pencils by Simon Williams, Inks by Sal Buscema.
Image property of Kevin Moorhead, and featured here
with his kind permission.

To say that having Sal ink my work is a dream come true... well, that is a huge understatement... but to hear that he likes my work as well really means so much to me. I'd like to say a big thank you to Sal not only for the kind words, and also for the many years of joy and inspiration that his work has given me. Plus the stella job he did inking this piece as well. Plus of course, big BIG thanks to Kevin for making this happen!

And Kevin... if ever you do win that lottery, it would be my pleasure to draw the rest of the book... ;)