Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Entry 159: Avengers Covers 1,2,3

Welcome, everyone, to another blog entry by me, Dustin Weaver.

If you've looked me up because you saw my Avengers covers and thought, "Who's this jerk?" Well, that jerk is me. Hi. If you thought, "There's only room for one Dustin in comics and that is Dustin Nguyen!" Well, you're half right; there IS only room for one... I'm coming for you Nguyen... And if this post has google-alerted Dustin Nguyen, then hi, Dustin. See my last post for an explanation.

And that's what I'm talking about in this post. Dustin Nguyen. NO! AVENGERS COVERS!
So what I've posted is a bigger version of my covers. You can click on it, view it in its own window or whatever. It's big.

So lets go back to the evolution of this Avengers stuff. 

When Tom Brevoort e-mailed me asking if I wanted to be part of the AVENGERS team, it was like Nick Furry had e-mailed me. You could have lifted the text and made it dialogue for Samuel Jackson to say at the end of one of those movies. And when he told me who would be on the team, Jerom Opena and Dean White, Adam Kubert, and Mike Deodato, he might as well have said Thor, Hulk, Captain America, and Iron Man. And here I am, Hawkeye. I mean, those guys are big names in super hero comics right now. I'm really not. I was, and am, a bit intimidated.

As I understand it, me being a part of Avengers was Jonathan's idea. He wanted me to do the covers and originally he wanted me to do them a lot like my SHIELD covers. None of the characters leaping into your face, trying harder than they should to convince you that they are AWESOME! Something a little classier. Less is more, as in less trying to be awesome is more awesome. 

Here's an actual mock up Jonathan did using one of my SHIELD covers.
The idea would be to focus on a single character on each cover, Captain America on the first then Thor, then Iron Man, and so on. 

I did think that looked cool, but I was feeling like we had done that with SHIELD and I was looking for something different. Tom Brevoort mentioned the idea of connecting covers. I've never done that sort of thing and it seemed like an exciting challenge.

Here are my first takes on these covers.
The first idea is essentially the SHIELD covers idea.

In the second idea I tried to use the continuing image idea. 

We all agreed that the connecting covers idea was the better way to go, so we started hammering out that idea. We changed some posses, added characters, moved characters around, changed poses and then changed them back. There was a lot of back and forth, until we finally settled on this sketch.
As you can see, it's basically all there. 

Here's an interesting sketch I did to help clarify the way the camera turns through these covers. 
I wanted to make the point that all these figures are pointing in the same direction... It ends up looking like a bunch of Nazis.

Anyway, so we finally had our sketch and I could get started. Here are some proses photos.
And there is the final piece. All of the tones in the background were done digitally. All of the tones on the characters were done with markers.

There is more to the story of these covers, but I won't be able to talk about that until we get to covers 4,5, and 6, which I am also doing. In fact they are done.

Blogged and blogged.


  1. Well, that's my new wallpaper sorted...

    1. Just don't let it make you sick of the image before the actually issues come out and keep you from buying them.

  2. Now - I loved those initial sketch ideas, but holy cow did the finished product kick major ass. Can't wait to see the others!

    1. This is certainly a case where the input I was getting was almost all good and was pushing the image towards being better. Obviously, most of the time everyone should back off and let an artist run with a vision. But sometimes a team of people who are in sync can make a better thing... Sometimes, just sometimes, all those cooks in the kitchen end up making a lot of good food.

  3. Is that Brother Voodoo on the left :0

    1. Sunspot. Roberto da Costa. First Brazilian member of the Avengers, I think.

  4. Seriously awesome stuff Dustin. I really like how you handled the new Captain Marvel design and your Black Widow is stunning. The whole looks like it could have leapt right out of the movie. Keep up the great work.

    1. The Captain Marvel costume is interesting. I'm not sure that anyone has made it look good, but I feel like there is a way to make it look really good with just some subtle tweaks. I really haven't had a chance yet to play around with what I'm thinking, so we'll see.

  5. I'm a greedy bastard because I wish you had inked the whole thing with markers. ;)
    The tones on the Avengers are just spectacular. (Black Widow & Falcon have never looked better, btw.)
    Not trying to completely exhaust you - I just think your inking is really impressive here. :)

    Gotta say, the B&W inked version is my favorite. I'd buy a wraparound cover of that.
    Great work on this, Dustin. Incredibly intricate, but you pulled it off.
    It really guides the eye well.

    Not a big name in super hero comics?...

    1. I had originally intended to put all the gray tones in with marker, but when I reached that point I was just so uncertain that I could make it look how I wanted it. So instead of risking it, I decided to do it in photoshop where I can always undo something if I don't like it.

      I included the grays as a separate layer so that Justin could colorize it without effecting the line art. The result is something cleaner and slicker than I would have gotten with markers... Markers work on the characters because there are no big areas of gray where you would start seeing the strokes.

      I'll take the complement on Falcon, but I've seen some good Black Widows.

      About the intricacies of this piece-- I should have included a version of this image with my crazy warped perspective grid over-laid on it. It was tough stuff to work out, so I appreciate you saying that I pulled it off.

  6. Hi, Dustin.
    Can you post a very high resolution pic of the textless covers? I'd really like to make a poster of them.
    You made a fantastic work!

    1. I actually don't have a larger file than the one I've put up. I'd have to get it from Justin... Maybe Marvel will make a poster of it. We'll see.

    2. Ok, I'll try with this, for now. Thank you for replying!

  7. Little question,the background looks so good that got me wondering, its donne digital? like sketch-up or anothe rendering program? or you are just so damn good?

    1. I guess I'm just that damn good;)
      Actually there is all kinds of weird and probably wrong things happening in this background. That is, I think if you did manage to create this shot with 3d models it would turn out way different. And I think it would be hard create.

      Someone on tumblr asked me if I used Sketchup. Here's how I put it to them:

      I’ve never gotten into using Sketchup or any other 3-D modeling software. I know that a lot of artists use 3-D models to save time, but I’ve put a lot of effort into learning how to visualize and create this kind of stuff on my own. I’m just faster and more adept at drawing with a pencil and paper than I am at making 3-D models or even searching for the right ready-made model.

      Another appeal of 3-D models is the fact that you can get things exactly and consistently right. This is an attractive idea for an illustrator who values realism. But I don’t mind getting things wrong. I actually believe that inaccuracies make an image more interesting.

  8. You ARE damn good!
    Thanks for the answer, I totally forgot to check it. Im a comic artist myself and I'm always getting atracted to digital tools, has you said, it makes no sense to learn to use them if you already know how to make this by yourself. Also I agree that inaccuracies make an image more interesting, perfect is boring.
    Thanks Mr Weaver you are an inspiration.

    (sorry for the crappy English, Im Argentinian)

  9. Hey, Mr.Weaver.

    Huge fan of this picture.

    Any plans to release a mega poster of this full image? Marvel released a picture of the first issue, but not the others.

    1. Thank you!
      I feel like I'm the last to know when ever one of my pictures gets turned into a poster. I personally made some prints of this image that I've sold at shows. It would be cool if marvel did a poster. I just don't know.

  10. OMG I wish you done the individual covers in a way because that Iron Man cover is sick !! especially your skills drawing of technology !