Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Phantom Podcast (In Italian)

I've just discovered a very interesting Italian radio broadcast, (and PodCast) dedicated to the recent re-launch of The Phantom: L'Uomo Mascherato, published by Eura Editoriale. The broadcast aired on June 1st, 2009 on RadioStreet- Messina on the morning show "La Trasmissione di Morelli." In this program, conductor Dario Morelli interviews Lorenzo Bartoli, representative of Eura and writer of the acclaimed series "John Doe".
Overall, Mr. Bartoli does a good job explaining the great appeal of this new series as well as the relevance of The Phantom (a charachter created in 1936) in today's comic book market.
You can listen to the Podcast of the entire program, by clicking on the player below.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New, From Marvel Comics!

Marvel Comics has recently reprinted one of my old Black Panther stories ( "Stürm und Drang: A Story of Love and War," Black Panther # 26, January 2001) as part of the "X-MEN: WORLDS APART" hardcover edition. The volume also collects the mini-series "X-Men: Worlds Apart"#1-4 and "Marvel Team-up" #100.

The chapter I illustrated was written by Christopher Priest, with inks by Bob Almond and colors by Steve Oliff. The story narrates the beginnings of the epic romance between Black Panther and Storm which later culminates in their Royal wedding.

This same story had been previously reprinted in Marvel Milestones: Black Panther, Storm & Ka-zar," July 2006 as well as on the "Panthère Noire "Seduction de l'Innocent" Trade Paperback, published in 2004 by Marvel France.

X-MEN: WORLDS APART (HC ) can be ordered for US $ 15.59 on Amazon. The paperback edition will be released soon, and can be pre-ordered for US$ 10.87 on Amazon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Covers, Skulls and Sabre Swords

Two of my covers, (with colors by Eugenio Mattozzi) are about to be published on upcoming issues of Fantomen, Fantomet and Mustanaamio.
Both covers deal with The Phantom’s Skull Mark and Good Mark.

The first one (Fantomen 19-20/ 2009) is composed by two vertical panels, depicting the legendary Phantom rings. This cover is all about CONTRAST and BALANCE between the different body language, the cold and warm colors, the right and left hand, the Skull and the Good Mark. All these elements symbolize not just the simple idea of PUNISHMENT and REWARD invested in The Guardian of the Deep Woods, but the higher ideals of JUSTICE and MERCY which coexist and balance each other within a true ethical hero such as The Phantom.

The second cover (Fantomen 21/2009) shows in the background, what appears to be a pirate flag. The symbols on the flag however, are not those of a classic Jolly Roger but represent The Phantom’s Skull Mark and Good Mark. The latter is shown as four crossed sabre swords which is what the four crossed letters “P” more commonly represent. As far as I know, this is the first time the Good Mark has been depicted this way.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Congratulations to Eugenio!

Since my debut with Team Fantomen in 2007, Eugenio Mattozzi has been the color artist of all my Phantom covers. Thanks to Eugenio's talent and experience our covers have really come to life and have earned us the Best Fantomen Cover title in 2007 and 2008.
This month, (August 2009) Eugenio makes his first "Solo" appearance as the cover artist of The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks #4, published by Moonstone Books.
The cover illustration is one of two proposals, originally submitted by Eugenio, to a contest organized by Moonstone.
The second illustration should be appearing on another cover of the same series, in the near future.
Beside his work in comic books, Eugenio Mattozzi has been teaching Art in Jr. High School. He and his wife Kusum, and their two children live nearby Naples, Italy.

The Phantom Returns to Italy

In May 2009 The Phantom has returned on the Italian newsstands thanks to Eura Editoriale, one of the largest comic-book publishers in Italy.
L'Uomo Mascherato has had a long and illustrious publishing history in Italy, however, this is the first time stories produced by Semic Press -Egmont are published on the Italian market.
Even though my stories won't be appearing soon on this new series, I have released an interview and contributed a cover for issue # 172 (June 2009) of Fumo di China, Italy's foremost magazine of comic book culture. An interview with "Gammelredax" Ulf Granberg and other interesting Phantom-related features are also part of this outstanding issue.
The cover art for Fumo di China # 172 is a coloring variation of what I had previously drawn for Fantomen 8/2007. (Also: Fantomet 7/2007, Mustanaamio 8/2007)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who's "The Real" Robin Hood?

Last month, I finished illustrating “Hooded Justice-Part 1,” a nice adventure which brings The Phantom back in the world of Robin Hood.
This story, superbly written by David Bishop, is the sequel to my previous story, "The Witch Hunt," (Fantomen 6/2009; Fantomet 5/2009; Mustanaamio 6/2009; Frew #1534) and makes some reference to "The Long Bow of Little John." (Fantomen 15/2002; Fantomet 15/2002; Mustanaamio 15/2002; Frew #1329)
You can take a sneak-peek at the artwork from “Hooded Justice-Part 1” on my website (click here) and, perhaps, figure out the secret this story will be revealing. (Feel free to post your comments here)
For this story, I worked in tandem with my colleague César Spadari, who illustrated
"Hooded Justice-Part 2." Working with César (who lives in Argentina, while I reside in the USA) has given me the opportunity to exchange valuable opinions, visual references, preliminary drawing and improve a little bit on my Spanish.
The cover of this issue shows the famous statue of Robin Hood located in front of Nottingham Castle. In the background, The Phantom is posed exactly as the statue to symbolize the "secret connection" between the hero of The Deep Woods and the hero of Sherwood Forest.
"Hooded Justice -Part 1" will appear on Fantomen 23/2009; Fantomet 22/2009 and Mustanaamio 23/2009.(I'm not sure about the version from
Frew) Release date is October 29, 2009.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Phantom Original Art For Sale

The original art from five complete issues of The Phantom is now for sale on my website's Art for Sale page.
The artwork of each issue is sold all together, as a "Complete Package" and includes all the story pages, the cover, all preparatory sketches and page layouts as well as a color print of the cover and a copy of the script.
Some of the pages are only drawn in tight pencil form, (see lists) and reveal a quality of draftsmanship and attention to details which often doesn't transpire on the published product.
The Best Fantomen Cover of 2008 and corresponding story are also part of these special offers.
Phantom Phans, comic art collectors and artists alike would enjoy owning these pieces of comic book history.
Even if you are not interested in purchasing these collector's items, please feel free to visit my
Art for Sale page to take a good look at the nice large images.
The price of each Complete Package is comparable to what a collector would usually pay for just the cover and 5-6 pages of interior art.
You can visit my
Art for Sale page by clicking on this link.