Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Promo - Chaos Effect flyer

Found these pictures of a nifty Chaos Effect promo that I've never seen before. I have no idea what it was used for or how it was distributed but it was most likely given to retailers to promote the Chaos Effect crossover. I really like the image on the front and the Darque logo. Bob Layton drew the image and it features Magnus Robot Fighter, Doctor Mirage, Doctor Eclipse, Shadowman, Carmen Ruiz, Master Darque and Sandria Darque. If I find out more I will update this entry.

Here is the front:

And the inside:

Unfortunately,  I don't have any pictures of the back.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Original Art - X-O Manowar #2 cover

Not too long ago I featured the ink art to the beautiful Barry Windsor-Smith cover to the first issue of X-O Manowar. Now I've got my hands on a scan of the inks to the second issue of X-O Manowar, also by Barry Windsor-Smith and inked by Bob Layton.

And here is the published cover.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Master Darque song lyric

This is a strange post. A band I've never heard of called You Love Her Coz Shes Dead wrote a song I've never heard of called Bloodlust in which they talk about Master Darque. It must be a popular song because its all over the internet and YouTube and has tens of thousands of views. Check it out for yourself. Video and lyrics posted below.

Master Darque's got evil schemes /
What do you live for when evil is what you dream? /
Her ghost sleeps with killers and knives /
Scene from a movie /
Bloodlust in his eyes /
In his eyes /
Yeah living on the dead side
/ You're the shady black night with fear in your eyes
/ No surprise
/ Spreading those lies
/ It's your disguise /
Evil eyes /
In the fire /
Tongue lashing at his jaw /
He's got a secret lust for waging war /
In love with death /
On backstreet meth /
Waiting with baited breath /
You've got grim jack on call back / You've got grim jack on call back /
Her ghost sleeps with killers and knives / S
cene from a movie /
Bloodlust in his eyes /
In his eyes


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rai #0 cover silhouette a swipe?

Following on from the last post, did you know that the silhouette on the cover of Rai #0 is actually a swipe?

The cover shows the silhouette of Bloodshot (whose blood is part of the origin of the Rai lineage) and is drawn by artist David Lapham. But the concept was first sketched out by writer Jim Shooter. Shooter didn't have enough faith in his illustrating skills so he grabbed a copy of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #10 (1986). and traced a Mike Zeck drawn image of Punisher! Lapham kept the look and the cover of Rai #0 ended up being a swipe. Don't believe me? See for yourself.

Here is the Punisher image in question.

And here is a silhouette created from said Punisher image.

Now here is a side by side comparison of the Rai #0 cover as printed and the cover with the Punisher image overlapping

Credit to both ValiantFans.com and ComicBrowser.com for the images.

UPDATE: Here is a direct quote from an interview with Jim Shooter explaining the swipe.

I actually drew the cover to Rai #0. It was just a silhouette, so someone had to fill it in and ink the dot. We had obviously planned the look of the character by that point. And I should admit this, in the interest of fairness: I was looking at a drawing that Mike Zeck did. I mean, I'm not that good an artist and the only reason I did it was that we didn't have anybody with a free pair of hands who could do it. If we'd had a real artist available, somebody else could have done it, but I ended up doing this because it was a silhouette. I figured, You know, I could do this. So I did just to save time for Bob and for Don and the other guys. I don' t think anybody could tell it was done by an amateur.

The Top 20 Coolest Comic Covers by CoverBrowser.com

Found this interesting list of the "Top 20 Coolest Comic Covers" of all time over at CoverBrowser.com and guess what the #1 coolest cover is?

Rai #0

Yes! Rai #0. What a great cover! So simple yet it says so much. The cover is arguably the first appearance of Bloodshot who was a heavily anticipated character. The use of a silhouette only fueled that anticipation. And the Japanese flag as a design element as well as the bleed through background for the red dot on Bloodshot's chest is beautiful.

Check out the list for yourself to see what else made the grade:

Fan Art - Jun Bob Kim's Valiant submission

Professional illustrator Jun Bob Kim (Cipher) is a Valiant fan. So much so that before getting his big break he sat down and attempted to complete two pages of art featuring some of the Valiant characters for a planned submission to Valiant Comics. Interesting to think about which character he may have been assigned to draw had he finished the submission and Valiant liked it. Below are the two unfinished submission pieces. They feature X-O Manowar, Solar and Magnus Robot Fighter battling a horde of Predators.

Valiant Poster - Shadow Man video game set

Check out these cool Shadow Man posters promoting the first Shadow Man video game. They came from some video game magazine but I have no idea which one. I will endeavor to discover. Check back for an update...eventually.

Pretty damn cool huh?

Ads - Unity trading card set

Here's a scan of the advertisement for the then upcoming UNITY crossover trading card set by Comic Images. Notice the old style Valiant logo. The advertisement features to covers to Unity #0 and #1 as well as an image of Shadowman.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Statue - Shadowman

I'm going to attempt to compile every scrap of information on the foreign import Shadow Man (two words because that's how the video game spells it and this is a statue based on the video game) statue in this post so please check back as there will be updates.

What is it?
A 16 inch / 40 cm tall (with base) cold cast resin statue of Shadow Man based on the Michael LeRoi version of the character from the Acclaim comics and video games.

Where was it avaliable?
Seems to have been avaliable only in Europe.

How much is it?
The original retail price is unknown but when one appears on eBay it usually sells for approx. $100 USD.

How many were made?
Unknown but it was a limited edition.

When was it made?

Who Made it?
Acclaim Entertainment German Division through a license with Muckle Mannequin. It was sculpted by Studio Oxmox.


UPDATE: I found the Muckle Mannequin official website which still has some information on the statue:


Original Art - Magnus Robot Fighter #5 cover prelim

Yet another original art post. What can I say, there have been a lot of great original art finds lately and it helps that original art makes for quick and easy posts.

Today we have the preliminary pencil outline for the cover of Magnus Robot Fighter #5 (Magnus side cover of the flip-book) by Art Nichols. This is the rough pencil drawing done by the artist for the editor to approve and shows the general composition, body shapes etc. These are very rare as most of them are tossed out after the final cover is completed.

And here is the published cover for comparison.

Notice how the composition stays relatively the same, shifting only to show a wider breath of Slagger's destruction and higher to avoid a possible Magnus up-skirt. The figures also stay as they were with the exception of Magnus' arms. I think the position of his arms in the prelim are more dynamic and focus the image on the struggle between them as opposed to just avoiding the spinning blades. I guess, the prelim makes shows Magnus in less danger as he has Slagger in hand where as in the publishing cover he narrowly and awkwardly misses the blades giving the feeling of jeopardy and showing Slagger in the position of power.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Commission - Valiant versus Crossgen by Bart Sears

Someone came up with a cool idea - The Valiant Universe versus The Crossgen Universe - and then hired Bart Sears (X-O Manowar) to bring it to life. The result is the double page splash below. The original scan wasn't great and the photoshop work I did to bring out the inks only helped so much. Please email if you have a better scan.

I don't know my Crossgen characters anymore (I never really liked that Universe, the quality was all over the place) but I can make out quite a few Valiant characters:

  • X-O Manowar is front and center taking out some guy and holding some item which I'm sure has Crossgen importance.
  • Spider Alien corpses litter the ground .
  • Armstrong is fighting a samurai looking guy behind X-O Manowar.
  • Archer is to the left of Armstrong and is getting mobbed by Spider Aliens.
  • Solar is behind Archer & Armstrong and seems to be the reason these two Universes are meeting.
  • Magnus is to the left of X-O Manowar.
  • Rai is leaping to fight some guy with a sword behind Magnus.
  • Shadowman is to the left of Magnus.
  • Eternal Warrior is looking badass and fighting that chick from Sojourn to the right of X-O Manowar.
  • Bloodshot is in the top right corner, loping off Spider-Alien heads
  • Turok is one of the two guys book-ending the image with arrows. He is on the right.
I don't see Ninjak or the Harbinger kids. Did I miss any?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fan Art - Shadowman envelope art

I love fan art, even the most amateur looking ones, because of the passion. Here's a cool piece of Shadowman fan art that was drawn and colored onto a mailing envelope (names and address erased for privacy).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Val....the spokescat for VALIANT?

Little known fact: During Valiant's early years, when most of the Valiant super-heroes we're familiar with today had not yet been created but the staff necessary to create them were already on the books, a number of custom comics were created by Valiant Comics for various corporations (KFC comes to mind but that's a whole other post). Below is a scan of a comic / marketing pamphlet Valiant Comic's produced to advertise and inform potential clients about their abilities to create custom comics. Check it out!

Some interesting things to look out for:

  • The first (and only?) appearance of Val, the Valiant spokescat
  • The boy on the train reading a copy of Magnus: Robot Fighter
  • Valerie D'Orazio, Don Perlin and Steven Massarsky (co-founder of Valiant Comics) make appearances
  • As do Hercules and Dracula!

Ads - Free Unity #0

Here's a scan of the advertisement that ran in all the Valiant books explaining the then upcoming UNITY crossover and how Valiant were going to give away the first part (Unity #0) for free. Check out the cool UNITY artwork by David Lapham and Bob Layton. To my knowledge it has never been published anywhere else. Lapham does such iconic versions of the Valiant characters. I love his Shadowman and Sting!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Commission - Bloodshot and Eternal Warrior by Rags Morales

Found this at ComicArtFans.com today and had to post it.  It's a commission (I'm not filing it under fan art because someone actually paid the artist to create it or original art because it was not commissioned by Valiant) of Bloodshot and the Eternal Warrior by none other than Rags Morales (Infinite Crisis). Morales got his start in comic books at Valiant illustrating Turok and famously dressed like a Native American so that he could be one with the character. He has gone on to become one of the hottest artists in comics.

The commission captures both characters beautifully and the charcoal works to great effect.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fan Art - Master Darque digital art

A cool digital image of Master Darque created by none of then Valiant alum Clifford Van Meter. Since this was not created for any product but out of love for the character I'm labeling it fan art!

Original Art - X-O Manowar #1 cover


And here is the original scan I was emailed.

Beautiful Barry Windsor-Smith cover to the first issue of X-O Manowar. Inked by Bob Layton. You can see from the original that the arm and head are pasted on. I wonder what the original pose was. Was he not shooting back? I remember reading an interview with Bob Layton where he talked about the helmet changing quite a few times for this cover.

And here is the printed version.

Imagine Casting: Harbinger movie

Found this cool website that has fans vote on the ultimate cast for stories that should be made into movies. They have a cool dream cast for Harbinger. I'm not sure how I feel about Channing Tatum playing Sting, I've always seen Sting as more of a Transformers 1 Shia LaBeouf type. Watanabe and Winstead are great choices though.

Director: Joss Whedon
 Good choice.

Pete Stanchek/Sting: Channing Tatum
(not the most Pete-like photo but the only one I could find where he had a shirt on!)

Toyo Herada: Ken Watanabe

Kris Hathaway: Teresa Palmer
Not a bad choice.

Faith Herbert/Zephyr: Allison Mack 
Could be worse.
Charlene Dupree/Flamingo: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Good choice.

John Torkelson/Torque: Benjamin McKenzie
Not bad.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Evolution of the Archer & Armstrong logo

Found this at the Barry Windsor-Smith official site and have reproduced it here.

"The original Archer & Armstrong masthead was pretty lame. In late August of 1992 I hired [typographical designer] Kenny Lopez to design something new and better to begin with the Riviera issue [A&A 5]. I do logo and title lettering myself, so I have a real apprecaiton for the quality of Kenny's work. All the same, after he'd offered a few perfectly fine masthead designs [for Archer & Armstrong], I figured the best way to illustrate the carnival style lettering I was envisioning, was to draw it myself. I faxed a rough design to Ken and asked him to refine and finish it for me in ink. I think he did the work reluctantly because he told me over the phone that my A&A logo went against his every principal of comic book logo design. Ken knows what he's talking about, of course, but nevertheless, the new [A&A] logo was greeted with enthusiasm. It came out lovely in my opinion." - BWS

Original Logo

Final Logo