This is the last art book review I'll post before my trip to San Diego Comic Con 2009.
When I found out the book was in stock at the local Kinokuniya, I left for the bookshop immediately. It's finally here!
Marko Djurdjevic is a German illustrator who has only started drawing comic covers for Marvel since 2006. In these three years, he has amassed a ton of top quality art to create his first portfolio art book, The Marvel Art Of Marko Djurdjevic
This book features the cover art he has drawn for X-Men First Class, Blade, Thunderbolts, Daredevil, Mystic Arcana, Wolverine: Origins, Thor, Spider-man-One More Day, Avengers, Hulk, Magneto and many more. The lavishly painted illustrations are accompanied by the original sketches, including rejected pieces by editors. In the last chapter, there are even character designs and sketches which got him talent scouted by Chris Allo, talent manager at Marvel.
The hardcover opens up to a concept sketch of Thor battling skeletons drawn with intense cross hatching. Straightaway you know this book is going to be good. The comic covers are reproduced brilliantly and big on the semi glossy paper. The quality of art is amazing, of course. He's got all his foundational skills down - composition, form and anatomy.
Although he has a lot of dynamic pieces, his strongest ones are actually the quieter and subtle pieces which capture the mood perfectly. The piece I like is the one with young Magneto in tears watching people being burnt in Nazi camp furnaces. It makes readers really feel for him. It's incredibly difficult to tell a story with only one panel. This illustration did it. It's really a powerful and emotive piece.
All the illustrations are accompanied by captions. Marko Djurdjevic shares his thoughts on the covers, colour choices, comments and criticisms, among others. There's also the story of him breaking into the comics industry, which is really inspiring considering he did it through sheer determination, discipline and passion. The closing interviews by Coro Kaufman and Andrew Jones give even more dimension into his personality. He self taught everything himself, was a heavy drinker before he met his wife, draws with a pen to build confidence. Very interesting read.
I love art books that talk about the artists in addition to the art. This is definitely one of my favourite art books in 2009.
Most highly recommended.
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