27 April 2011

Red Skull Covers

Red Skull: Incarnate is a five-issue miniseries, written by Greg Pak with art by Mirko Colak and colors by Matthew Wilson, out in July from Marvel.

Editor Alejandro Arbona asked me to do five covers including design and logo. It was not intended to be a typical super hero comics, so it shouldn't have anything like typical cover art.

The series is about how a young German boy turns into Red Skull, in a story that parallels the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in pre-war Germany, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to get that historical aspect on the covers. I tried to approach the artwork as if they were real posters, newspapers and Nazi propaganda from that time, kind of in a documentary style.

I did extensive research into historical documents for the styles. In order to make that work, I used different typographies each issue, emulating different typefaces in real work; so I needed a uniform tone, technique and color in the finished art to identify all the covers as a whole collection.
These are some of the tons of real posters and stuff I based my work in:

Quotes by Frederick the Great and Friedrich Nietzsche in covers #1 and #3 were actually used in nazi propaganda.
At last was decided not to show swastikas on covers, but we thought readers' brains would fill blanks on issue #2.
Thanks to editor Sebastian Giner for helping us with German on issue #4 cover.
Here are some of the sketches I did during the process:

Official press release up on and CBR.