Wolverine Art Appreciation Covers and Their Inspiration – Part 2

June 7, 2010  |  All Covers, Marvel

Welcome to part 2 of Wolverine’s art appreciation covers. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you’re fine, they can be read in any order. To recap, Marvel celebrated the 35th anniversary of Wolverine’s first appearance in April 2009, by producing many art appreciation covers. These variant covers were inspired by some of the greatest artists of all time, including Alphonse Mucha, Pablo Picasso and Roy Lichenstein.



Presented here is the second installment of the Wolverine art appreciation covers and the artists who inspired them.

Amazing Spider-man 590

Amazing Spider-Man 590 Wolverine Art Appreciation

Amazing Spider-Man 590 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Amazing Spider-man’s variant art appreciation cover by Paolo Rivera in the style of C.M. Coolidge. Cassius Marcellus Coolidge is best known for his sixteen paintings of anthropomorphic dogs comissioned by Brown & Bigelow, nine of which feature dogs playing poker. Of the nine paintings in the poker series, A Bold Bluff is the direct inspiration for Rivera’s cover. Waterloo is the follow-up painting where we learned if the bluff worked on not. A Bold Bluff and Waterloo sold for $590,400 in 2005, obliterating the previous record high for a Coolidge painting that went for a mere $74,000. Dogs Playing Poker is certainly one of the most copied paintings in history.

C.M. Coolidge - A Bold Bluff

C.M. Coolidge - A Bold Bluff

C. M. Coolidge - Waterloo

C. M. Coolidge - Waterloo

Besides being a painter, Coolidge was an inventor, and patented “Processes of Taking Photographic Pictures.” Commonly known as Comic Foregrounds, these are the painted Boardwalk cut-outs where you place your head for a photo opportunity that we’ve probably all used at one time or another.

Comic Foregrounds invented by C.M. Coolidge

Comic Foregrounds invented by C.M. Coolidge

Runaways 9

Runaways 9 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Runaways 9 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Runaways’ variant art appreciation cover by David Lafuente in the style of Alphonse Mucha. Mucha was an unknown Czech artist living in Paris until he debuted a poster on January 1, 1895, in a new unconventional style. This poster was for the play Gismonda starring, one of the great actresses of the time, Sarah Bernhardt. The poster was an instant success and Bernhardt signed a six year contract with Mucha. Art Nouveau (originally called the Style Mucha) was born.

Alphonse Mucha - Gismonda

Alphonse Mucha - Gismonda

Mucha’s style had a revival in the psychedelic 60′s and his influence can be seen in many posters of the time, like this one for Pink Floyd by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat.

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat - Pink Floyd, 1967

Poster by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat - Pink Floyd, 1967, CIA-UFO Club

Moon Knight 29

Moon Knight 29 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Moon Knight 29 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Moon Knight’s variant art appreciation cover by Juan Doe in the style of Pablo Picasso. Picasso is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement, and for creating art in a wide-variety of styles and mediums. One of his most famous paintings is the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon). This oil painting depicts five nude prostitutes at a brothel on Avinyó Street in Barcelona. The African mask-like faces on two of the women start Picasso’s two-year long African-influenced Period. This period directly leads into Cubism. In Juan Doe’s cover, we can see influences from not only those two periods, but also Picasso’s Blue Period as well.

Pablo Picasso - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Pablo Picasso - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Daredevil 118

Daredevil 118 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Daredevil 118 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Daredevil’s variant art appreciation cover by Juan Doe & Russ Heath in the style of Roy Lichenstein. Lichenstein was a prominent American pop artist, influenced by both advertising and comic book art. In an interview in 1997, shortly before his death from pneumonia, he said, “Picasso himself would probably have thrown up looking at my pictures.”

One of his most famous and earliest pop art paintings is Whaam!, which is based on a panel by Jerry Grandenetti from DC’s All-American Men of War #89. Most of Lichenstein’s famous works are not quite exact copies of panels by the likes of Jack Kirby, Tony Abruzzo, Irv Novick, Russ Heath, as well as Grandenetti.

Roy Lichtenstein - Whaam!

Roy Lichtenstein - Whaam!

All-American Men of War #89

Panel from All-American Men of War #89

Crying Girl, was one of the artworks featured in the movie Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian starring Ben Stiller.

Roy Lichtenstein - Crying Girl

Roy Lichtenstein - Crying Girl

Ghost Rider 34

Ghost Rider 34 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Ghost Rider 34 Variant Wolverine Art Appreciation Cover

Ghost Rider’s variant art appreciation cover by Alina Urusov in the style of Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese Woodblock). Even though Sharaku is one of the great masters of Japanese woodblock printing, very little is actually known about him, including his true name or his date of birth and death. One theory is that Sharaku is not actually a “who” but merely a collective of artists that worked for the same woodblock print house.

Sharaku did not try to realistically portray his subjects, unlike earlier masters. He, instead, exaggerated their facial features and tried to portray their psychological realism. In the woodblock directly inspiring this cover, the actor Otani Oniji II is shown in the role of Yakko Edobe. A yakko is a manservant a samurai would utilize to perform violent acts. The ruthlessness of this samurai henchman is translated perfectly in the Wolverine version by Urusov.

This cover is my personal favorite of all the Wolverine art appreciation covers. What I really want to know is, how did Sharaku know to put an X-men symbol on his woodblock over 200 years ago? That’s a Nostradamus-like prediction!

Tōshūsai Sharaku – Otani Oniji II, dated 1794.

Tōshūsai Sharaku – Otani Oniji II, dated 1794.

We’ve now covered 11 of Marvel’s 16 art appreciation covers through part 1 and part 2. Tune in soon- same Wolverine-time, same Wolverine-channel for part 3!

 

2 Comments


  1. Are you going to really do Wolverine Art Appreciation Covers and Their Inspiration – Part 3, or not?

    Thanks, Charlie

  2. Nice work mate, you should keep it going. Pls add some link buttons to your page, it’s a really good way to spread the word.

    Why don’t you ask people to submit pics?

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