Kaare Andrews Smash! The secret origin of a promo image

Fans of Marvel Comics' Incredible Hulk better start brushing up on how to pronounce Kaare Andrews' name. He's set to become the new cover artist on the book, and if his debut promotional image is anything to judge by, he's going to be a hot topic of discussion amongst comic fans.

[Hulk Finish]

For this image, Andrews decided to use a classic Jim Steranko cover image as a jumping off point.

"I read somewhere back in art school that bad artists copy, good artists borrow and great artists steal," Andrews told Comic Book Resources on Saturday. "When you steal something you make it your own. You take what you want. You aren't limited by what 'it was' or what 'it should be.' It's yours."

He then worked up some thumbnails, and used it as the guideline for the next stages, which included taking photo reference shots of a friend in his underwear.

"It's always fun to get film like that developed at the one hour photo."

The next stage sees him drawing the image in penciled form, something he doesn't always bother with before moving the image to Photoshop.

"The amazing thing about digital art is that there IS no original. Nothing. You are basically drawing information that is exactly reproducible. This is exciting because the printing process was first invented to reproduce an 'original work.' Take away that original work. Is it still art? What is art? Does the artist himself become the 'original?'"

Scanning it in, Andrews began painting atop it in Photoshop, using a color rough to work out coloring choices.

"I wasn't quite happy with the colors in my approved thumbnail. I thought it lacked some of the 'pop' that the Steranko cover had. So I ruffed out a version using the '60s colors. On the final version I found a happy medium between the original thumb and this color ruff."

All told, it takes him a week of work -- four to five days -- to complete each cover.

"That's what I like about doing covers. I like the time you get to create a finished image."

While he used a classic Hulk image for this first piece of art, it wasn't the past images of the Hulk that got him most excited.

"What's inspired me for the covers is the direction of the new scripts. Really cool. The new scripts remind me of '70s street noir and movies like 'Taxi Driver' and 'Mean Streets.'"

Beyond his covers for "The Incredible Hulk," Andrews will be keeping busy with other projects for the foreseeable future.

"I'm working on screen shots for the next Spider-Man Playstation game for Activision. As you finish each level you'll see a screen shot either by me, Mark Bagley or John Romita Sr.

"I'm working on a single-issue story for 'Tangled Web' that I wrote and painted. Comes out in November."

Andrews also just finished a run on DC/WildStorm's "Gen13."

Oh, and you pronounce Kaare like "Car E."

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