Marvel Animation Age recently talked to fan-favorite artist Kaare Andrews,
best known for his cover artwork for a host of different comic titles,
about his work on the upcoming Hulk Versus, the animated direct-to-video
feature hitting shelves on January 27th, 2009, and much more.
Kaare, for those who may not be familiar with your work, care to
provide us with some of your background?
Sure. Well, I'm
a writer and artist in the comic book world who has mostly worked with
Marvel Comics for about 9 years now. I'm most known for my work on two
years of crazy Hulk covers and a Spider-Man mini-series that I wrote and
drew called Spider-Man: REIGN. I'm also known for drawing in a wide
variety of styles. Basically, I approach each project as a chance to try
something new and while it's not really the norm in this industry, it's
a way to keep it fresh and challenging.
Before we look
at the Hulk Versus cover, I have to ask about your stint as The
Incredible Hulk cover artist. You managed to make each cover to that
series unique and different, showing an incredible amount of flexibility
when it comes to style. They ranged from original works to brilliant
homages While this may be an impossible question to answer, but how did
you come up with those amazing covers? Is there a cover that stands
out as your favorite.
There really was no plan to create
such an eclectic run on the Hulk covers. It happened very organically
and the first few covers were very 'normal' and included an homage to a
classic Jim Steranko cover, who is one of my favorite artists of all
time. Then one day when I handed in some layout ideas to my editor Axel
Alonso I included a riff off of a Norman Rockwell cover that I had been
staring at that day. I thought it would be fun to try to emulate the way
he paints and it was a fairly humorous cover. I didn't expect Axel to
approve it but he did and that started the whole ball in motion. Soon
enough I was homaging or stealing my favorite posters, children's book
covers and cereal boxes. I was experimenting with crazy techniques too.
One cover I made by sculpting a life size head of the Hulk in
clay, casting it in resin and painting it and photographing it. I was
basically living out a childhood dream of becoming a make-up artist. The
problem was that I was using crazy toxic materials in my one bedroom
apartment and almost killed myself. And all the materials cost so much
money that I'm not even sure I turned a profit. But it was great fun. I
love experimenting. I would say that my favorite Hulk covers from the
past were my Where The Wild Things are homage and my cereal box cover.
Those are the ones I enjoy signing the most anyways. I think it's very
telling when you draw from the things you love. It shows in the work.
And when I was a kid I loved that book and I loved cereal.
When approaching a canvas, whether itıs for a comic cover,
interiors, etc., what is your thought process before putting brush to
paper (or the computer equivalent)? Based on your work for such titles
as Wolverine (in
reference to issue #32) and Spider-Man:
Reign, you seen to have a specific idea of what youıre aiming for
when you approach each new project.
I ask myself two
questions. What will make me want to draw this story? And is it
appropriate to the story itself? There are so many different ways to do
things. It's much more marketable to create 'one look' and then spend
the rest of your life refining or building on that one look. But as you
can see from my toxic Hulk mask story I seldom worry about turning a
profit and I seldom worry about my health. I just try to find a reason
to love what I do. And that reason has to continually change and evolve.
My one rule is this: I must keep the same style for the life of the
project. This rule of course doesn't apply to covers but for the
interior art it needs to live in the same world.
meet people who love my really cartoony look that I created for
Spider-Man Manga or X-Men Unlimited and could care less for my
hyper-realistic painted style. And I constantly meet people who hate
that cartoony stuff and prefer my painted style or my more traditional
pen and ink style. But if you look at every great artist they are
constantly evolving. I'm talking about Madonna or Darren Aronofsky or
the like... It's a bit of a trap to try to become great at something but
I want to at least travel on the same road as artists I admire. Keep
each chapter in my work fresh and surprising. It doesn't always work out
in the end but it is the journey that is important to me.
On that note, providing the artwork for the Hulk Versus
packaging seems like a natural fit. Were you approached for this task or
did you seek it out? If you were approached, why do you think Marvel
wanted you for this task?
I believe the very exuberant
Craig Kyle at Marvel Animation (and now Marvel Studios) is to blame. It
was a great fit for me because of my history with both the Hulk and
Wolverine and my Norwegian heritage, which is to blame for my crazy
first name. I'm not sure why they wanted me but I was happy for the job.
I'm a bit of a DVD collector and I'm very excited to see the work on the
racks of shelving.
What were your expectations and what
were you hoping to achieve when coming up with the artwork for this
Well, I had been away from my cartoony styles
for a little too long and knew immediately what I wanted to do. There
was some back and forth on this project as there literally is a
committee of people approving the cover from Lion's Gate and Marvel but
in the end we came back to the look I first envisioned. I mean, I always
feel I could have drawn things better or what not, the curse of all
artistic endeavors, but that is simply your brain trying to make you
better for the next time round but I really am quite happy with how
things worked out.
You drew a host of different images
for this title, including very different approaches for the Two-Disc
DVD/Blu-ray and Single-Disc releases with one having a more painted feel
and the other more of a linework feel. Did you have difficulty having to
come up with these different images that also had to stay true to the
Craig Kyle had assured me early in the
process that I was to not worry about following the style of the cartoon
inside and to showcase my own look. He was very faithful to his word and
I have to give him a lot of credit for that. The only concession I
really had to make was giving Hulk pupils. Normally I don't do it as he
looks much more INCREDIBLE and SCARY without them but I think that was a
note from Lion's Gate that we had to address. And really, I draw it such
weirdly different ways that the final covers don't actually look that
different from one another to me. Very similar shapes anyways, just
different rendering techniques.
How do you feel about the
final look to the packaging and your artwork for Hulk
Amy Texture at Lion's Gate did a crazy job
with the foil, embossing and ventiuclating (I may have just made that
verb up). I have never had a project printed with so many different
processes. I love it!
Do you have any unused designs or
concepts for the Hulk Versus packaging that youıd like to share?
Oh goodness. Yes. Hah! Take a look at some of the layouts I created
Did Marvel give you a chance to see Hulk Versus
and, if so, any thoughts on the animated feature?
Lion's Gate and Marvel were really amazing at setting up a screening for
me. I saw it projected in the theatre at Lion's Gate in L.A. It was so
helpful and thoughtful. They really made me feel like I could contribute
to the project.
As we start to slowly wrap this up, are
there any upcoming projects youıd like to let us in on, both
comics-related and non-comics-related? Will you be perhaps getting
behind the camera again for any Canadian or international
Oh goodness, yes! I am SO BUSY. It's crazy. But I am forbidden from
talking about anything right now. Needless to say I will continue to
work with Axel at Marvel on some great projects and I am returning to
some film work as well. I wish I could say more...
closing, do you have any final thoughts to share on this project,
especially as momentum continues to build up to the January 27th, 2009
premiere of the animated feature?
This is a great DVD. I
am very proud to be a part of it all and when I saw it advertised on
Spike during the UFC Countdown I flipped. I'm such a huge UFC fan! I
love when the comic book world and the normal world collide. I think
everyone is going to be surprised by how much effort has been put into
the the actual films. I know I was!
Marvel Animation Age
would like to thank Kaare Andrews for his participation in this
Click here to view a gallery of Hulk VS artwork!