Saturday, February 27, 2016

Cover Artist: Gabriele Dell'Otto

Gabriele Dell'Otto is an Italian painter and illustrator best known for providing painted covers for Marvel Comics.  While he is mostly known as a cover artist, he did provide the interior art for the Secret Wars (2004) 5-issue mini-series and the X-Force: Sex and Violence 3-issue mini-series.  Dell'Otto began producing material including covers for Marvel Comics in Europe before his art was discovered and he received work in the U.S.

Dell'Otto has contributed painted art for several Marvel's Star Wars covers including the Star Wars #1 Loot Crate exclusive that had the largest print run of all the exclusives for that issue.

Star Wars #1ai - Marvel Comics, U.S. (January 2015)
Loot Crate exclusive
The cover to the Star Wars #1 Loot Crate exclusive is a nice play on the Loot Crate brand.  It shows Han Solo and Chewbacca protecting crates of loot they are bringing aboard the Millennium Falcon.  I love how Dell'Otto captures Chewbacca's signature growl in this piece.

Dell'Otto provided the artwork for all five issues of the Star Wars: Princess Leia Mile High Comics exclusives.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1w - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2015)
Mile High Comics exclusive
Star Wars: Princess Leia #2c - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2015)
Mile High Comics exclusive
Star Wars: Princess Leia #3d - Marvel Comics, U.S. (April 2015)
Mile High Comics exclusive
Star Wars: Princess Leia #4b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (June 2015)
Mile High Comics exclusive
Star Wars: Princess Leia #5b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Mile High Comics exclusive
The covers for the Star Wars: Princess Leia Mile High Comics exclusives are my favorite Gabriele Dell'Otto Star Wars covers.  They tell an unlikely scenario with Princess Leia adorned in her white gown trying to hide from Imperial Stormtroopers in Mos Eisley's Cantina.  She is forced to take down the Imperials which attracts the attention of IG-88.  Leia retreats into the streets of Mos Eisley where she dispatches the bounty hunter.  Dell'Otto does a fantastic job of capturing the atmosphere of Mos Eisley and his use of shadow and light in these pieces are breathtaking.  He populates the background with denizens which are easily recognizable from their screen appearances and the overall consequence is detailed art that is both interesting and beautiful to behold.  You can see Leia's sleeve is torn on the cover to the second issue, a detail Dell'Otto uses on the cover to issue #4!

Star Wars: Chewbacca #1 has a 1:25 incentive cover with artwork by Dell'Otto.

Star Wars: Chewbacca #1e - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 2015)
The cover to the Star Wars: Chewbacca #1 variant shows Chewbacca flanking the teenager Zarro.  While the rendering of Chewbacca and Zarro is nice, the yellow background blends too much with the earth colors used on the characters.  I think a background that contrasts with the colors used on the characters would make this cover pop more.  While nice, this is my least favorite of the Dell'Otto covers, but my opinion may be influenced by this being my least favorite Star Wars title Marvel produced in 2015.

The last Dell'Otto cover is for the Star Wars: Vader Down #1 Yesteryear Comics exclusive.

Star Wars: Vader Down #1aa - Marvel Comics, U.S. (November 2015)
Yesteryear Comics exclusive
The cover to the Star Wars: Vader Down #1 Yesteryear Comics exclusive show Darth Vader preparing to battle as a squadron of X-Wing Fighters approaches his location.  It is a nice enough cover that is unfortunately lost in the myriad of Darth Vader covers that were released in 2015.  Marvel has produced so many variant covers for the Star Wars titles, that many of them look the same.  At least this cover is not a generic cover and does relate to the story told inside the comic unlike many of the variant covers we received in 2015.  Darth Vader's Lightsaber provides enough contrast with the blues and blacks to make the cover more interesting than the Chewbacca #1 cover above.

If you have been following my blog, you know I love painted Star Wars covers like those found on the French Titans anthology title.  Gabriele Dell'Otto has attracted attention from comics fans because of his exquisitely painted covers and has a growing base of followers.  There is no doubt he will be asked to provide covers for future Star Wars comics and I look forward to seeing what he contributes next.

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