April 1st, 2011

When I was a teenager I used to read a lot of comics. One of my favorite publications was Heavy Metal, a fantasy/sci-fi magazine that featured the work of some amazing artists including Moebius, Serpieri, Brian Bolland and many others. The magazine was a showcase of some european cartoonists that I would otherwise never see; a window into a radically different visual world than that of the american comics. So it was only fitting that I decided to dedicate this homage piece to my old teenage obsession. The image was essentially made for the fantastic blog Covered, which features re-interpretations of comic book covers.

I picked a cover for a 1988 issue of the magazine, by Oscar Chiconi, showcasing a warrior woman partially clad in a mechanical armor. I chose this image because of the strange contradictions it represents, soft skin vs. metal, strength vs. fragility and on top of that a strange mixture of future and past (post apocalyptic medieval knight??). This is very much a typical heavy metal cover, intermixing mild erotica with science fiction. When reaserching on the image I actually found that the original had appeared in an italian publication, and was much more daring - see here (NSFW!)

The nice thing about this project was that I didn't really need to make a sketch, and went straight to the finished drawing, using the original as reference.

I made some slight changes to the figure but tried to keep loyal the general composition and theme. Working on this I realized how incredibly detailed and painstaking the original was, with all the beautiful textures and mechanical elements. The major difference was created through the execution (watercolor and ink) and the color scheme. I wanted the make the image more intimate and enclosed so I picked a warmer palette then the original.

Original image by Oscar Chichoni:

Here are some of the runner-ups I considered covering before zeroing in on the armored lady: