Grotesque Anatomy
Thursday, March 25, 2004
  Alan's An Aquaman Fan
Alan Davis AquamanDavis, that is, not David Doane.

In an effort to satisfy my Alan Davis cravings without purchasing either his Uncanny X-Men or Another Nail (I'll wait for the trade on the latter), I finally sat down to read Modern Masters Volume One: Alan Davis from TwoMorrows Publishing.  Davis reveals his fondness for Aquaman in a passage discussing how his first art assignment at DC was almost the 1986 Aquaman mini-series (which later went to Craig Hamilton):

ALAN: No, I'd been given the project, but I think that Aquaman was considered to be of low importance which was why l'd been given it in the first place.  DC knew that I could do super-hero artwork from having seen "(Captain Britain" and "Marvelman." I had seen it as being important because I love the Aquaman character.

MM: He's always been one of my favorites, as well.

ALAN: And if I had been given a choice of any character to do at DC I would have gone for Aquaman.

MM: That's a little odd.  Aquaman's probably not that high on many people's lists.

ALAN: Well, when I was a kid I could swim--I really enjoyed swimming and still swim now. You can fantasize about being Aquaman swimming because you've got that freedom of movement in water.  Whereas you can't fly, so you're not Superman. Aquaman is the easier hero to imitate.

That last bit reminded me of Laura Gjovaag's explanation of why she likes Aquaman.  I wonder if we'll ever see Davis move from simply being the current cover artist for Aquaman to doing some interior art for the book?

Anyway, the Modern Masters book is pretty good so far.  Davis is a great interview subject, giving insight into both his artistic process and the behind-the-scenes politics that affect comic book projects.  Even better, Davis' discussion of these incidents is never torrid or gossipy; it always feels very even-handed.  (I know, probably a strike against the book in some people's eyes.  "But I wanted the dirt on so-and-so.  Bah, what's the point of reading an interview if he's not going to name names?")  And of course, there is plenty of wonderful art throughout the book, including sketches, thumbnails, and rejected cover concepts.  (Laura, if the image reproduced here isn't enough incentive for you to get the book, three other character designs Davis produced for the 1986 Aquaman series are included as well.)
 
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by John Jakala

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