Accomplished and long time comic book painter artist for all the major publishers from Marvel, DC to Dark Horse. David Michael Beck has left his unmistakably talented mark on the comic book landscape like no other! This weeks PopcultHQ comic book artist spotlight goes to a man whose talents do more than speak for themselves. But one run still bothers the heck out of him once in a while and it has to do with The Real American Heroes G.I. Joe.
PopcultHQ has a very special treat for our comic book and G.I. Joe fans, with a behind the scenes story only a handful of people even knew about. You also get to see for the first time unseen portfolio photos from a legendary comic book painter, Mr. David Michael Beck!
During this years #C2E22015 in Chicago, I was able to speak with David in a special one-on-one interview only for PopcultHQ since he was there as a fan of the show also. Mr. Beck was so courteous of his time with me and we were able to speak at great length about his wonderful career. One of the stories David told me had to do with his time doing artwork for G.I. joe when it was at Image Comics early 2000’s.
David was commissioned to paint images for the new Image book (under the Devils Duo banner). These images David had painted were some of the most magnificent Joe and Cobra artwork to ever be seen by G.I. Joe fans ever! Only problem is, that it seems the images we seen on the comic books could have been even better?!
I just had to bring up to Mr. Beck how much I LOVED that work on the back covers of the Image G.I. Joe issues. Only to learn in astonishment that those pieces of fantastic artwork are actually much more impressive in person! With Mr. Beck showing me his very own personal portfolio book (which had me drooling by the way) along with I having the actual comics on-hand to compare with. I could finally see what David was telling me about, the contrast in quality lost was mind-blowing to say the least. There was a not-so-funny story that goes behind all this and the one to blame……was a first generation scanner. Ahhh, good ‘Ol 2000’s technology.
It seems when David sent his finished colored versions to Image, they didn’t use computers the way artist do today. Image copied the paintings using a first gen. scanner and the originals richness in details have been lost to the grand public…….
……That is till now!! David Michael Back, who is a great friend of PopcultHQ sent me the original G.I. Joe paintings files, so to enjoy the artwork and share with my fellow G.I. Joe fanatics. While a few of the G.I. Joe paintings did avoid the ‘scanner’ treatment only because they were used as promotional posters that were sold so those were computer copied at high-resolution. The rest of the paintings used as back-cover for the Image books are what we have only seen.
As far as we could find out, the only place that has the actual paintings in super high detail still is Hasbro Inc. PopcultHQ has tried to contact Hasbro about these paintings and if they could ever be released as a convention exclusive compilation art book as Mattel has done with He-Man art. Maybe with huge fan support such an idea could come to pass and we can all enjoy these fine masterpiece paintings. There are more to the whole collection and I for one would love to see them all now having a small taste.
Can you tell which row is the faded comic book covers and which is the original paintings scans?
As many could probably tell….the right column of pictures are the original painting scans while the left column (with the Hasbro logos and autos) are the comic books. Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments! As the old cartoon PSA’s used to say……. “and knowing is HALF the battle! Yo Joe!”