Mike Perkins is a British comic book artist known for creating some of the most famous characters in the Marvel/DC comics universe. He recently moved back to Shrewsbury and we were overjoyed when he agreed to create this stunning front cover image for our May issue - it'll also become the poster for the upcoming Comics Salopia festival. We wanted to ask Mike a bit about his inspiration for the illustration.
- How did you get the idea for the cover illustration?
Every now and again you just get these fully formed cover concepts in your mind - this was one of them. Darwin didn't necessarily need to be on there (but Charlie the monkey - the Comics Salopia mascot - needed to make an appearance) but I wanted something that appealed across the board and represented Shrewsbury. Who better than it's most famous son? He's already a bit of a super-hero anyway!
Pictured: Marvel and DC Comics illustrator Mike Perkins talks to My Shrewsbury's Katy Rink at The River View Cafe in The Parade
- Why did you say yes?!
I'd actually approached Katy with a different cover concept about something else entirely - and it's still something I'd like to fit in at some point, so no secrets revealed here - but we also needed something for the big push promotion for Comics Salopia (Shrewsbury's comic festival on June 24-26, 2022) Saying yes to one of the most vibrant and information packed magazines out there was an easy decision!
- What vibe did you want to create?
My first instinct was to go FULL comic style. Simple line work - Darwyn Cooke style. Flat colours. I then figured that if I used a more illustrative approach the poster may grab a few more eyeballs of interest than the solely comic approach - it would encompass all and engage a wider general public perception of an art festival.
- Why did you choose to feature the Old Market Hall?
We are lucky to have a wealth of beautiful buildings throughout Shrewsbury so the actual picking of just one was not that easy. The OMH beat out the rest simply by dint of fact that it's easily identifiable and, possibly, the one that most visitors see.
- How did you go about creating it?
I showed the inked rough to Katy in a pure business environment (The Boat House) and, after the approval, I went straight into the pencils and inks. I know that I would be utilising a colour palette for the finished piece, so was aware of not over inking the initial drawing - leaving those spaces open for the water colours, pantones, ink wash and pencil crayon.
- Are you pleased with it?
Oh, yes. It accomplished what I set out to do - emphasizing the illustrative but dynamic world of comics themselves but also pulling in the casual observer.
- What feedback have you had so far?
It's been overwhelmingly positive. Now, if I can only get Katy to approve that other cover concept....
- And what else are you also working on now?
I am 14 issues into a 16 issue run on DC's The Swamp Thing and prepping for whatever may be next.
Pictured below: Captain America, by Mike Perkins. To see some more of his awesome comic art, visit www.mikeperkinsart.com