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Friday, May 3, 2013

Artists: Livio Ramondelli, my fourth grade self thanks you!

"Who's a badass?!  Dynamic Poooooose!"
It has been said that I like the Transformers.
To me they were the perfect toy/cartoon idea ever.  I'm not sure if I ever changed my mind.  Planes, cars, tanks and spaceships that turned into robots!?  I don't know who is not supposed to like that. 
I have a lot of memories centered around them.  Weekday afternoons before anyone gets home, just eating cereal and watching the show on the couch.  Going over to my friend Scott's house (the Guy who always has way more toys than you) and transforming the ones he keeps behind glass.  Watching my friend Sarah try unsuccessfully to transform Ironhide before leaving him half-converted on a shelf. 
And that's just stuff that's happened this past month.
So, maybe I never grew up.

One of my favorite things about Transformers was the artwork.  Whether in the comic book, cartoon or on the toy boxes, the artists gave these Robots (in Disguise) real weight and toughness and dynamic poses to boot.  Then, of course, after saving up weeks' worth of allowances, I get them out of the box only to discover they have the articulation of someone who has had a horrific ski accident. 
Not. A. Dynamic. Pose.
So it was seeing our featured artist's work that brought all that childhood fun back again.  Livio Ramondelli was one of the first artists I saw  at Emerald City Comic-Con in Seattle.  And what I noticed right away was his knack for the dynamic pose; the hero shot, in addition to his fine detail and really strong use of light and bold color.  Flipping through his book at the convention was like someone pulled all these images out of my imagination from when I was a kid. 

That's Better!
 Livio Ramondelli has a lot of credits to his name.  he did artwork for the MMO game DC Universe Online.
His resume also includes obviously IDW's Transformers, as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, 30 Days of Night and others.  He also provides art for Dark Horse's Star Wars titles. In other words, he is fourth grade Me's ultimate hero.  
Dynamic pose... close enough
What I like most about his art, beyond the badass poses, are his large, sweeping illustrations - often featuring multiple characters - that tell a story. 
Oh, yeah, I know we say that about a lot of artwork, parrticulary comic book art, but what I really want you to understand is what I mean by "tells a freaking story."
For example, this image.

A sequence of panels could never come close to depicting what went down as well as this piece does in one shot.  (Those poor, poor Jawas)
Or this.  Leaving me to still imagine how Boba Fett escaped. But giving me a good place to figure out how painful it was for the Sarlacc. 
The same idea applies to these two scenes (below) I did purchase there.  After going through his book, I narrowed the list down to like 15 different ones, but finally settled on two. 
I'm happy with my choices and the stories they tell.
One, (left) the story hasn't been told yet, but you know pain is coming for someone.  In the other (right), not only are we looking back on what happened, but we also have Darth Vader making a ominous snowy beeline towards us.  Now that is some cool crap!
There's more than just Star wars and Transformers.  Check out his website.  And his deviantart gallery
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