The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist Notes

by Patrick Bain

Amazing-Spider-Man-365-194x300 The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist NotesSomeone tell me when covers became embossed, metallic, hologram, sealed in resin (coming soon)?  Almost thirty years ago, Amazing Spider-Man 365 hit the stores sporting an iconic hologram.  All of Spidey’s solo titles celebrated his thirtieth anniversary with a hologram.   In 1994, War Machine 1‘s embossed foil cover looked like freshly extruded metal.  These are just a sampling, there’s been a plethora of specialty covers in the last thirty years.  During Heritage’s November Signature Auction, Deadpool cover art was offered for sale.  Interestingly, the auction items provided a rare glimpse into the notes and elements of a specialty cover.  So, let’s put Deadpool 1 from 1993 on the operating table and examine the Anatomy of Deadpool original art.

Deadpool Cover (P)Arts

Deadpool-1-194x300 The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist NotesLet’s start with a reminder of the original finished product, Deadpool 1 cover art.  The self-titled debut for Deadpool featured the mini-series The Circle Chase.  Art duties fell to Joe Madureira and inks by Mark Farmer and Harry Candelario.  The current FMV is $100 on graded 9.8 copies, but sales are trending higher.

Deadpool-1-original-line-drawing-229x300 The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist NotesNow let’s see some of the components that made up this cover.  Before the glitz and glamour, an artist creates a drawing.  In this case, the line drawing measures 9″ by 10″ on full-size Marvel Bristol board.  The drawing portrays only the figure of Deadpool.  Madureira used blue pencil to make the figure, then Farmer finished it with permanent inks.  In the old days, it was India ink, I’m not sure what was used here.  That figure is the only hand drawn art that goes directly into the cover.

Deadpool-1-Stat-Mockup-194x300 The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist NotesNext, let’s look at the hand-colored printed mockup of the cover.  Check out Heritage Auctions Deadpool 1 Cover Art to see these pictures in high resolution.  The notes for the production team are fascinating.  Sure, no one will quote “Base art reverse, red is metallic, Pantone 8883 C” like it’s a line from Forrest Gump.  But it’s still cool even if I don’t know what it means.  Step in here graphic artists…

The Anatomy of Deadpool Color Guides for Cover Art

Deadpool-1-Color-Guide-1-263x300 The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist NotesAlso available for dissection, TWO color guides.  After the line drawing is complete, an artist hand-colored Deadpool identifying by color code the specific levels of yellow, cyan, magenta, and black that go into the final colors.  Many books show the ancient ways (before computer coloring), one good read is The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein.

Deadpool-1-Embossing-300x165 The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist NotesThe surgeon is not ready to put down his scalpel yet.  The next stop in the anatomy of this Deadpool original art is the color guide for the embossing.  At this point, I’m clueless about what comes next.  Can someone who’s done embossing explain this to us?  I feel like I dissected a frog, and am now standing dumbfounded staring at some unidentified gizzard!  Darn it, Jim!  I’m a statistician not a doctor… or a graphic artist.

Auction Results for Madureira’s Deadpool 1

Excalibur-71-300x225 The Anatomy of Deadpool Original Art: Artist NotesSo, at least I can comment on the sale of this unique set of original art.  The set raised $25,200 including Buyer’s Premium in November.  On my CAT scale, I grade the original art for the Deadpool 1 cover as C5.  That’s a good score for a Grade B hero.  It’s a GREAT score for an obnoxious jerk if that’s how you feel about Deadpool.  That price was slightly higher than a wraparound cover by Madureira featuring the X-Men that sold in March.  Excalibur 71 cover art from Madureira raised $24K.

The two page title splash original art for Deadpool 1 also sold in the Signature Auction in November.  The battle-packed splash art fetched $14,400.  Deadpool: The Circle Chase interior pages averaged about $5,000 for Madureira work in 2020 through Heritage Auctions.  Interior Uncanny X-Men pages by the artist sold last year for closer to the $1,000 mark.

Clearly, Joe Madureira’s Deadpool work has a strong following.  If Madureira was an X-Men artist that rocked for you, I encourage you to share your thoughts on my article which unfortunately excluded him.


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