MENU

Artwork

Giorgio Comolo’s Mighty Mashups: Galactus Goes to Italy

Giorgio Comolo's Galactus, after Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer

We noticed some Galctus art by Giorgio Comolo making the rounds on social media, and liked the look of it — like many European illustrators (the kind who helped build Heavy Metal), Comolo has a superhuman flair for detail. Look into his portfolio a little further and you’ll find him applying that talent to mashups, homages, and reimaginings that would make any comics obsessive smile. Comolo doesn’t draw comics — he doesn’t tell stories using panels in sequence — but he creates art based on comics stories and related material, such as H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Giger. We asked him to explain himself.

Galactus by Giorgio Comolo

Galactus by Giorgio Comolo

HEAVY METAL: We’ve seen your work primarily online. Can you give us some information about how you got started?

GIORGIO COMOLO: I was born in 1961. Since I was a child, drawing has always been my passion and after graduating from an artistic high school I worked a few years in advertising. In parallel, I have always cultivated a passion for comics, starting out by drawing illustrations of science fiction and superheroes. After finding an agent to promote my work abroad, I got a good response, especially in the USA. So I decided that I would devote my life to drawing.

I have never drawn or published comics, therefore I have few publications. I did a cover of Graphic Classics with Cthulhu, various works in Jack Kirby Collector magazine and illustrations for Savage Dragon. In 2017 I had the honor of being selected among the 100 top artists for Kirby 100, a volume published by TwoMorrows Publishing for the centenary of the birth of King Kirby.

My business takes place mainly on private commissions, so in recent years the presence on the web has taken on great importance, and I have a website (giorgiocomolo.it), Facebook (@giorgiocomolo) and Instagram (@giorgiocomolo) pages curated by my staff.

My other great passions are jazz music, which I always listen to while I work, and mountain biking.

Galactus by Giorgio Comolo

Galactus by Giorgio Comolo

Variation on one of H.R. Giger's portraits of Li Tobler, by Giorgio Comolo

Variation on one of H.R. Giger’s portraits of Li Tobler, by Giorgio Comolo

What artists have influenced you?

Of course the greatest influence was Jack Kirby, especially for the technologies and the dynamism of the scenes. Then Moebius, Gimenez and Giger for their incredible visionary talent. In the superhero field Steranko, Colan, Buscema, Romita Sr & Jr, Gil Kane, but I could mention many others.

Growing up in Italy, how were you able to see artists of Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal? Were Caza, Moebius, Gimenez, etc. published in Italian or did you buy Metal Hurlant?

Metal Hurlant was published in Italy in the early ’80s and so I got to know these amazing authors, to whom I would add Corben. Then there were other Italian magazines that published their stories, such as L’Eternauta.

Splash page from Eternals 3, reimagined by Giorgio Comolo

Splash page from Eternals 3, reimagined by Giorgio Comolo

Galactus by Giorgio Comolo

Galactus by Giorgio Comolo

Regarding characters — you clearly have an affinity for Galactus. What do you like about him as a subject?

The first Marvel comic that I read, in 1973, was the second part of Kirby’s Galactus trilogy, a true milestone in comic book history. So it made a real impression! I believe that Galactus is the character that most represents the Kirbyan cosmic grandeur, the most revolutionary side of his work. His ability to graphically depict ideas that, for others, were vague and nebulous, was extraordinary.

Amazing Spider-Man 100 reimagined by Giorgio Comolo

Amazing Spider-Man 100 reimagined by Giorgio Comolo

Fantastic Four 210 reimagined by Giorgio Comolo

Fantastic Four 210 reimagined by Giorgio Comolo

You do cover recreations that are really variations on the original, and even when you’re mimicking another artist’s style it clearly has the Comolo touch. What is your strategy in doing a cover recreation, and why do you enjoy them?

Thank you for the compliment! It’s one of my favorite things to do. Most are based on Kirby’s covers or double splash pages. I like the idea of making “pictorially” his unique style and trying to give a sort of three-dimensionality to the scenes.

I also did several reinterpretations changing the position of the characters compared to the original, especially Spider-Man covers drawn by Romita Sr. Here the challenge is to try to identify with the style of the artist, creating an alternative version of the original.

Batman (after "Knight, Death and the Devil" by Albrecht Durer) by Giorgio Comolo

Batman (after “Knight, Death and the Devil” by Albrecht Durer) by Giorgio Comolo

Elektra (after Tamara de Lempicka) by Giorgio Comolo

Elektra (after Tamara de Lempicka) by Giorgio Comolo

Spider-Man and Gwen (after Giorgio de Chirico) by Giorgio Comolo

Spider-Man and Gwen (after Giorgio de Chirico) by Giorgio Comolo

You’ve done a series of “fine art” illustrations that show superheroes through the lens of famous museum art (Dali, de Chirico, Picasso). How did you come up with this idea and what are your favorites? Do you have any more you’re working on?

Quotations of famous works of art have always existed. I started in 2006 with two paintings by Giorgio De Chirico: “Ettore and Andromaca” (Spiderman & Gwen) and “The Disquieting Muses” (Fantastic Four). Then, in the following years, I made others as private commissions (Frazetta’s Death Dealer as Galactus, an Escher version of Predator, a Durer version of Batman). From here the italian association “La Nona Arte” (The Ninth Art), that brings together the greatest fans of comics in Italy, had the idea of the Fine Art Portfolio. It was a nice challenge that gave me great satisfaction, especially the exhibition of the originals at Comic Cons in Turin and Naples in 2017.

It’s very difficult to find suitable artworks, but I don’t rule out new works in the future. My favorite Portfolio drawings are Dalì-Cap America & Red Skull and Giger-Hela.

Hela (after H.R. Giger) by Giorgio Comolo

Hela (after H.R. Giger) by Giorgio Comolo

Galactus (after Frank Frazetta's "Death Dealer") by Giorgio Comolo

Galactus (after Frank Frazetta’s “Death Dealer”) by Giorgio Comolo

We’ve seen single (beautiful) images, do you plan to do any stories, either written by you or working with a writer?

I’ve never been interested in writing or drawing stories because, honestly, I don’t think I have the skills. I prefer to stick to illustrations!

What are your future plans or upcoming events? Will we see you at any Comic Cons in the US?

First I should conquer the fear of flying! In any case, I am not very fond of fairs (I am particularly shy!) and I have done very few in Italy. My goal is to be able to publish more than in the past, maybe for some Italian or foreign publishing company, even Heavy Metal.

Alien Rock by Giorgio Comolo

Alien Rock by Giorgio Comolo

Cthulhu by Giorgio Comolo

Cthulhu by Giorgio Comolo

Nemo in Gigerland by Giorgio Comolo

Nemo in Gigerland by Giorgio Comolo

Cthulhu by Giorgio Comolo

Cthulhu by Giorgio Comolo

Predator (after M.C. Escher) by Giorgio Comolo

Predator (after M.C. Escher) by Giorgio Comolo

Read More
Sexy robot sculpture by Hajime Sorayama for Dior

It’s Hajime Sorayama’s World

October 24, 2019 • Artwork, Culture, Featured, News, Top News

A funny thing happened to Hajime Sorayama — the Japanese artist famous for his sexy humanoid robots. You may recall his work from the cover of our November 1980 issue or back cover of August 1981. You might also have seen his android pinups in Penthouse or Playboy over the years. For decades,

Hannah Yata, 'Insomnia' (detail)

Hannah Yata’s Natural Symbolism: Who Are These Masked Women? [15 Images]

September 20, 2019 • Artwork, Top News

In many of Hannah Yata’s oil paintings, humanoid figures with tribal body paint and fearsome masks look back at us as if we’ve disturbed their communion with nature. We get the distinct feeling we are witnessing something beyond our understanding, even taboo — like tourists

Donato Giancola, 'Empathetic Robots: Reach'

Donato Giancola’s Empathetic Robots Have Hugs For Humans [12 Images]

September 12, 2019 • Artwork, Featured, News, Top News

We were pleased to feature a Donato Giancola painting on one of the covers of Heavy Metal 294: The Industrial Special. Giancola is an insanely accomplished fantasy and science-fiction artist (check out the biography page on his site) whose recent series of “Empathetic Robots”

Heavy Metal Featured Artist xsullo Gets Under Your Skin

August 12, 2019 • Artwork, Featured, Heavy Metal News, Popular, Top News

In Heavy Metal 294, the Industrial Special, we’ve dedicated several pages to artist xsullo (or Nick Sullo in person), whose images are both disturbing and enticing. There’s some intense stuff happening here — skin gets ripped off, bones pop out, bodies are peeled apart before our

Nick Pyle, "Later" (detail)

Heavy Metal Featured Artist: Nick Pyle And His Vivors

July 31, 2019 • Artwork, Featured, Top News

In Heavy Metal 294 (in stores August 1), we feature Nick Pyle in a gallery with an interview — if you’re not familiar with his work, you can already tell that it’s like nothing else. There’s a reason for that — Pyle is a self-taught artist who’s actually spent

Flavio Greco Paglia

Flavio Greco Paglia: More Gorgeous Gore From Heavy Metal Cover Artist [12 Pictures]

July 12, 2019 • Artwork, Featured, Issues, News, Top News

Here’s one more look at Heavy Metal 293 (the Beyond The Darkness Special) — gruesome and glorious images from Flavio Greco Paglia, who is featured in a gallery inside the mag and whose art was also chosen as Cover A. Argentina-based Paglia works as a concept artist and animator, but

Sergio Toppi Tarot of the Origins

Sergio Toppi’s ‘Tarot Of The Origins:’ A Lost (Or Rare) Masterwork

July 2, 2019 • Artwork

The late Sergio Toppi might be the greatest Italian illustrator you’ve never heard of. His depictions of knights, samurai and Native Americans never quite made it into the U.S. market — in contrast to his countrymen like Milo Manara, Paulo Eleuteri Serpieri, Tanino Liberatore, and

"Smoke Break" by Denis Zhbankov

Denis Zhbankov’s Vision Is Like A Window On The Upside-Down

June 26, 2019 • Artwork

In Russian artist Denis Zhbankov’s images, spindly oversized insects and unfriendly mutants emerge from the shadows to confront us, and space-faring zombies meet their grisly ends. His supernatural figures are often caught in moments of stillness, as if slightly surprised they’re being

Art of John Kenn Mortensen

Heavy Metal Featured Artist John Kenn Mortensen: Dark And Darker

June 6, 2019 • Artwork

Issue 293 of Heavy Metal — currently available in comics shops and the Heavy Metal online store — is our “Beyond the Darkness Special.” We love darkness, don’t you? But it gets weird when you go beyond the darkness. You might find yourself in a strange land where dark