This one is funny because it starts with a memory of an image - Mephisto drinking people/souls from a chalice. The people are non-descript and formless, the focus is on the idea and the character of Mephisto. I believe John Buscema did a version in the 1970s that I am remebering, and Frank Brunner remembered the same image when he did the first recreation/homage for me. Joe Jusko, a huge Buscema fan, has done a version but I have been unable to connect with Joe directly to get the source image. Joe's painting is much too recent for the one I have in mind. Great painting though by Joe Jusko, a really terrific piece.
So Andy was kind enough to take on the challenge. Here is what he delivered at NYCC - a standard commission from him, just so you know.
|Mephisto Drinks The Defenders 2012 Andy MacDonald private commission|
This image is a beast structurally and has to really be well thought out compositionally. Andy did a stellar job, I like that he is really fearless in his art. look at the size of that Hulk, you really have to grasp the size of Mephisto and the scope of the perspective. If you make it fit it fits (or at least..yeah, it fits. SHUT UP!) and you can imagine the long fall as a Hell in and of itself.
I love all of the little details that Andy included. First one in is Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan, and he looks like he couldn't care less about the situation. Smirking smarmy smartass. In other words perfect characterization. Hulk, large and center stage as always - he probably leapt from the chalice and will still fall into the gaping maw below him. And up top all Hell is indeed breaking loose. The Surfer tries in vain to scramble back onto his board. Nighthawk looks very worried - such delicate linework to convey so much. Kyle and Iceman next to him are the last ones in the chalice and the most worried. One of the big choices in this composition is how you handle the arm of Mephisto. Andy gives up as hand, and a wonderfully delicate chalice that really stands out. Fit for a demonic king. The skulls are a nice touch.
So there it is, an at-home commission from an up and coming artist who never fails to impress me with his standout linework and composition. Thanks again Andy!