Marder-ography – Shadowhawk Gallery #1 [1994]

Shadowhawk Gallery #1 [1994]
Gallery page by Larry Marder

Back in the boom times of the 1990s you’d see a lot of Gallery books like this, with a few dozen images on a particular character by various artists. Card sets were also hot at the time, and a lot of these images appeared in a set of Shadowhawk cards, although I’m not sure if the Marder piece does. Probably, since the bios in the back usually mention pieces which appear in this book for the first time, and the Marder one doesn’t say that.

Anyway, Shadowhawk was Jim Valentino’s contribution to the Image Comics launch, and at the time Larry Marder was the executive director of Image. He was also a long time fan of Valentino’s work, going back to the letter page of the old NORMALMAN series. That makes him a natural for the book, although not otherwise fitting in with the vast majority of the 1990s scratchy-ink lots-of-lines versions of an urban vigilante. This is Marder reducing a character to iconography in his own style, capturing the essential elements (the night theme, the city, the claw-like hawk symbol).

Other more traditional pieces worth looking at in the book are the pages by Mike Allred, Norm Breyfogle and Sam Kieth.

As mentioned, the back of the book also has short notes about each page by Valentino, mentioning Marder is the “nexus of all comic book realities” and saying the piece is among his favourites.

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