Series artist Carmine Di Giandomenico talks about creating the look for the All-New X-Factor team!
What does the well-dressed corporate super hero wear? Only Carmine Di Giandomenico knows!
After completing a year’s worth of ALL-NEW X-FACTOR, series artist Di Giandomenico teases Marvel.com with what to expect as the scope of AXIS widens to set fire to Washington, D.C. He also confides how much he considers it an honor to work with writer Peter David, as well as his first consideration when designing the cast’s costumes!
Marvel.com: Now that you have 12 issues of ALL-NEW X-FACTOR under your belt, in terms of character development and story dynamics what are you most proud of accomplishing with this cast?
Carmine Di Giandomenico: It was hard to keep up with a monthly publication pace, but I’m happy I succeeded. What I’m mostly proud of is X-Factor’s costumes. After getting notes by Peter and [editor] Jordan White, I felt inspired by my Italian roots and culture, so I mixed the Italian Renaissance style with a technological modernization. Designing them with glasses and similar uniforms was not a coincidence.
Glasses are useful for hiding eyes—which are an important part in facial expressions—thus helping with the depersonalization of the characters. Similarly work the uniforms, which are nearly identical and focus the attention to Serval Multinational. Also, they basically have two colors, yellow and black/brown—which recalls the first X-Men’s costume—and remind [readers of] the Yin and Yang, the good and the evil, suggesting that there’s something wrong in the company itself.
Marvel.com: What do you think makes Lee Loughridge the ideal colorist for your art on this series?
Carmine Di Giandomenico: Lee delivers great, professional work. He conveyed the right atmosphere for the story.
Marvel.com: What do you most enjoy about collaborating with a veteran writer like Peter David?
Carmine Di Giandomenico: Peter and I communicate by email. I really like his writing skills and how he thinks and designs stories. ALL-NEW X-FACTOR has a well-framed rhythm, very inward-looking, with great action. As I read the scripts I enjoy the surprise of new details, very exciting. And the characters grew in each issue: Polaris, Danger, Quicksilver, Gambit, Doug, Warlock, and at the end the new member, Georgia, who I love and had the honor to design.
Peter is a legend to me. I know all his scripts; I grew up with his stories, especially with his INCREDIBLE HULK, so bizarre and dynamic. Working with him today is an honor to me.
Marvel.com: I love how you approach drawing Quicksilver–what is the key to presenting a character of his high speed, particularly as well as you draw Pietro?
Carmine Di Giandomenico: I think he’s more a sprinter than a muscular super hero. Quicksilver perceives everything as speed. That’s why he’s so thin and fast. Also, his costume has bright plates that underline the idea of speed. He’s one of my favorite Marvel characters, even for his ambivalence; he’s always fighting between good and evil inside himself.
Marvel.com: Am I right in thinking that having a cast member like Warlock who can form himself into a variety of unique shapes broadens what kind of visual dynamics you can execute in a battle scene?
Carmine Di Giandomenico: Having Warlock is difficult for every artist. It’s very difficult to handle him, because of his transformations. As for me, I tried to distance from the classical version and make him more mechanic, similar to a Transformer. I tried to make each of his transformation plausible and justified. I’m really having a lot of fun, even though it’s not easy.
Marvel.com: The AXIS-related events lead to the cast ALL-NEW X-FACTOR confronting a Washington, DC on fire in issue #15. It is a city full of iconic landmarks–did you relish getting to render such recognizable places–yet on fire?
Carmine Di Giandomenico: A lot of things happen in issue #15. I tried to be faithful to the original Washington, DC, even though it’s in flame. The United States is a great country and one day I’d like to visit all the places where my favorite characters live.
Marvel.com: Anyone that has been a fan of your work fully understands what a unique and engaging design/approach you take with Marvel characters. Can you talk about what you think is critical in terms of executing a great Sentinel design, seeing as they play a major role in issue #16?
Carmine Di Giandomenico: When I approach a character, first I try to understand his spirit, so it’ll be easier for me to make him act in the pages. This is what I did with BATTLIN’ JACK MURDOCK, where I designed a story that told about feelings and not superpowers. Even in MAGNETO TESTAMENT the focus was on the living character, on his gaze. As for the Sentinels, it was not so simple to handle them, as they’re robots. But I felt free to interpret, and make them act as vivid and threatening entities. I hope readers will appreciate them.