Dan Veesenmeyer and Arthur Parsons talk about re-imagining iconic Marvel art for the new game!
“LEGO Marvel’s Avengers” LEGO-fied the most iconic Avengers covers as in-game unlockables. Illustrator Dan Veesenmeyer and TT Games Game Director Arthur Parsons filled us in on just what went into creating these awesome works of art!
Marvel.com: LEGO games have always had a ton of collectibles for players to find and unlock, and in this game we get our very own hoard of comic covers given the LEGO treatment! How’d you guys come up with that idea?
Arthur Parsons: “LEGO Marvel’s Avengers” is a celebration of all things Avengers, drawing on material from the various films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel television content, etc., and as such, it is only right that we should celebrate the comics in our own unique way. There is something very special about seeing iconic comic covers recreated in LEGO form, and we really wanted to find a way to incorporate [that] into LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, given that there is so much classic Avengers content in the game. I had seen Dan Veesenmeyer’s awesome artwork online so I reached out to see if he wanted to be a part of the project, and as anticipated, he jumped at the chance. It has been amazing seeing him bring these iconic Marvel comic book covers to life, and hopefully gamers will really appreciate the care and attention he has put into them.
Marvel.com: How many covers did the team sprinkle throughout the game? And how do we collect them all?
Dan Veesenmeyer: There are 15 comic covers that can be unlocked within the game. Although, six more are actually planned for downloadable content so there will be more than 20 covers that can eventually be collected.
Arthur Parsons: The classic comic book covers are awarded if a player collects all of the minikits within a level, and each cover has specific meaning to the level that it is awarded in. For reference, minikits are typically the main collectibles within story levels of LEGO games. These are some truly epic covers, and I’d like to think that the LEGO versions actually celebrate the brilliance of the originals in a very special way!
Marvel.com: There are too many incredibly iconic covers out there, I can’t believe choosing just 15 was easy!
Dan Veesenmeyer: I actually didn’t have a hand in selecting the final line up; I’m just the lucky artist who was chosen to pay homage to them all, LEGO style! But, if it were me making the decisions, we might still be waiting for the game to come out because with Marvel Comics history being so full of iconic covers from every era, it’s so hard to choose! I think it takes a special secret power to make those tough calls.
Marvel.com: And what goes into turning these classic covers into LEGO masterworks? Is it as simple as making the characters LEGO versions of themselves?
Dan Veesenmeyer: Well, first I’m provided with all of the specific LEGO character models and designs that have already been created by TT Games’ own talented artists. When I approach each cover, I try first to figure out how to pose or position the LEGO minifigure to best duplicate the original artist’s work. Once I sketch out my layout, I always then strive to fulfill three primary objectives with the art: First, even though I’m drawing the characters in various action poses, I still work to stay on model with the LEGO minifigures and/or LEGO bricks in order to properly represent the brand to the best of my ability. Second, wherever possible, I always try to add a light-hearted sense of LEGO fun and humor to the characters. For example, sometimes this is accomplished simply with the right facial expression. Last, but certainly not least, is striving to reproduce the iconic look of the classic Marvel comic art that I’m working on. This includes matching the correct colors, special effects, backgrounds, rendering styles, text/title positioning, etc.
This all may sound simple and obvious but it can be very time consuming. I’m very detail oriented, and since I am a Marvel fanboy who grew up reading all of these issues and enjoying all of these original artists, well, I always want to make sure I’m doing each cover justice.
Marvel.com: If you had to pick a favorite LEGO-style cover, what is it? Were there any runner-ups that you’d love to see included in the game as DLC?
Dan Veesenmeyer: Boy, it’s tough to pick just one; it was so much fun to work on each cover. Ok, if I was forced to choose, it would probably be AVENGERS #57. The original cover is already one of Marvel’s top iconic works by John Buscema. Then add in the bold text of… “BEHOLD… THE VISION!” The monochromatic color scheme, the big LEGO version of the Vision character…yeah, this one stands out for me.
Marvel.com: Anything else we should know about “LEGO Marvel’s Avengers” and the sweet, sweet comic covers?
Dan Veesenmeyer: First, you should know that the game is awesome and endlessly entertaining. It is beautifully crafted by an incredibly talented and dedicated team at TT Games. It is highly recommended for any player new to LEGO games, those who are hardcore Marvel Universe fans or those looking for a great family game to play together with your kids.
Regarding the sweet comic covers, you should know they were all labors of love by an old school Marvel Comics fanboy who somehow found himself with the task of recreating the works of many of the artists he grew up idolizing. And if I may say, if Marvel decides they need more LEGO comic book art, they now know exactly who to call! A lot more LEGO Marvel artwork can be found on my website, http://dansartwork.com/, or follow me on Twitter at @dveese. Thanks!
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “LEGO Marvel’s Avengers” news and interviews!