Sunday, July 08, 2012

MAKING A MARK: Glen Orbik The Comic Cover Artist Who Never Truly Got His Due

Every week, Making A Mark gives an insanely talented artist some IADW brag-space. Today goes to one of my favourite comic painters, Glen Orbik. A man who managed to stay painting comic covers during the age of the all cover rendering Alex Ross (which in itself shows what a talent he is). However, as this blog's rarely about words, here are a few visual examples too;

What made Orbik's work stand out in the monthly mosh-pit of comic covers, was that he took a Steve Rude use of colour and a Joe Jusko sense of realism and combined the two together. Classic Superman or Joker and the Arkham crowd having a Mad-Hatter's tea party in the shape of a Christmas tree, every subject came to life in Glen's hands.

The first Orbik-art I ever clapped eyes on, was as a young teen in the pages of the Previews like Advance Comics, where the Marvel section ran a solicitation for this jaw-droppingly hot poster:

Boy did I want that poster. I stared at it so long and so often, I think I needed a new pair of eyes on a daily basis. Spider-Man looked so 3D and the eyes on his mask were back the pre-90's way! Even now I still get a kick out of how awesome it is.

Sadly, despite a phenomenal run of covers on DC's Batman books, Glen never really got the attention he deserved and hence sadly, I can remember the last time I brought his handiwork too. It was this Pulp Heroes themed annual cover for my pull list staple, Aquaman.

I love those classic pulp story-in-an-image type covers and this is a masterclass in how to do it. One of the best pics to come from the hook-handed Aquaman days, I actually brought two copies of the annual, just so I could place one cover on my sketchbook.

 What do you think?  Sound off below in the comments section or click here for more great Making A Markists. To trip down Glen's gallery of cool, visit his website after the jump.


  1. Batman´s rogues do look amazing!

  2. They sure do Aliera, It's like you could almost touch joker isn't it?

  3. that Aquaman gets my vote although on a personal note i wish the artist had made him look like he was in a younger age bracket. still, a finely executed illustration.

  4. It sure is Dave - it's almost like a movie poster from the 50's or 60's!

  5. Anonymous3:03 pm

    Did Orbik ever do the art for an entire comic or was he exclusively a cover artist?

    1. Not to my knowledge though it would be great if he had!