European Invasion: The Prelude

Aloha Surfers. The other day i spoke to you about one of the most brilliant comics illustrators today in Marcos Martin. Now I am going to talk a little about one of the best painters in industry today. Gabrielle Dell’Otto has been producing work for Marvel domestically for less than 10 years but he is, in my opinion, the most important painter to work in comics since Alex Ross redefined the proficiency with he and Kurt Busiek’s Marvels. While Martin is Spanish, and Dell’Otto Italian it does bear mentioning that the current crop of some of the best artists working in comics today are European. We’ll examine this in greater detail in a later post.

Dell’Otto began working with both Marvel and DC’s European publishing divisions back in 1998 but his big break in the United States came with the 2002 Brain Michael Bendis mini series Secret War. In Secret War – the warm up for the return of the big Marvel summer event story arc – Dell’Otto provided painted covers and interiors and was instantly noticed for his gritty, eye-popping painting style. It is a twisted, macabre approach that seems to take traditional painting and pull it through the looking-glass a bit. He has a pinch of the Bill Sienkiewicz surrealism with a dash of more fan friendly flowing visuals that lend themselves better to sequential storytelling.

Marvel Heroes by Gabrielle Dell'Otto: I wish I knew where this baby was! Anybody out there know?

He would return to the big event book with covers on Marvel’s relaunching of their cosmic characters in the 2007 Annihilation mini series and satellite character mini’s. His work, while, very affordable for its quality is fast disappearing. His art can be found for sale on and he has one of the most creative web site’s you will ever see from an artist. It is worth spending some time navigating this labyrinth.

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