Our Interview with Cover Artist Livio Ramondelli

May 16, 2013 at 8:30 am | Posted in Comic Books, Dark Horse, Interview, Star Wars | Leave a comment
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Dark Horse Comics recently revealed that artist Livio Ramondelli we’ll be diving into the Legacy series to tackle the covers for Legacy #6 and Legacy #7. Below you’ll find our interview with Livio as he talks about creating the covers, his favorite Star Wars characters and more. Plus we have an exclusive first look at the cover of Legacy #7 courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

How did you get the offer to do Star Wars covers for Dark Horse Comics?

Livio Ramondelli: It was very random and very lucky! I attend a bunch of comic conventions and I was sitting at my Artist Alley table when the great Randy Stradley happened to walk by and take my card. A few days later, I got an E-Mail asking if I’d be interested in doing some covers. It was very surreal, since Randy was someone I’d always hoped to meet one day and the idea of it happening so completely casually was pretty funny. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be doing Star Wars covers for Dark Horse. It’s a real dream come true. And I also encourage anyone interested in doing comics professionally to go to conventions and set up shop at a table, regardless if you have any current professional gigs or not. More eyes on your work is always a good thing and you never know who can walk by.

Reviewing some of your previous interviews, you’ve stated that you often start with a penciled drawing, then scan it and color it digitally. Did you do that with the cover for Legacy #6?

LR: Yep, I’m using the same process for my Star Wars covers. I really like the mix of traditional pencil shading with clean digital coloring. Traditionally, I use mechanical pencils (0.5 lead) on Bristol board, and then the digital aspects are handled in Photoshop. I use a Cintiq tablet when I work, and I actually prefer the smaller 12 inch tablet since I can sort of lean back and recline as I’m working.

Legacy Volume 2 #6, cover by Livio Ramondelli.

Where did the idea begin for this cover in particular?

LR: Randy Stradley actually had the idea, and I thought it was a very cool one. Without getting into spoilers exactly, he had the notion of one Sith about to be attacked by another and the cover shows essentially the moment right before the attack begins. It was a balancing act showing both of them looking equally powerful, and so they each have one major weapon of the Sith ( a red lightsaber and summoning Force lightning). It’s meant to look very much like an even fight is about to begin so it was tricky to balance the lighting and hopefully make them both look equally imposing.

Will you be doing any covers other than Legacy?

LR: I can say I’ve finished another cover for the Legacy series (issue 7), and it looks like I’ll be doing more in an ongoing commitment. But so far we’ve been approaching them one cover at a time. I’m certainly happy to do as many as they’d like me to!

Exclusive first look at the cover of Legacy Volume 2 #7 by Livio Ramondelli, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

Which Star Wars characters tend to be your favorites?

LR: I tend to gravitate toward the villains and the armored characters. Vader and Boba Fett are certainly favorites. I also absolutely love The Clonetroopers, and would kill to do some kind of a gritty story with them someday. I also love so many of the planets we’ve seen. I’d be thrilled to do something set on Hoth or Dagobah..getting to revisit those classic places.

A lot of your concept work seems landscape oriented. Between landscapes and characters, do you find yourself liking one more than the other?

LR: I like the combination of characters and environment. I’ve always gravitated toward showing characters within a scene rather than just a pinup. I like the notion of you getting a slice of a story in a single image, that you’re coming into things as they’re already happening (much like the beginning of Star Wars movies, basically!) . But I love doing big shots of worlds, and filling out the lighting and details of them. My cover to Legacy #7 let me do a lot more of an evocative environment.

As I was looking over your body of work, I noticed you’ve done a lot of Transformers comics with both cover and interior art. I have to say, the artwork looks gorgeous. As someone who has never read a Transformers comic, would I be able to jump in to any of the issues you’ve worked on? Which issues or series would you recommend?

LR: Thank you! And yep, I’ve done a lot of Transformers projects for IDW Publishing. It can be a daunting world to enter if you’re not familiar (much like Star Wars), but there are certainly stories that make a good jumping on point. I would suggest to anyone to check out a series I drew called Transformers: Autocracy, which is written by Chris Metzen (Blizzard Creative Director) and Flint Dille (Writer of the original 80’s series). It’s a prequel that covers essentially the origin of Optimus Prime, as well as why the war with Megatron began. It’s pretty self contained, and it’s a good introduction to the world of the characters.We’re currently working on a follow up to it called Monstrosity, which further shows why the Transformers war split their planet apart.

Transformers: Monstrosity #2, interior art by Livio Ramondelli.

Are there any comic series you’re currently reading?

LR: My favorite series right now is Saga. I’m obviously a big sci-fi fan, and the creators are just knocking that book out of the park. Taking some super far-out concepts and making them so unbelievably relatable and funny. I’m also eagerly awaiting Jim Lee and Scott Snyder’s upcoming Superman book.

Last but not least, where can fans find you on the web, and are there any conventions you plan on attending that are coming up?

LR: You can see lots of my work, including a TON of Star Wars images, on LivioRamondelli.com.  I also regularly update my Deviant Art at Livio27. And please follow me for updates and art on twitter at @LivioRamondelli. As for conventions, coming up I’ll be attending the Phoenix Comic-Con later this month, The Amazing Las Vegas Comic-Con in June, and San Diego Comic-Con in July. I’ll be in Artist Alley for all three of those, so please stop by and say hello!

Once again we want to thank Livio for taking the time to answer our questions and we look forward to seeing what he comes up with next. We also want to thank Dark Horse Comics for the exclusive first look at the cover of Star Wars: Legacy #7.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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