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(by Michael Kelleher)
- Frequently Asked Questions -
Is the process and use of art reconstruction hidden from the public by publishers?
It should be common knowledge by now that Marvel employs reconstruction artists, as do DC and other publishers. I have never known Marvel to keep this a secret, the reconstruction artists are given credit on the books they work on, and the topic comes up often on various comic book forums.
How common are the redrawn comic pages?
The redrawn pages created by Michael Kelleher are actually a fluke of the reconstruction process that he once employed. He only physically recreated pages for a period of less than a year and in that time, the recreated work makes up a very small percentage of each book he worked on.
Why were these pages physically redrawn instead of being reconstructed digitally?
This was a choice by Michael Kelleher, Marvel never gave him any instructions on how to recreate the art. His first 6-12 months of art recreation for Marvel were done digitally, he then read about how artists used to, and still do, literally redraw the pages for reprint purposes. Since he wasn't happy with the results he was getting digitally, he decided to try drawing them the old fashioned way.
Michael is the only person since the Masterworks relaunched in 2003 to employ a combined process of traditional, "on-board" and digital methods to reconstruct pages. The other artists do all of their work completely digitally (with the exception of one artist that I know that adds the step of bleaching color out of printed comic pages before scanning them and finishing digitally). As better technology and computer processes became available, Michael abandoned the practice of physically redrawing the pages and works completely digital now. When reconstructing artwork for the Marvel Masterworks books, Michael's choices have always been based on what method will produce the best quality for publication.
Why are they being sold?
After creating the artwork, it all sat in a pile on the floor of Michael's office for quite some time. Eventually, because of the unique nature of the art, we thought that fans would appreciate the chance to own Michael's recreations. The recreated pages honor the original artists and are a faithful representation of their vision. They also offer an interesting glimpse into the publishing process and the care that goes into the Marvel Masterworks books. To further honor the original artists and creators, Michael donates 100% of his profit from the sale of this artwork to the Hero Initiative, a charity which offers aide to former comic book creators requiring supplemental health, medical, and quality-of-life assistance.
What is the likelihood that Michael Kelleher's recreated art will be mistaken for the original artwork from the original artists at any time in the future?
All of the recons that Michael has done on paper could never pass as the original art to a buyer with even the slightest knowledge of original art. The paper he recreates the artwork on is much closer to print size than the twice-up size used into the late 1960s, also the board stock differs from what was available in the 1960s. Michael signs all of the artwork with his own name and a note of who originally created the art (i.e. "Kelleher after Kirby" or "Kelleher after Ditko").
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