The Retro Poster That Never Was

Paolo Rivera's Captain America movie poster, Captain America: The First Avenger. 2011. Gouache and acrylic on illustration board, 16 × 24''.

Paolo Rivera's Captain America movie poster, Captain America: The First Avenger. 2011. Gouache and acrylic on illustration board, 16 × 24?.

Almost.

Comic book artist Paolo Rivera created this amazing retro movie poster on spec, hoping that Marvel would use it as an official poster for the Captain America movie that’s coming out in slightly over four weeks.  They didn’t go for it – these things are usually contracted out months in advance – but they did use the artwork for the cover of a comic book/movie tie-in.  The posters were also commissioned as a give-away for the cast and crew.

We think it’s a shame they didn’t get to talk to Paolo first.  There aren’t many true poster artists left, not that could take paint and brush to illustration board and do it from scratch.  Most are artful, skillful work in Photoshop – not that this isn’t art too, mind you, but half a century ago there was no Photoshop, and artists had to do this the hard way, one brush stroke at a time.  This poster recalls the exciting serials of the 1940’s, where you’d go to the theater every weekend with a dime in your pocket and you could sit and watch The Next Exciting Episodes of all your favorite serials and munch popcorn all afternoon.  Cap is even punching out Hitler with a good old-fashioned haymaker – and there are the Howling Commandos featured in the lower left.

The character of Captain America first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941), from Marvel Comics’ 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics,[1] and was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby – so Captain America just turned 70.

Looking pretty good, old man.

Links

  • The Self-Absorbed Man – Paolo Rivera’s blog
  • Interview with Stephen Broussard on SFX