No stranger to the comic book world is British based comic book artist Adi Granov who has worked with Marvel on many series of which the Iron Man Extremis is the most noteworthy. Having also have a hand in the Iron Man movies, Adi was in town recently for the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention. Finding time out of his very busy schedule of meeting with fans and attending the comic panel, Adi talks to Kenneth and Kenny about Iron Man and his experiences with the movies.
Even though people remember you for designing the Iron Man armor, you have also done X-Men covers. Which X-Men cover is the most memorable for you?
I don’t know if there is one as I done a whole series of them. I really enjoy doing the whole series as it was a lot of fun as it was like telling the whole story through covers. There were probably four or five in that series that I really liked so I can’t really choose a particular one.
You were involved in the Iron Man movies and the recent Avenger movie. What was it like to be involved in the movies compared to doing comics?
There are a lot more people involved in a movie as compared to doing a comic. For comics, it really just go through me, the writer, the editor and it pretty much goes through my table to being published.
With a movie it has to go through the director, the producers and the studio. It can go up to a hundred people reviewing it so it can be quite a procedure to get stuff done. What I do on my piece of paper can go through a hundred changes before it is completed so that is the biggest difference.
Working on a character in a movie, you can spend up to three months just doing that trying all different variations and doing different versions. While in a comic, there is just no time for that. You design something and immediately you have to process it into the page.
So the main difference is the process and a lot of it has to do with money because in the movies there is a lot more money to invest resulting in more time spent. As there are more money spent, the is a want to control more of the process.
In comics, there is less money but because things more quicker, it is more satisfying for the artist because you draw something and it gets published. It is like very immediate.
The 3rd Iron Man movie was probably the one which had the most parts from the Extremis series that you worked on. Seeing how there was quite a bit of mixed reaction among fans on how it turned out, what are your thoughts on it?
They didn’t take everything from Extremis and the parts they took, they turned it into something more blockbuster friendly because if you took the whole comic and turned it into a movie, it would be almost horror like. It would have been a great film but I guess it wouldn’t fit into the whole Marvel Universe that they have built which is a lot more general audience friendly.
What I thought Iron Man did strange in a way is that it had elements that is very mature with Tony Stark shooting guns and stuff which is out of character. Yet it still retained the Marvel signature style of being very popcorn friendly. So it was like being two different films at the same time.
What they did with the Mandarin was very interesting but it was also very much like a black comedy type of dark humour element. While on the other hand you also had the very slapstick type of Tony Stark messing around kind of stuff. So it was like two films put together.
I have watched it once and on one hand I really enjoyed it yet on the other, I was wondering what was going on. I think I had the same reaction with a lot of other fans because a lot of people really wanted to like it but there were stuff like how they did with the Mandarin which is understandably offending to people who grew up on that. It didn’t bother me that much as I didn’t grow up on that story line so it was kind of interesting twist for me and I didn’t have any strong negative opinion to it.
Where there any challenges with the Iron Man suit when it came to the movies?
For me, when I designed the suit, I tried not to make it end up as a suit that you wear but more of a weapon that you wear on top. My idea was to make it like an aircraft that you wear rather than just a suit that you wear. Translating the suit from the comic to the movie was a chance for me to explore that to its full potential.
There wasn’t any particular challenge in the process even through people thought it was very challenging. As my mind was already there, Jon Favreau asked me to take it and use it for the movie. As in the comics, you have to redraw it many times so I designed it not to be too complex. But with the movie, it is built into a 3D model so we were given the opportunity to take and make the ultimate version of that have mechanism that open up the flaps like in a real aircraft.
The biggest challenge I think was the whole process of working with the producers and convincing them that the best idea is the one that started in the beginning. Of course we explored every opportunity just to make sure we covered everything but it came back to the first one as seen in the art book.
So I guess that is the only real challenge as everything else was pretty straight forward.
Thank You Adi.
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