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‘Daredevil’ Artist Paolo Rivera’s ‘Wacky Reference Wednesdays’ [Art]

A multiple Eisner Award nominee for his superlative work on Marvel Comics’ Daredevil, Paolo Rivera is one of mainstream comics’ most compelling artists. His stuff is incredibly stylish, fun and classy, anchored with a technical proficiency and clever design sense that sets his images apart from everything else on the stands. Indeed, Rivera’s covers are routinely impressive, like that of Daredevil #12, a striking illustration of a disrobing woman as seen via the blind Matt Murdock’s “radar sense.” It’s a balance of sexy, sophisticated and superhero that’s rarely achieved on a comic book cover, and I was surprised to learn that Rivera used himself as reference. As it turns out, he does this all the time.

For Daredevil #12, Rivera intended the woman’s shirt to be white, but a computer coloring mistake changed it to flat black. “It was a happy accident,” he wrote. The artist also pointed out that even though he used himself as a model, he remembered to make the buttons on the left side, something many illustrators overlook when drawing women’s blouses.

Rivera has been cataloguing such photographic examples on his blog in a weekly feature called Wacky Reference Wednesdays. Apparently he’s been doing this for over 170 weeks, which is distressing to me because I only just found out about this but it’s also good news because I now have a lot of fun reading to do. Here’s the tag for all of Rivera’s process posts, which are must-reads for fans of great illustration.

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