Though The Legend of Zelda videogame franchise has received a few official comic book and manga tie-ins over the years, some of the most impressive illustrations of Link, Princess Zelda and company have emerged from the world of fan art. For fans of Penny Arcade, co-creator Mike (a.k.a. "Gabe") Krahulik's recently unveiled webcomic art adapting Nintendo's upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the best of both worlds in that regard, giving one of the most popular webcomic artists/gamer icons online a platform to contribute to Zelda canon. There's currently just one page up at, but it's already clear that Krahulik is taking pains to recreate the game's watercolor aesthetic. After all, his work had to be approved by longtime Zelda game producer/supervisor Eiji Aonuma.From Penny Arcade:

A few months ago Nintendo approached us about doing a project for them. I was interested, but my schedule was full at the time. Then they told us it was Zelda. The business guys were hesitant to put any more work on my plate but I told them I had to do it. Like a little kid offering to do chores I promised I would work late and come in on the weekends. I had to draw Zelda!

Before anything was signed they needed to see how I would draw Link. They told me that my artwork would need to get approved by the artists on the Skyward Sword team as well as Mr. Aonuma himself. I was absolutely terrified. So I went to work and sent over some concept art. I had done a young almost Wind Waker style version of Link and they liked it but told me that Link was older in this game and so I needed to make him a teenager. Also Skyward Sword uses a really beautiful water color effect and they wanted to know if I could incorporate that.

Krahulik writes that he painted a watercolor version of Link before working the art into a recolored digital piece, which he submitted to Nintendo. Both Nintendo and Aonuma liked what they saw, leading to the launch of the official comic, which seems to mashup Krahulik's signature style and Skyward Sword's design sensibilities pretty evenly so far.

Those who dig Krahulik's original watercolor painting of Link will have a chance to make it theirs, too, with the artist donating it to PA's Child's Play charity dinner auction on December 8.

You can check out Krahulik's initial painting of Link and the higher resolution digital piece below:

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