HAIL Drake

My favourite artist Craig Drake is truly in full swing for 2016 with his brand new poster celebrating the new film Hail, Caesar! The movie is the Coen Brothers’ love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Craig’s addition focuses on Scarlett Johansson’s starlet character, DeeAnna Moran, and it’s rendered with the striking lines and an exquisite  use of shadow, reminiscent of the ones evoked in many of the film noir movies of that Hollywood era.

Here’s a quick word from Craig himself:

“I was heavily inspired by George Lucas’ personal collection of golden age Hollywood movie posters which lined the walls of Lucasfilm’s SF headquarters. I’ve been wanting to work in 40’s & 50’s noir style for some time! Applying it to the Coen Brothers’  Hail Caesar! film was the most perfect fit. They are masters at immersing you in this era. Especially films like The Hudsucker Proxy, one of my all time favorites.”

The Print is available at the Hero Complex Gallery


Craig Drake returns to his Star Wars roots with this classic piece of  mondo art of the AT-AT Walker from The Empire Strikes Back, which rumour has it will return with force in the new Rogue One ‘A Star Wars Story’ in December this year.


You can also purchase a few variants as well in Foil and Metal at the Hero Complex Gallery…click here


Cloak and Dagger

After a few months of silence in the latter parts of 2015, the mighty Craig Drake returned  to present some new artwork in the final show of 2015 at the Mondo Gallery called “Snikt. Bamf. Thwip: A Celebration of Marvel Comics,” a poster event featuring an awesome lineup of other artists, and with the Marvel Cinematic Universe been one of the dominant pop culture force in blockbuster films, and it looked like the exhibition had no problem getting inspiration from Marvel’s rich history of characters that began over 75 years ago. “Snikt. Bamft. Thwip.” honored that legacy of comics featuring gorgeous, original screen prints of X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil and many more.

The first piece for the Marvel Exhibition by Mr Drake was Cloak (Tyrone “Ty” Johnson) and  Dagger (Tandy Bowen) which is quite a sexual rendition of her, both were originally created by writer William “Bill” Mantlo and artist Edward Hannigan. These two characters are truly steeped in the richness of the  Marvel Cinematic Universe, having first appeared in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (March 1982).  After a number of additional Spider-Man guest appearances, they were given their own four-issue limited series, and the rest is now Marvel history. They appeared alongside Doctor Strange, and played a small part in the Infinity Gauntlet saga and are revealed to be members of Captain America’s faction of super heroes who oppose the Superhuman Registration Act during the “Civil War” storyline…so you can see they are tightly knitted in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Later they became part of the Dark X-Men and also working alongside Wolverine to finally appearing in X-Men: Age of Apocalypsethe perfect cross-over duo. The question is why are Marvel/Disney ignoring Cloak and Dagger in the current films, in fact they are not even on any of the current comic lineups…?

The other X-Men contribution from Craig Drake was another sexual rendition, this time Psylocke (Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock) who was originally created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe in 1976, where she first appeared in the Marvel UK comic series Captain Britain. Betsy was initially a supporting character in the adventures of her twin brother, Captain Britain, even briefly substituting for him in the role, before becoming the mutant superheroine and X-Men member Psylocke in 1986. Originally presented as a precognitive in the pages of Captain Britain and then as a telepath, the character eventually had her mind placed in the body of a Japanese female ninja known as Kwannon, gaining many of Kwannon’s martial arts skills and elements of her personality. Psylocke’s codename, coined by the X-Men villains Mojo and Spiral, debuted during her introduction to the X-Men stories post-Captain Britain. Later, Psylocke acquired the power of telekinesis. She briefly appeared in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand, where she was played by Meiling Melançon. Olivia Munn will portray her in the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse.

The Return of Biggs Darklighter…?

2016 is the year we have a new ‘Star Wars Story’ film to look forward too, the gritty Rogue One by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.

For me the bit that intrigues me the most is the resemblance between Diego Luna‘s character and Biggs Darklighter from Star Wars : A New Hope, same build, same hair and ‘that’ same signature mustache.

The backstory of Biggs Darklighter (played by Garrick Hagon) had a much larger role in early edits of the film, which told the story of him graduating from the Imperial Academy and returning home to Tatooine for a visit to Anchorhead’s Tosche Station, where he swapped tales with his best friend from boyhood Luke Skywalker about buzzing Wamp Rats in their T-16 SkyHoppers and threading the stone needle down Beggar’s Canyon. That was until the conversation turned serious and Biggs told Luke he was made first mate on the Rand Ecliptic, but was  going to jump ship once he reached the Central Systems and meet up with a friend on the Planet Bestine and make contact with the Rebel Alliance…more on the Mutiny on the Rand Ecliptic can found here.

In the Expanded Universe, which isn’t canon anymore, Biggs actually trains as an Imperial pilot, and while he is there, he hears the first rumors and rumblings of the Death Star’s construction. After participating in a mutiny on his Imperial starship, and going AWOL to join the Rebel Alliance, he is actually part of the Rebel’s first missions to steal R2 units and X-Wing Fighters. While these stories are no longer officially part of Star Wars lore, certain threads could very well have been mined for Rogue One.

So are we seeing a Rogue One character who survives the film’s mission to steal the Death Star plans and then meets up with Luke Skywalker on Tatooine at Tosche Station, to then ultimately die at the hands of Darth Vader in the rebels assault on the Death Star. This would be such a sweet nod to the original film in which most of the scenes with Biggs was deleted.