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I am huge listener of electronic music and a huge fan of comic heroes, but what inspired me most were the impressive judges who stand behind this Invite.
With a steady hand and an active imagination, Bulgarian illustrator Miroslav Petrov has conjured up extraterrestrial battlefields and futuristic body armor alongside hosts of colorful characters and godly avatars. One challenge he hadn’t yet taken: Design a superhero costume that could work on the concert stage as well as it did in the comic book panels of his mind. As it happened, Talenthouse collaborators Stan “The Man” Lee, Todd McFarlane and Laidback Luke had just the Creative Invite for him.
Lee (the epic creator of Marvel superhero teams and solo acts including the X-Men, Spider-Man and the Hulk) and McFarlane (originator of the dark antihero Spawn and extremely detailed McFarlane Toys) have previously partnered with us to seek out an original superhero concept and succeeded in launching Thomas Leopold’s “The Counselor” as well as solidifying that Talenthouse member’s career as a full-time comic artist. For this Invite, they mixed powers and performance, teaming with globe-trotting DJ and comic aficionado Laidback Luke (aka Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen) to suit him up as a superhero for his upcoming Governors Beach Club show, Talenthouse-style.
We’re pleased to have secured an interview with this enterprising concept artist for the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game, the Earthrise MMORPG and loads of other vivid projects. Read on to learn of his professional background and the inspiration behind his winning design.
TH: How did you come to this Invite?
Miroslav: I’d been following Todd McFarlane on Facebook and saw some of his posts. Then I read to learn what this Invite was all about and immediately became excited. I found your site by clicking on the article link, and it’s one of my favorites so far.
TH: What inspired you to create this submission?
Miroslav: As I mentioned in my post to my submission, I am huge listener of electronic music and a huge fan of comic heroes, but what inspired me most were the impressive judges who stand behind this Invite.
I spent a lot of sleepless nights over my tablet and Photoshop to become a better artist, and I am still working at it.
TH: Can you describe how Laidback Luke might use this costume, either in a comic book or on stage?
Miroslav: Well, he actually became a superhero after listening to alien messages hidden in audio samples. The suit is made from different, thin but very strong metals inside the leather shell that can easily conform to his body shape. It’s built like that to protect his human form from villains. The suit also transfers those alien audio waves to the body of Luke and he gets stronger while wearing it.
In real life, I can compare it with those motor racing suits, but with a chance to have some better ventilation in some smart places like those furrows between the leather parts. He can also use the costume for entertainment. The designers can put some neon lights in the same shapes instead of these metal edgy curvy knives on the ribs, thights, mantle and also in the logo. He might possibly have some sort of steam machine on the back hidden from the mantle and connected to his hands. He could drop some steam, nitrogen air or whatever is normal for parties. He can also throw to the people as part of the program some glowing discs, comparable to Gambit’s cards. [Editor's note: Gambit is a Cajun member of the X-Men whose mutant gene allows him to charge his playing cards and other objects with kinetic energy.]
[Marvel Comics' Wolverine is] badass, he is so close to the Balkan mentality and has got a nice set of claws!
TH: Where did you learn to create such images?
Miroslav: I am a self-taught artist, who started drawing around the age of 16 as a fan of computer games and their artwork. I spent a lot of sleepless nights over my tablet and Photoshop to become a better artist, and I am still working at it. When I felt I’d reached a professional level of artistic skill, I started as a concept artist for Masthead studios and wound up there as Art Director. Now I am a freelance concept artist and illustrator for dozens of clients.
TH: Who is your favorite superhero and why? Feel free to list more than one.
Miroslav: On first place I will put the most natural super hero of all and for me this is Batman. I love it because his past and present is very dark behind the shell he’s hidden and he is so vulnerable of many circumstances like as every normal person. On the other hand I am total fan of Wolverine. He’s badass, he is so close to the Balkan mentality and has got a nice set of claws!
TH: Are there any other submissions that got your attention?
Miroslav: I didn’t look at every submission all that closely, but I think that Antonio Urribarri‘s design is more in tune with my vision of how the costume should look and can be easily produced for live performances…and it’s badass!
TH: What projects would you most like to work on in the future?
Miroslav: I would love to try making covers for comic books (Marvel, DC, Image…) because I’ve never done it and it would be a cool challenge for me.
Congratulations on suiting up Laidback Luke, Miroslav! We look forward to covering your upcoming Winner Experience and encourage everyone to check out your impressive official website.
- View Miroslav Petrov’s Talenthouse Portfolio.