Beneath the marque display of top writers, artists and other comic professionals working in comics, there exists a sizable contingent of talented creators working just as hard (if not harder) but who have yet to attract that elusive “buzz” to make them popular in comics. But nevertheless, these creators show impressive skills and seem waiting for the world to catch up. Stuart Immonen did it for years in the 90s at DC, and Ivan Reis did the same at Marvel. Now they’re greats with the popularity to match, but it took time to get there.
This week’s iFanboy Upstart is someone who celebrates his fifth year in comics this year, and is just now rising through the ranks and building a legacy with a run on a popular book. Spanish artist David Baldeón is currently working on X-Men Legacy with writer Christos Gage, drawing the series as it reels from Avengers Vs. X-Men and prepares for “Marvel NOW!”. But his start was far different.
David Baldeón got his start in 2007 with a immense amount of work. The Spanish-based artist did samples for both Marvel and DC doing scripts based around the Teen Titans, the Blue Beetle and Ultimate Fantastic Four. He got his break when he was tapped to assume the art duties on Blue Beetle in 2007 when original artist Rafael Albuquerque was segueing out for American Vampire. Baldeón did five issues of that title, rotating between that and a later gig as an artist on Robin. After work on those second-tier titles Marvel took notice and brought him into their system, first with small work on Doctor Doom & The Masters of Evil and the Marvel Adventures Super Heroes title before giving him his first series he’d draw from issue #1, 2009′s Nomad: Girl Without A World. This four-issue series continued his string of of working on teenage superheroes, and Baldeón followed that trend by drawing Sean McKeever’s Young Allies teen hero series. After that, he bounced over for a quick stop in Avengers Academy before exchanging his penchant for teen stories for zombies with Marvel Zombies: Christmas Carol. That work provided to be his most memorable today, giving the artist a more diverse setting to draw from — not just with the zombies. After that transformative gig, Baldeón was tapped to take over X-men Legacy with writer Christos Gage, a big opportunity for him on such a high-profile book.
Baldeón’s style is characterized by strong lines and dynamic compositions, but under the surface there’s a more stretchy and cartoonish artist. His work has primarily focused on his superhero skills, but in things like Marvel Zombies: Christmas Carol he’s shown he has a more dynamic range to be tapped into. Although I’m not advocating Marvel move Baldeón off X-Men Legacy any time soon, if they did then a chance to do Spider-Man could be just the think to take advantage of the skills he has to offer.