Big Barda and Her Female Furies...Realized at Last

June 19, 2011
Big Barda Cover with Mike Royer inks

The original art to this concept piece, roughly penciled by Jack Kirby, was posted on What if Kirby when the site launched last August (see it in the Gallery). Comments started by members quickly focused on how cool it would be to have the cover finished. The cover was really a rough layout of Jack's concept for a new title, I assume, to present to DC Comics. It obviously never became a reality, unfortunately. Jack's layout pencils below.

Jack Kirby Big Barda Pencils

WiK member, Frank Fosco, became interested in doing finishing pencils from scans. Frank is a penciler/inker who started off as a fill in artist at DC but is most notably known for his 23-issue-run on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Image Comics. He has done work for Marvel on the World's Greatest Comic Magazine and back up stories in Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon. Frank's pencils below.

Frank Fosco Big Barda Pencils

Next step, get an inker. My first thought went to Mike Royer who inked most of the 4th World issues so a perfect choice for inking a cover from this period. Large-size printouts of Frank's pencils went to Mike. Mike prefers to recreate his pencils on bristol and wanted to add additional detail. Mike modified Barda's headdress and face, plus added backgrounds and details to the foreground characters while keeping much of Frank's original design. Mike's pencils below.

Mike Royer Big Barda Pencils

The end results? A final 2011-realized creation with layouts by Jack Kirby, pencils by Frank Fosco and Mike Royer and inks and lettering by Mike Royer. See it and zoom it in the Creations section.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | June 20, 2011

I think--

Mike Royer took it a little TOO far. Jack left more breathing room in his compositions than that. To my eye, Frank's pencils were more true to Jack's intent than the finished piece. Of course none of us will ever know--but this seems a trifle busy to my eye.

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