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Artist: Spider-Man 2099; Cloak and Dagger; Green Lantern vs Aliens; Painkiller Jane; Nightwing; Star Wars: General Grievous


Attending: Friday, Saturday & Sunday


A LITTLE more than a decade after he began drawing comics professionally, Rick Leonardi and writer Peter David introduced a new futuristic rendition of Marvel's web-slinger in Spider-Man 2099.

Initially, the artist – who pencilled the first 25 issues of the 1992 title – had started out illustrating fill-ins as many newcomers do. Commencing in 1981 with Thor #303 Leonardi went on to issues of Spectacular Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Manbefore taking on 1982's Vision and the Scarlet Witch four-parter and then the following year a miniseries that would establish a strong link with duo that had made their MU entrance just a year before.


Although he didn't create the characters, his work on the four issues of 1983's Cloak and Dagger, the similarly titled six-parter that came along two years later and his run of five issues on the ongoing [The Mutant Misadventures of] Cloak and Daggerseries launched earlier in 1990 has led to fans forever associate Leonardi with the pair.

In between the two Cloak and Dagger minis, Leonardi was responsible for the design of Spider-Man's black costume, evolving Mike Zeck's original concept sketch into the outfit that debuted in 1984's Amazing Spider-Man #252.


Alongside and post those two Cloak and Dagger titles the artist continued to produce infrequent fill-ins including, in 1986 making his DC debut on New Teen Titans #22. Three years later he embarked on a 12-chapter Colossus strip in Marvel Comics Presents, returning to the anthology in 1992 to pencil the six episodes of a Doctor Strange/Ghost Rider serial.


From there, after a diversion to contribute a Predator serial in the first two issues of Dark Horse's Dark Horse Comics, Leonardi moved on to Spider-Man 2099, following his 25-issue stint on that title with Spider-Man 2099 meets Spider-Man, a 1995 one-shot. After that came the 1996 first issue of Fantastic Four 2099.


Later in '96, Leonardi – whose earlier fill-ins had included issues of various of Marvel's mutants title (X-Men, New Mutants, Cable and Excalibur among them) – provided illustrations for all three volumes of X-Men: Mutant Empire and for The Ultimate X-Men for Byron Preiss Multimedia. The five issues of 1997's Painkiller Jane (an Event Comics mini) came next with two related one-shots – Harris'sVampirella/Painkiller Jane and Painkiller Jane/Hellboy for Event – following hot on its heels.


Then, in 1998, the artist returned to Marvel for the six issues of Rampaging Hulk. The following year he pencilled the X-Men: True Friends three-parter after which he drew the four-issues of Green Lantern vs Aliens, published by Dark Horse in 2000.


In 2001 came Marvel's Leonardi-pencilled Sentry/Spider-Man one-shot after which the artist migrated over to DC where, after (among other things) a three-issue run onBirds of Prey, he became regular penciller on Nightwing. He illustrated 11 issues of that series before moving on to seven issues of Batgirl, which took him into 2004.

Following a one-off reunion with Spider-Man 2099 (in the one and only issue of 2005's Spider-Man Family anthology), Leonardi – who had drawn a number of Star Wars fill-ins over the previous five or six years – then swung back to Dark Horse for the Star Wars: General Grievous four-parter.


Prime among the one-offs illustrated by Leonardi over the next year or so were 2005's Elektra on the Rise and Giant-Size X-Men #4 for Marvel and DC'sSuperman Returns Prequel (2006). Then, in 2007, came a five issue run on DC'sJLA: Classified followed by four issues of Superman.


Remaining at DC. the artist next illustrated 2008's Adam Strange Special and then two of the four issues of DC Universe: Decisions. After that came all but three of the 12-issues of 2009's Vigilante and then, a year later, Dark Horse's Aliens vs Predator: Three World War six-parter. The five issues of Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command followed in 2011.


In 2012, Leonardi drew the two issues of Watson & Holmes, relaunching that New Paradigm Studios title in 2013, when it ran for a further four issues. The next year he pencilled a fill-in issue of the 2014 incarnation of Spider-Man 2099 after which he returned to DC, where he has drawn the two issues of Convergence Batgirl as well as the three of 2015's Justice League: Gods & Monsters – Wonder Woman and, most recently, the similarly titled one-shot that followed that miniseries.


Despite occupying much of his time with activities outside the comics bubble, Leonardi's talents have been in constant demand by Marvel and DC. He has carved himself a solid reputation across a career that stretches back over 35 years.


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Does anyone know how much Rick charges for a sketch? Is there any way of booking a sketch slot in advance?

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