A peek at German Ponce’s unpublished ‘A More Perfect Union’

Detail of German Ponce artwork for page 4 of A More Perfect Union for Cinema Purgatorio #8

Max Brooks’ A More Perfect Union Cinema Purgatorio story line changed artists on issue 8.

AMPU issues 1 through 7 were drawn by Michael DiPascale. DiPascale had done quite a bit artwork for Avatar Press, including drawing Absolution, God Is Dead, and lots of covers from Providence Weird Pulp variants to various Uber and Crossed covers. In September 2016, DiPascale posted that he had “severed all ties” with Avatar Press.

Beginning with issue 8, AMPU art duties shifted to Gabriel Andrade, who drew Alan Moore’s initial Crossed+100 arc, as well as Purgatorio‘s The Vast.

German Ponce’s A More Perfect Union cover for Cinema Purgatorio #9 was solicited, but never published

In between DiPascale and Andrade, Avatar Press had begun to work with artist German Ponce. Ponce’s AMPU cover artwork for issue 8 still appears on the publisher’s website. Several pages of Ponce’s internal AMPU artwork for issue 8 are viewable online, though none of his AMPU art appeared in print.

Purgatorio Annotato emailed with Ponce earlier this month to better understand the story of his unpublished A More Perfect Union artwork. 

Ponce lives in the city of Mar del Plata in Argentina. Since 2002, he has been working as a professional artist, mostly as an illustrator and a concept artist for games and books, including comics. Ponce has worked for SQP, Mongoose Publishing, Tin Man Games, Paradigm, Pinnacle, Dark Horse, and Upper Deck. His illustrations include Conan the Barbarian, Elric, Hawkmoon, RuneQuest, Traveller, Judge Dredd, Dragon Age, and X-men.

Ponce’s comics work includes Foreign Matter, Rebel, some webcomics, and some publications in Argentina.

He is currently working on X-Men trading cards for Upper Deck, color cover paintings for fantasy novels, and his own webcomic Corazon Gotico ( Gothic Heart.)

German Ponce artwork for AMPU issue #8, page 5
Side by side comparison of same AMPU page (issue 8, page 5) by Ponce and Andrade

Ponce reports that he never actually spoke or chatted with Max Brooks, but just received Brooks’ scripts from Avatar Press. He reports that AMPU scripts include plenty of references and instructions, including plenty of precise detail, especially regarding soldiers’ uniforms.

To get the AMPU job, Ponce drew and painted a full color sample page, as well as seven pages for issue 8. He reports that initially he was excited about the assignment, but soon grew disappointed when Avatar took two weeks to approve, then asked for many changes. Ponced stated that he retouched and repainted five different versions of his AMPU #8 pages.

Ponce relates that he was disappointed to find that, after two months working on AMPU, it “was impossible to get the job done.” Doing and revising the AMPU art had been consuming a lot of his time for little pay. He states he gave it his best effort, but in the end he “was not the right artist for the project.”

German Ponce artwork for AMPU issue #8, page 2
German Ponce artwork for AMPU issue #8, page 7

Additional recent art by German Ponce is viewable at Artstation. More of Ponce’s A More Perfect Union work is posted at his personal and artist Facebook pages.

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