Fan-Art Friday: Frank Quitely’s Robin

Fan-Art Friday is a new weekly feature at P:R, where artists pay tribute to fantastic official superhero redesigns with illustrations of their own. To kick things off right, here’s some fan-arts of Frank Quitely’s Robin redesign, as drawn by Rooftop Regulars(TM), Joel Carroll and Jemma Salume! Quitely’s Robin is an excellent example of how to redesign superhero costumes. It’s character-specific (a 10-year-old kid trained by assassins would choose clashing survival-gear), and retains the visual identity of previous incarnations (red tunic, “R” emblem, utility belt, yellow cape all in place, and while the scaly overpants are nowhere in sight, the color green still manages to return to the Robin suit against all odds). This is an exceptional redesign deserving of exceptional fan-art. So here it is. – Dean Trippe

Frank Quitely’s Robin, by Joel Carroll

Frank Quitely’s Robin, by Jemma Salume

8 comments to “Fan-Art Friday: Frank Quitely’s Robin”
  1. Oh shut-up, what do you know about “an excellent example of how to redesign superhero costumes”, just look at the nonsense you picked as the three top spots in your Batman 2.0 contest. The entry I submitted looked almost identical to Frank Quitely’s eventual redesign yet it didn’t even get an honorable mention but a Batman wearing a poncho almost won.

    Face it, if you had held a Robin 2.0 design contest and Frank Quitely had submitted this very Robin costume you’ve posted above, he would have lost and the winner would have been a Robin with a costume consisting of blinking red lights, piping and “plexiglas samurai-esque armor”.

  2. You’re right, “Naveen.” I’m so sorry I forced you to visit my free and awesome website and participate in my fun and voluntary contests. However, as a self-appointed superhero costumes expert, I must inform you that my opinions are all correct and absolute.

    However, besides the one vote cast with my own infallible judgment, contest entries are rated by the rest of the P:R contributors and guest professionals, all of whom excel in their areas of expertise within the comics industry. So if your entry didn’t make the cut, whining to me about it under a pseudonym (I’m guessing here, as no one named “Naveen Soli” has ever submitted anything to P:R, or, for that matter, seems to exist on the interwebs) isn’t going to change that or make you a better artist or designer. (If it makes you feel any better, though, my Batman 2.0 entry only made it in because I’m the guy that runs the site, and it got fairly lukewarm responses from Dustin Nguyen and JHW3–both of whom have secret upcoming features here at P:R, btw!) And honestly, if your design was great and the drawing wasn’t, well that’s a big handicap to overcome on an art site.

    ALL OF THAT SAID, I don’t think Frank Quitely’s Batman redesign would’ve fared too well in Batman 2.0, even though he’s a brilliant artist and costume designer. I was a little let down by it, as gorgeous as it is, because unlike the above Robin redesign, his Dick Grayson Batman isn’t a radical enough departure from the base model to get me super excited about it, let alone to have stood out against the more interesting entries. I imagine this has a lot to do with the popularity and branding of Batman, and the fact that Warner Bros. needs Bats looking like Bats for cross-media marketing purposes. The small updates to the belt and gauntlets are rad, but you know, pretty minor.

    Robin’s less important to DC’s current non-comics projects, and it seems like he had more freedom here. His Damian Wayne Robin design would’ve done great in a Robin 2.0 contest, in my opinion (which, as we’ve established, is undoubtedly correct).

    Quitely’s one of my favorite superhero costume designers. I adore his JLA: Earth 2 Crime Syndicate villains (speaking of crime, how about not using them in the otherwise awesome Justice League: Crisis on 2 Earths movie?) and consider his All-Star Lois Lane Superwoman one of the best superhero designs OF ALL TIME. I also think he should’ve been allowed to use his modified Superman “S” for All-Star Superman, but oh well. His superhero redesign work, like Alex Ross’s or Bruce Timm’s, is exactly the kind of stuff we’re talking about here at Rooftop. Basically to rock this kind of assignment, all you have to do is retain enough of the earlier costumes’ iconography to keep a character recognizable in a aesthetically-appealing redesign that reveals character traits and story with new visual elements. I don’t know why this very specific job appeals to me so much, but it really does. So I started a site for it.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments, “Naveen!” Better luck next time. :)

  3. Ha, ha, ha! Well, I just added that amendment to my first reply, somewhat out of self-prescribed guilt over a Facebook conversation about confusion on the webs with commenting and didn’t want any of that here. Yes, I’m somewhat crazy. :D

  4. LOL @Naveen Soli

    Wow, someone is horribly bitter, lmao! That is so, so, so, so sad. Getting bent out of shape on the Internet under a pseudonym is so pitiful!

    You should really just take comfort in knowing that your design was ultimately vindicated by the current Bat books. It’s super tactless to attack other people’s art just ’cause you’re sour about being snubbed. Insulting the judges and denigrating the other submissions just makes you pathetic.

    It was an art contest. It was totally subjective, dependent on the tastes of the judges, and results were contingent on the stated rules/constraints. You can’t force people to love your work, no matter how awesome you think it is.

    *pats Naveen condescendingly as I laugh with derision*

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