Illustrator Spotlight: Pete Wallbank’s Superman movie poster homage, new book covers revealed

It’s been a while since I turned the downthetubes creator spotlight on artist Pete Wallbank, perhaps best known for his Doctor Who art, some of which I commissioned many years ago… so let’s make up for that by showing you some of his stunning work, including three new book covers, and a wonderful homage to the 1978 Superman film, directed by Richard Donner and starring the impeccable Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman.

“We’ve all got our own superheroes in life and none more so than me,” says Pete. “This is rightfully dedicated to anyone that has saved your life.”

To say Superman was transformative for many on its debut would be an understatement. Superheroes hadn’t exactly had a great time of it for the most part beyond comics, either on film or TV. Thanks to a stellar cast lead by the impeccable Christopher Reeve, together with Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando , with brilliant direction from one of the greats, Richard Donner, this film arguably changed all that.

While its effects may seem dated now, for those of us yet to experience superheroes done right on the big screen, Superman lived up to its tag line, “You’ll believe a man can fly!”

Superman Movie Poster by Pete Wallbank

Alongside painting this tribute to, possibly, the greatest superhero film of them all, Pete has been creating other great work, too, including some terrific book covers for a Brazilian publisher Estrada de Papel (The Paper Road), celebrating shows such as Star Trek, the long-running comedy show, I Dream of Jeannie, starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman, and The Six Million Dollar Man.

For the latter, he’s created a stunning image that includes not only Lee Majors as the bionic man, but Lindsay Wagner as his female counterpart – and Bigfoot, from one the popular SF adventure series most memorable storylines, too!

“There’s also an Incredible Hulk book as well which I’m yet due to do the art for,” Pete tells us.

All these books are being published, initially at least, in Portuguese – perhaps an English language publisher might pick up rights?

The cover for the Star Trek-inspired book,  Onde Ninguém Mais Esteve (“Where No One Else Has Been”), art by Pete Wallbank
The cover for the Star Trek-inspired book, Onde Ninguém Mais Esteve (“Where No One Else Has Been”), art by Pete Wallbank

Onde Ninguém Mais Esteve (“Where No One Else Has Been”), released back in January, explores the universe of the Star Trek, a 230-page collection of articles and essays, illustrated by another British artist, Graham Hill.

The book is written by Saulo Adami and Eduardo Torelli, and ten other invited authors – Ben Santana, Edward Gross, Fábio Fernandes, Gilson Cunha, Marcello Simão Branco, Maurício Muniz, Paulo Gustavo Pereira, Paulo Maffia, Renato da Silva and Roberto Causo – who talk about the creation of a TV series (1966-1969), about their passions as fans, collectors, researchers.

Onde Ninguém Mais Esteve can be purchased by e-mail via saulo.adami@yahoo.com.br or by whatsapp (47) 99671-8351

I Dream of Jeannie - Um Amor de Gênio (“My Beloved Genie”), art by Pete Wallbank
Um Amor de Gênio (“My Beloved Genie”), art by Pete Wallbank

Um Amor de Gênio (“My Beloved Genie”), released last month, written by journalist Luciana Costa, goes behind the scenes on I Dream of Jeannie, the long-running TV series starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman. Not only exploring the making of the show, there’s a complete episode guide, too.

Biônicos (“Bionics”), written by Saulo Adami, cover art by Pete Wallbank
Biônicos (“Bionics”), written by Saulo Adami, cover art by Pete Wallbank

Biônicos (“Bionics”), written by Saulo Adami, due for release in January 2022, goes behind the scenes on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, with a history of both series and episode guides.

Also in the works for release next January is O Médico E O Monstro (“The Scientist and the Monster”), also written by Saulo Adami, offering a guide to the making of The Incredible Hulk TV series that starred Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner, Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, and Jack Colvin as Jack McGee.

The publisher’s name, Estrada de Papel originated with the release of the eponymous book in 2017), a book by Jeanine Wandratsch Adami and Luiz Saulo Adami, a synthesis of the writer’s career with selected excerpts from his main works.

Author and publisher Luiz Saulo Adami
Author and publisher Luiz Saulo Adami

Over a long career, Luiz Saulo Adami, better known as Saulo Adami, is an author, editor, publisher (of over one hundred book, on various subjects), a screenwriter, producer and director of documentary films.

He’s perhaps best known, and highly regarded for his extensively-researched books about the Planet of the Apes franchise, O único humano bom é aquele que está morto! (“The only good human is the one who is dead!”) and Diários de Hollywood: Um Brasileiro no Planeta dos Macacos (“Hollywood Diaries: A Brazilian on the Planet of the Apes”). He’s also a major collector of Planet of the Apes memorabilia.

A member of the Historical and Geographical Institute of Paraná, he co-ordinates the TV Estronho collection for Editora Estronho (São José dos Pinhais). With his wife psychologist Jeanine, he wrote Doctor Nica (2012) and Estrada de Papel (2017), and co-ordinates literary creation workshops. A documentary about his career will be released this year.

• Pete Wallbank is online at www.petewallbankart.com and available for private commission. You can also find him on Facebook here

Read an interview with Saulo Adami about his career and work on Editoradom (in Portuguese)

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Art and Illustration, Books, downthetubes News, Other Worlds, Star Trek

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1 reply

  1. I am very happy with the success of my friend Pete Wallbank, who is the cover illustrator of some books I wrote or edited. Congratulations, Pete! Thank you so much, John!

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