Behind-the-Design: Marvel Legends Artist Profile - Marte Gracia

Check it out, Marvel Legends fans! We recently got a chance to chat with artist, Marte Gracia, who worked on the colors of the recent Marvel Legends Series House of X packaging, alongside illustrator, Pepe Larraz. We asked Marte what it was like to work this on wave, partnering with Pepe, and of course, which of the X-Men he would choose to be.

Q: Marte, after the work you’ve done on the House of X wave, how does it feel seeing these characters that you colored be brought to life as 3-dimensional action figures?

A: Oh, it’s amazing to see them in full on 3rd dimension! As a kid I collected a lot of X-MEN toys, I even used them as drawing reference when I started to get interested in making comics in the early 90’s. I spent so much time with my figures, had so much fun and imagined so many stories that I hope these figures have the same effect on the younger generations.


Q: How would you describe your process in working with Pepe Larraz on this packaging art?

A: Well, working with Pepe is always incredible and a challenge, and my process goes more or less like this:

    • Stare in awe at the piece for countless hours.
    • Decide that I don’t have the skill to approach such an amazing piece or art.
    • Snapping out of it and be super excited, because Pepe’s art irradiates the most contagious warm energy :D
    • Finish coloring hoping to have added a positive layer of information over an already gorgeous piece of art.


Q: The lineup of characters in the House of X wave of Marvel Legends features Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto, the first figure of Moira MacTaggert, and more. Out of the all the figures in this wave, which is your favorite, and why?

A: Oh my, that’s a great question, and it definitely is Moira!! The way she is put front and center in this new era of X-MEN is quite interesting to me. Never in my life I would have thought of her as such an important, pivotal character for the X-MEN, and yet, here we are, creating new worlds based on her fight and struggle to reach a betterment of Mutantkind.

Q: Being a professional artist who has worked on coloring these famous comic book characters, can you share with the fans how your approach to packaging art was different? Give us a little behind the scenes peek at your process.

A: My approach for these pieces was the same as my approach to coloring covers. When you are at the comic book shop and there are a lot of comics in the rack, you gravitate to those covers with the brightest and most striking colors. The same with these packaging pieces, my idea was to create some striking pieces full of energy that would help stand out from other products and communicate how cool this new era of X-MEN is.


Q: With the rise of social media and other platforms for creatives to find each other’s work, do you believe that the artistic community has become more connected as a result?

A: Absolutely! It’s amazing to be able to work with people from all over the work on a single book! Jonathan Hickman lives in America, Pepe Larraz lives in Spain, I live in México, Tom Muller lives in the UK. This book exists because of how small the world has become thanks to the Internet and social media.

Q: Through the years the roster of the X-Men has changed dozens of times and includes characters with some wild superpowers. Of all the X-Men character, past and present, would you choose to be, and why?

A: I wanna be Dazzler, I want to party on FOREVER!