Evertonian and world-renowned Marvel Comics artist Will Sliney designed the matchday programme cover for Sunday's clash with Manchester United – and the Irishman has revealed how enjoying a kickabout with Richarlison helped to inspire his striking illustration.
Lifelong Blue Sliney is attending the match and will be signing merchandise in the Fan Zone before the game kicks off at 2pm.
Cover star Richarlison has also signed a number of copies of the programme. These will be auctioned off with the proceeds going towards The People’s Place, Everton in the Community’s groundbreaking campaign to build a dedicated mental health facility in L4.
The making of the cover has been documented in a video made by Sliney, which you can view in the video below or by clicking here.
Sliney explained how a recent visit to Everton’s state-of-the-art training complex to meet Richarlison was key in capturing the finer details of the Brazilian’s physique and character.
“Basically, I got to have a drawing session with Richy as the model!” says Sliney (pictured below). “We kicked the ball around for a bit and I took what I learned from that home and went about drawing the picture from there.
“It was a little bit of a different process, normally I’m drawing people who don’t even exist!
“There is a difference when you see someone on TV to seeing them in person. He was taller than I thought he was. And if you look at any illustration course, they will always tell you to draw from real life rather than from a photograph.
“It helped the process a lot and it was enjoyable to do that.
“He seems like a really, really good guy, too.”
Sliney explains how his method when illustrating globally acclaimed comic books mirrored the procedure used when designing today’s programme cover.
“The world I come from is Marvel Comics and the typical rule we have there is we do one page a day – whether that’s an interior page of a book or a cover,” he says.
“I break it down. I do a few quick little sketches to figure out what kind of pose I want – I might draw five or six different versions and then narrow it down to one.
“The next stage is pencilling, when I draw it in black and white line art, building up a figure. Then it’s the colour stage and we get to the version you see on the front of the programme."
On the 'making of' video, Sliney said: “I haven’t brought out anything like that before so it will be nice to see what people think of it.
“It will break down exactly how I drew the image. It’s sped up on a time-lapse to see it all come together.”
Sliney also detailed his pride about helping Everton raise funds for the People’s Place campaign.
Everton in the Community is aiming to raise £1million to build the mental health facility, which will be situated in the shadows of Goodison Park.
“Everton is one of the best Clubs when it comes to its community work,” Sliney added.
“They asked me to do this cover as part of the initiative and I was happy to help in whatever little way I could.
“It’s always nice to see one of your drawings go towards an amazing cause like this.”
Comic Con Convention Returns To Liverpool
The North West's biggest comic book and film fan convention returns to Liverpool next weekend.
A host of star names are attending the Comic Con event, which is taking place at the Exhibition Centre on King’s Dock from 6-8 March.
Elijah Wood, of Lord of the Rings fame, Stranger Things star David Harbour and acting legend Mickey Rourke are among the special guests, along with Only Fools and Horses favourites John Challis and Sue Holderness (Boycie and Marlene).
There are also reunions with members of the casts from American Pie and Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
The event features meet & greets, competitions and games, as well as comic and video stalls.
For ticket details and further information, visit https://www.comicconventionliverpool.co.uk/.