Sorry for the headline. In this article you’ll see some new pieces that look (to me at least) like they came from the hands of three masters of their craft. They’ve all passed away, and that is a true poverty. Each of them were geniuses in their areas and made a mark like most of us could only dream of.
I get that AI art generators bring up all sorts of heavy topics like intellectual property questions and threats of eliminating artist and graphic design jobs. I definitely don’t want to talk about any of that right now. This rapidly emerging technology isn’t going away, and is getting crisper and more impressive with each passing week. It isn’t a bus, it’s a loaded freight train with jetpacks mounted on it.
So let’s talk instead about the fact that we live in a time when you can instantaneously view an infinite number of new works of art that can mimic the style of existing masters like the three we’ll highlight here though the men themselves are long since passed away. And though I see how some might perceive this sort of thing differently, to me this is honoring them. We’re not going to package these up and sell them, or try to market these in any way.
We’re going to tour a gallery and appreciate how awesome these three folks were.
Who was John Berkey?
John Berkey (August 13, 1932 – April 29, 2008) was an American artist known for his space and science fiction themed works. Some of Berkey’s best-known work includes much of the original poster art for the Star Wars trilogy, the poster for the 1976 remake of King Kong and also the “Old Elvis Stamp”. Berkey produced a large body of space fantasy artwork, producing utopian scenes of bubble-shaped, yacht-like spaceships. His distinctive painterly style has been evaluated as “at once realistic, yet impressionistic and abstract”. He has been described as “one of the giants in the history of science fiction art”. (Wikipedia)
The following images were generated using Codeway’s Wonder AI app, with various prompts relating to “space ships”, selecting an “oil painting” style:
Who was Will Eisner?
William Erwin Eisner (March 6, 1917 – January 3, 2005) was an American cartoonist, writer, and entrepreneur. He was one of the earliest cartoonists to work in the American comic book industry, and his series The Spirit (1940–1952) was noted for its experiments in content and form. In 1978, he popularized the term “graphic novel” with the publication of his book A Contract with God. He was an early contributor to formal comics studies with his book Comics and Sequential Art (1985). The Eisner Award was named in his honor and is given to recognize achievements each year in the comics medium. (Wikipedia)
The following images were generated using Codeway’s Wonder AI app, with various prompts relating to “ugly man telling stories” or “man in street”, selecting a “pen & ink” style:
Who was Jack Kirby?
Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994) was an American comic book artist, writer and editor, widely regarded as one of the medium’s major innovators and one of its most prolific and influential creators. In 1940, he and writer-editor Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. During the 1940s, Kirby regularly teamed with Simon, creating numerous characters for that company and for National Comics, later to become DC Comics. The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor, and he is known as “The King” among comics fans for his many influential contributions to the medium. (Wikipedia)
The following images were generated using Codeway’s Wonder AI app, with various prompts relating to “giant machine”, selecting a “pen & ink” style:
Other AI art generators you might consider playing with:
Artbreeder is a web-based generator, which in my opinion specializes in landscapes and faces.
Stable diffusion hosted here is also excellent, though it seems to produce much better results if you specify a particular artist or multiple artists for it to mimic the styles. You don’t have to, but it helps.
Craiyon is another web-based generator, and is a stripped-down version of Dall-e, which hit the headlines recently and made quite a splash. This is a free version, and resolutions are low. Still, it’s great for writing prompts.
There are many others, but I wanted to bring you these three gentlemen today, and some suggestions for your own experimentation. If you don’t know much about any of these guys, please take a few minutes and enrich your life a bit. They were amazing, talented people who brought us many gifts.
And I’m thrilled to have technology that can bring us closer to them like this.