‘Adventure Time’ poster first look: Andrew Groves takes on Billy

March 10, 2014 | 2:00 p.m.
billythehero 1200 Adventure Time poster first look: Andrew Groves takes on Billy

Andrew Groves' Billy the Hero print for the "Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection" poster book. (Abrams Books)

%name Adventure Time poster first look: Andrew Groves takes on Billy

Andrew Groves' early sketch for his Billy the Hero print featured in the "Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection" poster book. (Andrew Groves / Abrams Books)

A new collection of “Adventure Time” posters is out later this month, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at one of the prints.

The “Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection” poster book, out March 25 from Abrams Books, features 20 removable art prints by artists and designers including Olly Moss, Tony Millionaire, Celeste Moreno, Anne Benjamin, Nidhi Chanani and more. The large-format posters spotlight Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, Ice King, Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum, BMO and dozens more colorful characters from the Land of Ooo.

Andrew Groves' Billy the Hero print for the "Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection" poster book. (Abrams Books)

Andrew Groves’ Billy the Hero print for the “Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection” poster book. (Abrams Books)

Hero Complex readers get a sneak peek at one of four original posters created exclusively for the book, a print by U.K.-based artist Andrew Groves. Groves’ print spotlights Billy the Hero, the enormous, ancient hero who is voiced in the series by Lou Ferrigno and idolized by the show’s protagonists Finn and Jake. In the poster, Billy wields his magic sword (named Nothung).

FULL COVERAGE: ‘Adventure Time’

Hero Complex caught up with Groves via email to discuss his artwork, “Adventure Time” and Billy the Hero.

Hero Complex: How did you come to be involved in this project? Are you a fan of the show?

Andrew Groves: I’d been working on some merchandise artwork for Cartoon Network, including some “Adventure Time”-related products, and Jacob Escobedo at Turner kindly passed on my details to Abrams Books, who commissioned me for the project. I’m definitely a fan of the show, but I really got into it after “researching” lots of episodes whilst I was working on the Cartoon Network stuff.

HC: “Adventure Time” has become hugely popular, among adults as well as among children. Why do you think that world is so appealing to people?

AG: I think it appeals to the adventurer in everyone. For adults it also has a nostalgic vibe that recalls childhood cartoons. The great writing, humor and level of weirdness is really just perfect for all ages; it’s able to tackle some fairly lofty topics whilst remaining silly and obscure.

HC: Why did you decide to feature Billy the Hero?

AG: Billy is one of my favorite characters from the show. His proportions and shape are great, he has a crystal nose and a huge sword and I just felt he was a good fit for my style. Also, he fought a bear.

Andrew Groves' early sketch for his Billy the Hero print featured in the "Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection" poster book. (Andrew Groves / Abrams Books)

Andrew Groves’ early sketch for his Billy the Hero print featured in the “Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection” poster book. (Andrew Groves / Abrams Books)

HC: When you illustrate, do you have an idea in mind from the get-go? Do you sketch first? Can you tell us a little about your process?

AG: It varies depending on the illustration and whether it’s commissioned or a personal piece. A big part of my style comes from reducing elements to their most basic forms or shapes so I’ll often do this first with rough sketches. I have a fairly design-led approach to illustration; layout, structure and the way shapes interact with each other are important considerations.

HC: The illustration has a timeless quality to it, like a carving or a tapestry. What inspires your style?

AG: Processes like woodblock printing and tapestry weaving and other printing techniques have definitely inspired my style; many of these processes require details to be stripped away and a limited color palette to work effectively (I realize this is a huge sweeping statement as there are some very intricate tapestries out there).

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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