Drawing PANDORA'S BOX Open for Top Cow

If you've read the Greek myth of Pandora, it tells a tale of a mythical box with untold secrets and spells inside. The mystery of it's true contents – and the consequences of opening it – are at the heart of the myth, and trying to picture the stories written down in print is sometimes too overwhelming for even the largest imaginations. When comics publisher Top Cow set it sights on telling its own take on the Pandora legend, it knew it needed a spectacular artist to draw the story – and all it's secrets.

In the upcoming miniseries Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box, artist Allesandro Vitti joins co-writers Bryan Edward Hill and Rob Levin to shed light on two new facets – and artifact holders – in Top Cow's ever-expanding universe. This is Vitti's first steps into the decade old Top Cow U started by Marc Silvestri way back when, and he comes fresh off a stint on Marvel's Secret Warriors but plans to make Pandora's Box all his own.

"It’s always been a dream of mine to work on comics I read growing up," said Vitti. "I hope to continue doing so for a long time, and hopefully make an impact. I’m currently working on pages related to the Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box miniseries.  There are six issues, and I’m trying to devote as much as my attention to it as I can. In the meantime, I may also start another project that I cannot speak of yet."

Just as the mythical Pandora has her secrets, so does Allesandro apparently.

In our previous interview with the series' co-writers Hill and Levin, they explained the miniseries the link between the 2009 Top Cow series Broken Trinity and the upcoming summer event series Artifact. "[Pandora's Box] centers on Michael Finnegan and Glorianna Silver, the bearers or the Glacier Stone and Ember Stone respectively." Those stones are two in a group of 13 magic items in the Top Cow universe – dubbed "the Artifacts" – which include the Witchblade, the Angelus and the darkness. In this miniseries,  the bearers of the Glacier Stone and the Ember Stone are battling each other while trying to keep a menacing outside force from taking one of the artifacts for his own.

This is all a part of Top Cow's efforts to expand the universe past the key pillar titles of Darkness and Witchblade and finally expand and unravel the story of the 13 Artifacts. These two new bearers, first glimpsed in 2008's Broken Trinity, are given full room to spread their wings – sometimes literally, sometimes proverbially – in Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box. With all these newly minted characters and even more planned for the series, it's a delight for artist Allesando Vitti to be able to design characters planned to be around for while.

"I’m happy that they all entrusted me with this responsibility," said Vitti of his work on Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box. " It’s always a difficult process to follow someone else’s footsteps (especially Stjepan Sejic and Phil Hester’s!) and to develop a defined look for new characters.  Luckily, Levin and Hill gave me all the necessary information and references to begin.  Of course, their character studies don’t hurt—it’s better when I can get a feel for their personality.  It helps me to enliven the characters.  It’s just been an overall fun and exciting adventure I’ve managed to jump on board with."

For a comic book artist, details and plot points about an upcoming book you're drawing might come weeks and months before – but you don't really know what you're dealing with until the script hits your desk – or inbox, in these days. For Vitti, he likes what he sees.

"I love the action scenes and environments, the scenery, the details.  The miniseries demands everything," said Vitti. " The project requires major commitments and has high expectations.  At the end of the day, having a fun time is all that matters.  While the research for references was long and tedious; believe me, no detail was overlooked.  I’m treating this project like a pet."

With his enthusiasm levels high on this first book he is launching, there are also some obstacles he's noticed and worked hard to overcome.

"The hardest part is trying to control my personal emotion," revealed Allesandro. "It’s hard not to be enthusiastic and excited, but it’s even harder to restrain all of that and not end up exploding all over the page."

This is Vitti's second major project after a stint on Marvel's Secret Warriors, and although he's a paid professional he can't help but continue to be a fan at heart.

"The opportunity to work with Top Cow is watching a dream materialize into reality," said Vitti, a longtime comics fan. "Not only am I an artist, but a reader of comics.  Working with Marvel and Top Cow is the dream.  I’m living the most beautiful experience—not only have I been entrusted to handle my favorite characters with care and bring life to them, but I also have the opportunity to create new ones.  I can say that all of this is great, and I’m excited to be included on this Top Cow project, which translates on the pages."

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