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Ask any fan of comic books and graphic novels, and they will tell you that Marvel have a place in the history of the medium that far exceeds any other comic house in terms of profile, even if arguments over quality will rage for ever – the bottom line is that Marvel are the biggest, whoever may be the best. As with any company of their size, Marvel jealously guards the artistic integrity of their characters, and they do not freely give permission to artists wishing to copy their work.

So it says something of the respect which is afforded to Scottish artist Paul Mellia that he is the sole artist in the world with absolute licence to copy Marvel’s characters – among them the Incredible Hulk, Spiderman and the Fantastic Four – as a consequence of a commission they gave to him in 2006. Equally, he is the only artist with the freedom to depict Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. But among all of the high-profile commissions to depict famous characters, Mellia’s real passion is the American Dream, and particularly the cars which are inseparable from the concept.

From the weighty commissions given to him by such notable organisations as those mentioned above, and individuals like Lisa-Marie Presley and Tommy Lee, it is easy to see why Paul Mellia is considered such a big hitter. And when he depicted a range of American Dream cars it was on exhibition for under a week before a private collector bought each and every picture displayed. People will go a long way to own a Mellia original – he is just that good.'