I uploaded some new art into my gallery.
An unpublished cover design for Powers vol 2 #1. Powers, if you don’t know already, is a police procedural set in a world populated with superheroes. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated in a beautiful cartoony style by Michael Avon Oeming, this series attained cult status while being published by Image comics, and then went on to be published by Marvel. Bendis’s Snap-crackle-pop dialogues have never been utilised better – this is where his ear for streetspeak, honed by the indie Goldfish and Jinx, has attained a balance with his super-hero writing. There are numerous detractors to Bendis who might think otherwise, but the man has oodles of talent. And what can I say about Oeming’s artwork? He’s from the less-is-more school, relying on a minimalist style to bring out every aspect of superhero glitz and cop grittiness. Highly recommended!
A Cameron Stewart/Guy Davis Catwoman page. For most of the nineties, the character of Catwoman was a confused criminal who would apparently be anybody – right from a CIA agent to a dominatrix to a cat burglar, and all of this while sporting an impossible, exploitative cheesecake look. It took a writer named Ed Brubaker to take the character back to basics. Along with artist Darwyn Cooke, Catwoman was relaunched with a new costume and a coherent motivation. While Cooke left, a number of artists like Cameron Stewart, Scott Morse and Brad Rader took over – all of them excellent storytellers and bearing unique cartoony styles that in no way focussed on making the character bootylicious just to add to fanboy appeal. Of these, I have a special affection for Cameron Stewart’s style. His inks on Guy Davis’s layouts have an inherent simplicity to them, and yet there is this unique level of dynamism to the sequences that leaps out of the pages.
An Akira colour page. This is an airbrushed page from Akira, the seminal manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, painted by Steve Oliff on xeroxes of Otomo’s art. The Epic reprints of Akira in the eighties had some of the most vibrant colour schemes ever seen in American comics at that time. ( Lynn Varley’s colours on Ronin might be the only ones that could match up to them). I bought this from Steve personally at Super-con 2007. I was one of the first to reach his table, and nearly crapped my pants seeing the stack of Akira pages by him. I must have pored through about 30-odd pages before I saw this one, and immediately took it out. Because I was tremendously short of money, this was the only one I got, and Steve, while autographing it, said “that’s one of my favourites.” I thought he was saying that just for the heck of it. The next day, I was hanging around near his table again, and there was a bigger crowd near him. Steve saw me, and told the people around him, “That guy got a good one.” Then he said he wanted to see the piece once again for the last time. *grin* I hung around with Steve for some more time, and he talked to me about Tony Salmons art, apparently he was a big fan of Salmons and was looking around for the Marvel Fanfare that had the only DD story that Tony did. I plan to buy some more Akira art from Steve the next time around.
An X-men page by Alan Davis and Paul Neary that features one of the earliest appearances of the character X-23 into the Marvel universe, and a page from Another Nail, an Elseworlds story by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer. I love the first page because of the beautifully designed page – Alan Davis is a genius, in case you didn’t know, and some of my earliest memories of reading Batman is associated with Davis’s art from Batman and the Outsiders and Detective Comics. You will notice that the panel design on the X-men page kind of resonates with the chaotic image of broken glass from the first panel. Simply amazing! The page from Another Nail is special because it has Davis drawing almost all of the JLA ( except for Batman and Green Arrow). Note the panel where Phantom Stranger is fading away – when i saw the scans on the site where I got it from, I thought the inker had used stipple to come up with that effect. ( Stipple being the art term wherein the artist uses dots to introduce depth and shade into a piece ) To my surprise, it turned out to be a different method altogether – some of the nice little techniques one picks up from watching a virtuoso inker’s work first-hand.
And oh, these pages were the ones that got me a new friend, so they are even more special!