Comic art update!

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An unpublished cover design for Powers vol 2 #1.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!


New Comic art

Uploaded three new pages of art this month.

Two pieces by Leinil Francis Yu. One from X-Men 103, which features the cutest head-shot of Rogue I’ve ever seen. And another from New X-Men annual 2001, written by Grant Morrison, with the entire issue drawn in widescreen, horizontal format ( so you have to read the comic by turning it on its side. ) This page is special because it has the scene that’s the genesis of Cyclops and Emma Frost’s relationship, with Emma turning up in Cyclops’s room at night with a champagne bottle in hand. And of course, she looks awesomely hawt!

The third piece is a Punisher splash page from the acclaimed Garth Ennis run. The story arc this page is from is called “Up is Down and Black is White”, where one of the Punisher’s enemies who got away this one time comes up with this brilliant idea of digging up the Punisher’s family’s remains from their graves, pissing on them on camera and sending the video to all major news channels. Needless to say, Frank Castle goes on a rampage. This page, for me, is a perfect Punisher page. Dark, brooding and beautiful…


Which also reminds me

I put up a couple of new pages on my Comic Art Fans gallery. Stuff that I bought or picked up in the USA following time payments.

A Dark Victory page by Tim Sale. It’s in fact one of the last pages in the series – just before the final sequence. One of the best images of Two-face I have ever seen. If you think Tim Sale is a brilliant artist, you should hold a piece of his original art at close quarters and look at the details to appreciate HOW good he really is.

A Trinity page by Matt Wagner. The page has Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and some of the coolest Matt Wagner inking you will ever see. I am a MW junkie, having discovered the guy’s work in the Demon miniseries published by DC in the 1980s. His recent work includes the Dark Moon Rising miniseries starring Batman, which are modern reimaginings of Batman’s earliest adventures. Batman and the Monster Men is the first Hugo Strange story, Batman and the Mad Monk tells the story of the vampirish Mad Monk, one of the earliest Bob Kane stories.

An Usagi Yojimbo pin-up by Stan Sakai. I don’t really know if this is a published pin-up, but Sakai tends to use these kind of inked drawings as back cover images or inside the comics as bonus pinup material. Someday I need to get my paws on an Usagi Yojimbo cover.

A Loveless page by Marcelo Frusin. Marcelo Frusin is another artist from Argentina who makes perfect use of black and white in his work, much like Risso, his fellow countryman ( I believe he trained under Risso for some time). Loveless is an ongoing Western comicbook series written by Brian Azzarrello, and this page is from one of the earliest issues. It’s also special because it’s inked, most of Frusin’s available art is pencils only.

A New X-Men page by Frank Quitely. Yes, I promised myself I will get more and more Frank Quitely art, and that’s exactly what I am doing. This is one of my favourite pages from Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men.

Another Frank Quitely work, a sketch of Death. What can I say? I love the guy’s work.

A Starman page by Tony Harris. Starman, frankly speaking, is one of the most respectful DC series you will ever read. It brings a rich sense of history to a character whose shelf-life has been very choppy in the DC Universe, with multiple people taking on the mantle of Starman, with different powers and origins. James Robinson, Tony Harris and all the others who chipped in as the 80 issue series progressed revisited the history of Starman and brought a cohesiveness to it that blows all such reimaginings out of the water. This page also features the Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds, from one of the best storylines in the series, called Sand and Stars.

Well, like ’em?


Ah-some sah-s.

Comics artists interpreting literary figures and characters.

via Chris Weston’s blog. Weston has drawn the latest contribution to the site, Winston Smith and Big Brother from Orwell’s 1984, and Weston has this to say about his work –

“I ‘m particularily pleased with my depiction of Big Brother, which is a rare case of something turning out exactly as I saw it in my head. He’sa mash-up of propaganda images of Hitler, Stalin and Lord Kitchener.”

Personal favourites:

Eduardo Risso’s Sandokan.

David Mack’s Miyamoto Musashi.

Mike Mignola’s Jacob Marley.

Ben Templesmith’s Hunter S Thompson.

Bruce Timm’s HP Lovecraft

Dave McKean’s Salman Rushdie.

Tony DeZuniga’s Sherlock Holmes.

Jock’s Carlos Castaneda.

What a great idea for commissions!