Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week): Damian Scott, Amy Reeder, Kevin Cannon [New Feature!]
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this all-new recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
Some of the work spotlighted here will be from comics that came out just this week and some will be from older comics that we just happen to be reading at the moment. If you want to submit sequential art that you think is great, shoot us an email at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with “Best Sequential Art” in the subject line. Artists, writers and editors are welcome to submit their own work — we won’t tell.
Sometimes when artists choose to eschew traditional panel borders in favor of action that continues with no disruption, it can be incredibly hard for the reader to follow, especially without color. Damian Scott, however, pulls off this page brilliantly. The flow from the first two panels into the chase through the hall of mirrors is both easy to follow and has the fast pace necessary for a chase scene. This is enhanced by Sienty’s lettering which is placed in the perfect spots to guide the reader’s eye — something that is more important than it’s often given credit for.
This is another delightful, action-packed piece of storytelling that in the hands of the wrong artist could be completely unintelligible. Reeder’s action flows really well through this two-page spread and the high points are emphasized by a great pop of color in certain backgrounds. The reader gets the impression that the events of this spread have happened in mere seconds, but each motion is very clear. Plus, the expressions on the faces of each character from panel to panel (where they’re shown) show the emotions of the sequence so well that the words are only enhancing the action — rather than clarifying it.
If you haven’t read Far Arden and Crater XV: do it. Do it now. The humor in Kevin Cannon’s writing and art is fantastic but his storytelling shouldn’t be underestimated. This page is a great example of both his humor and his storytelling. The use of explanatory “SFX” throughout is hilarious and actually doesn’t take the reader out of the story like it very easily can with some dramatically lettered books. And say you were to scramble these six panels and try to figure out the order — you absolutely could, because the sequence is so well laid out that each panel is a clear progression from the previous panel. Plus, you know, Cannon’s art is very charming.