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Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week): Javier Pulido and Declan Shalvey

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 recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).

 


She-Hulk #2 (2014)

 
 
 
She-Hulk 2 spread
Story: Charles Soule
Art:  Javier Pulido
Colors: Muntsa Vicente
Lettering: VC's Clayton Cowles
Editing: Jeanine Schaefer, Tom Brennan, Frankie Johnson
Publisher: Marvel
Available: Comics shops (print) / Marvel (Apple + Android + Web)
Spreads like this are everything that's right with comics. It's vibrant, fun, informative, readable, and of course tells the story effectively. The movements of the two speaking characters through the first large panel are easy to follow thanks to the layout and balloon placement. It can be super challenging to make a panel like this readable, but the whole team pulled it off, here. The stairs actually form panel borders that help guide the eye and keep you from reading the lower balloons before you're supposed to. Plus, it's just plain fun (now there are all sorts of questions in my brain about the other super powered people in this building). The rest of the panels are clear and concise. The flow is solid, the balloon placements are good, and the different angles of the brick help orient you in the scene. For instance, clearly Jennifer is coming in through a different door in panel 6, which is made clear by the changed door knob and general location in the room.

Moon Knight #1

 
 
 

Moon Knight #1

 

Story: Warren Ellis
Art:  Declan Shalvey
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Lettering: Chris Eliopoulos
Editing: Stephen Wacker and Ellie Pyle
Publisher: Marvel
Available: Comics shops (print) / Marvel (Apple + Android + Web)

Whoever chose to keep Moon Knight white throughout this book: yes. Yes yes yes. It looks so awesome and makes the main character pop wherever he shows up. There are tons of minute details in each panel that really give the book a cinematic feel, from the clear tightening of the finger on the trigger (note it's not just the trigger that's moved between panels, but that the finger looks more flexed) to the weapon in Moon Knight's hand in panel 5. The bullet hitting said weapon in panel 7, with that flash of color, looks fantastic. There's a lot of movement in each panel, as befits an action sequence, and the smaller panels on the page feel like quick bursts as they should. The angle of the gun and the angle of Moon Knight's posture give the feeling that they're facing each other even when that's not really shown on this page until the last panel. Plus, the two balloons are well placed so that even if you did skim the page for lettering only, your eye has to travel over everything in between.

Submissions

 
 
 

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.

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