We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
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).
On sale throughout April, What If? Age of Ultron is a weekly five-issue series written by Joe Keatinge that takes the central story mechanism of Marvel's Age of Ultron -- what would happen to the Marvel Universe if Hank Pym had never created the malevolent artificial intelligence Ultron -- and applies it to some of the publisher's iconic heroes. What would happen in a world without the Wasp? What would happen in a world without Thor? And so on.
What If? Age of Ultron is particularly notable for its artist roster, which includes Chris Stevens on covers with interiors and variants by talents not typically associated with Marvel titles. Among them, Ming Doyle, Piotr Kowalski, Mico Suayan, Ramon Villalobos, Raffaele Ienco and James Stokoe, whose variant cover for issue #2 you're seeing here for the first time.
As often happens when basketball players break their noses, the Miami Heat's LeBron James has been playing with a face mask for the past week or so. The one he sported for a bit was a rather intimidating, all-black number some people compared to Batman's mask (it takes some imagination, but you can kind of see it).
James didn't really like that one, though--it was hot and uncomfortable--and his teammates just plain thought it made him look scary. Even the NBA asked him to change it, so he has switched over to a clear one, for now. But James told the Associated Press he's working with artists at Marvel and DC to create "one of the greatest masks of all time," and artist Greg Land is first out of the gate a Captain America-themed design for him.
On sale in May, Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1 relaunches the saga of its titular superhero in high style, featuring a a particularly cool variant cover by Fiona Staples that you're seeing here for the first time. The co-creator of Image Comics' very popular and much acclaimed Saga, Staples is an artist whose routinely gorgeous covers for DC Comics, WildStorm, Archie IDW and Dark Horse have earned her numerous award nominations, but not until now has the artist's work graced the cover of a Marvel Comics publication.
Redheads versus reptiles, long-legged ladies, and demons in both human and inhuman form grace the best comic book covers of February 2014. Check out great works of art from Jenny Frison, Andrew Robinson and Kevin Wada - and a double bill from Matteo Scalera.
Listen: I am a dude who has a framed portrait of Destro from G.I. Joe hanging in my living room directly across from the front door so that visitors know exactly what they're getting into from the moment they set foot into my crib, so I think I know a little something about fine art. Now that my credentials are in order, I'm pleased to announce that we are currently living in the greatest artistic renaissance of all time. Why? Because we are living in a world where art galleries feature exhibits of black velvet paintings of professional wrestlers.
The gallery in question is, of course, the Los Angeles based Gallery 1988, known to CA readers as the host of the Adult Swim art show and other pop cultural delights, and it's the brainchild of gallery owner Jensen Karp and artist Bruce White. The exhibit, which opens this Friday night, will feature 35 portraits of stars from WWF's "New Generation," including Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect and "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels. Check out a preview below!
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Maria Fröhlich is a cartoonist based in Sweden who writes, draws, colors, and letters most of her work. Her comics includes strips for fantasy and sci-fi magazine Utopi and a story in the Swedish adventure comic The Phantom.
Jason Fischer aka JFish has got his monsters on his mind and his mind on his monsters -- and he's transporting them to paper with Monstroleum: Monsters of the Dragon's Keep, a five-volume encyclopedia of sorts covering the characteristics of 55 total foes (11 per volume) that readers might encounter on a dungeon crawl. But that's not all. To expedite the process, JFish is offering three tiers of subscription preorders that will put even more mythological menaces in the hands of his fans.
As I scrolled through all 356 pages of Selected Ambient Works: 11-13, a free PDF download compiling tons of sketches, fan art, comic book pages and finished illustrations by Giannis Milonogiannis, creator of Archaia's Old City Blues and contributing artist to Image's Prophet, I thought to myself, "Is Milonogiannis a retrofuturist? Is he doing with the 1980s and cyberpunk what Dean Motter did with the 1930s and noir?"
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