Stephen Maurice Graham creates incredibly playful illustrations that sometimes contain blood and guts and bones. His monstrous sorority girls and tigers hungry for human flesh sit side-by-side with predictions about the future of Dublin. It's a crazy, primary colored science fiction dream.
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Paul Windle has done editorial illustrations about economic disparity, elections, New York cultural landmarks and our relationship with Abraham Lincoln. But credits in Bloomberg, Businessweek and the New York Times don't mean he can't sketch up a Stegosaurus wielding a sword while riding a skateboard or revel in the facial hair of baseball players from the mid- to late-1970s.
Rory Phillips has plenty of thoughtful—and sometimes funny—approaches to character design and redesign. He casts Wonder Woman as a Scythian warrior and trades in her bondage-themed lasso for the ancient Chinese weapon known as the meteor hammer. His Batgirl and Black Canary form a vigilante scooter club with a bit of roller derby flair. And he gives us a poster for the non-existent movie I somehow need to see, starring David Bowie as a fighter of giant monsters.
Illustrator Christian Ward creates images that are part portraiture, part digitally colored collage. Rather than posing his subject amidst the tools of their trade, he places symbols on their bodies and faces that hint at their true nature. Zatanna is familiar in her magic stars, and Daniel Craig's James Bond takes on a new meaning with his code name childishly scrawled against his face. For his invented characters, we must use the actual composition of the the portraits for clues to each person's nature.
DeviantART user Gingashi has decided to cut Batman's rogues gallery in half by blending the villains of Gotham together. I'd happily watch Harley Quinn take up the mantle of the Ventriloquist for a while with the Scarface puppet, but having half of Harvey Dent's body turn into Clayface seems like a special kind of hell.
In the hands of a different artist, Patt Kelley's characters, with their noodle arms and their watercolor tones, might come off as cute. But as readily accessible as their big heads and cartoon faces are, there is a great deal of nuance to both his original characters and his fan art. By playing with lines and light, Kelley creates scenes
Marcelo Braga plants familiar characters in slightly offbeat situations. Liara T'Soni plays Mass Effect while seated on the Iron Throne. A middle-aged Charlie Brown can't let go of Snoopy. The Hulk hits Batman with an Avengers cream pie and zombie Oompa Loompas walk the Earth. Braga's
Fantasy costume design is a tough gig. High fantasy still has its bland medieval trappings (even if Game of Thrones does a beautiful job with its costume design), steampunk can be tricky to assemble into more than a stew of corsets and gears, and sometimes anime-flavored biopunk can turn even the most minor character into a mess of hair and spikes. Rachael
James Harvey (formerly credited as HARVEYJAMES) is one of those artists who doesn't draw in a manga style, but has instead absorbed many of the stylistic lessons of manga and built his own aesthetic around them