Best Art Ever (This Week) – 08.02.13
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images 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, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
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We’re very much interested to see what you’ve dug up and think should be featured here in Best Art Ever (This Week). Please submit any great art links to andy-at-comicsalliance.com. Artists, feel free to send in your own work or to request that your work be removed.
Where possible, please visit these artists’ websites to see more of their work, buy their products or commission an original piece.
Art by Suehiro Maruo
Evocative image, beautiful draftsmanship. Tells a story that changes completely depending on what mood you're in when you look at it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger from Predator by John J Freeze
I'm a big fan of cartoons of people screaming as they charge into battle. This is a good one, with a nice dose of nostalgia.
"Charlie Ironpaw" by Christopher Clements
This is great; a poster for a comic about a Stegosaurus hero in a fantasy world. Lots of pretty action and environment in this piece. Kind of a Ninja Turtles vibe.
Batman by Bill Sienkiewicz
Your weekly Sienkiewicz. This piece was created for 1986's Batman #400. Obviously Sienkiewicz is a master but I'm particularly into the figures he integrates into the bat in the background and the way he makes Batman himself seem like this primal beast even with the old fashioned costume.
Art by Matthieu Forichon
This guy's a French illustrator who has a real knack for identifying seemingly mundane moments from urban life and making them positively idyllic, and with a minimalist style that makes it seem effortless.
Art by Jaime Hernandez
The same can be said for Xaime, whose drawings aren't always minimalist but they are relatively straightforward -- deceptively so, of course, because there's nothing plain about the way this piece hits you. There's no mistaking the mood in this scene right out of suburbia.
Aurra Sing by Craig Drake
I'm a huge fan of Craig Drake's Nagel-inspired approach to pop iconography, and I actually own two canvases myself. By synthesizing the graphic style of album covers, gig posters and his razor-sharp figure style, subjects as deeply nerdy as this Star Wars bit player become truly powerful and inescapably cool.
Scarlet Witch by Adam Hughes
People think of Hughes as the T&A guy -- and he's definitely that, although your mileage may vary on how valuable a talent that is (I think that talent is very valuable in the right hands ) -- but I think they forget what a great design fundamentalist he is. This piece is a good example; painstakingly composed, every element falling into place just right. And just in terms of pure drama he's a master. I don't really know anything about the Scarlet Witch but I get a palpable sense of majesty from this image of a beautiful super woman standing before a fallen mechanical monster.
Vampirella by Shane Glines
Like Hughes, Glines is a master of good girl art, which makes this extremely risqué portrait of comics' most enduring bad girl so amusing. A character designer for Beware the Batman and numerous other animation projects, Glines expresses more attitude and tone with fewer lines than almost anybody.
Nobody does monsters and spooky stuff like former BPRD artist Guy Davis, who channels his colleague Mike Mignola's penchant for stark, minimalist composition with this cover art for Criterion's edition of the Guillermo del Toro film.
The Dark Knight Returns by Paulo Siqueira
I love it when other people draw DKR characters. Frank Miller's original work is so indelible and the characters have been seen so rarely since that whenever you see a new illustration by somebody else, it's automatically jarring and dramatic. It helps when they're as good a draftsman and as stylistically opposite from Miller as Siqueira. Especially dig his confident and realistic Carrie Kelly.
City of Lost Children by Javi de Castro
Like the Predator piece above, this is a cartoony reinterpretation of a famous scene from a film from our youth -- well, my youth anyway. While the Predator piece is played for laughs, de Castro uses the cartoon style in a way that still captures the intense mood of the original film. The power of illustration is how much of that mood, that story can be conveyed in a single image, and de Castro nails it. Probably be seeing more of him in this feature.
Rhino by Evan Dorkin
I love how Rhino seems like he could be pissed off by the very fact that he is Rhino.
Luke Skywalker by Bruce Timm
Very possibly my favorite cartoonist, Bruce Timm's "warm up sketches" of Luke Skywalker could be another artist's finished art. The best is the headshot at the bottom, which reminds you of an old Doug Wildey cartoon.
The Legend of Zelda by Katsuya Terada
An extremely memorable scene for a certain generation, the awakening of Link by Princess Zelda. It's such a simple and recurring moment in so many of Nintendo's games but in Terada's piece it becomes a dramatic call from destiny. The unnatural colors and line work are kind of Barry Windsor-Smithy too.
Death by Chris Bachalo
Chris Bachalo is one of the few comics artists (Mike Mignola is another) who reminds me of some contemporary gallery types and commercial illustrators who can riff on a familiar pose endlessly and yet each one is just as affecting as the last. In Bachalo's case, the recurring image is Death sitting on things with her knees together and her feet pointing down. He introduced the pose in 1996's Death: The Time of Your Life and it's been reinterpreted as statues, posters, and numerous illustrations like this one, which includes Death's statement of purpose courtesy of Neil Gaiman. It never gets old.
Batgirl by Francisco Perez
Barbara Gordon always seemed like being Batgirl was something... not more, but very distinct for her than wearing the cape was for any of the Robins. Something almost spiritual and innocent. She wasn't compelled by tragedy, she just believed in the power of the bat. This illustration expresses that beautifully.
"The Hail-Mary Moon" by Celine Loup
I love how this couple can't stand each other. Great story in this piece, full of action and great environment.
The Incal by Moebius
The most influential splash page of the last 30 years? Think about how many times you've seen a version of this scene since 1981. Don't think I've seen the black and white originals before.
Spider-Man by Dave Bullock
Dave Bullock is another deceptively simple illustrator. It's that animation influence, where the image composition itself seems to convey so much. But when you really look at his images, you see so much going on in terms of action and expression. Love the color contrast and shading here.