Batman may be the hero we associate most with darkness, but these illustrations by Bunka, a.k.a. Yann Le Nevé, show that a well-placed shadow can lend any character a touch of menace. DC superfolks, Marvel characters and Ninja Turtles all feel the weight of Bunka's mighty blacks, but so do his own characters: furry creatures that are adorable at first glance, only to prove terrifying as their true qualities emerge from the shadows.The influence of Mike Mignola is most clearly felt in Bunka's original characters, especially Chaos Monkey, which Artoyz released as an impish vinyl figurine. His other characters are more outwardly malevolent. They have the features of children's cartoon characters, large eyes, oversized heads, fuzzy faces and chubby figures. But Bunka's heavy use of darkness forces us to take a second, closer look his characters. Suddenly, the critter you were ready to tuck into a child's bed becomes something you'd rather burn with fire. His work with licensed characters is blockier and less detailed, but he plays with shapes and shadows to evoke the aggressive quality of the characters, making even Superman a fellow you wouldn't want to encounter in a dark corner of outer space.

You can see more of Bunka's work, including his vinyl toys, at his CargoCollective site as well as his blog.

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