Robot 6

Art Barrage | Detecting Comics — international edition

Jace Wallace is an illustrator and concept artist who paints digitally. His website mainly showcases fantasy, fashion and video-game work (warning: much NSFW content abounds at that link), but his style also has a strong visible comic book/manga influence, so when I came across this Catwoman sketch at his blog, I realized he was fair game for Art Barrage. The above image, and another Catwoman design, are available as prints from his web store. Plenty more can’t-miss art can be found below from around the world: Poland’s Przemek Blejzyk and Matt Cowan, Russia’s amazing Otto Schmidt, the U.K.’s Tony Wright, Spain’s Javier Olivares, and Greece’s Theodore Kontaxis.

Coming across an artist with a style clearly influenced by comic books, and then working backward to find concrete evidence of that suspicion, is a regular part of the Art Barrage process. Another example of this is when the Irish designer Steve Simpson posted some work by the Polish muralist Przemek Blejzyk at Illustration Age. Blejzyk’s work seemed to me influenced by all sorts of comickers — the late Jeffrey Catherine Jones and Martin Emond, for starters. Digging into his past revealed Przemek had produced comics while at art college, where the Emond influence was positively transparent. Here’s an impressive example of Blejzyk’s street art, painted on a wall of the Lodz-Urban Forms Gallery, Poland this year. It’s a big one.

The last time former 2000AD contributor Tony Wright was in the comic book news, it was when he was blogging on the plight of Brett Ewins. In better news, Wright has just updated his caricature website with this image of Jack White. Perhaps Blunderbuss was his album of the year.

I saw this at the art community Republic X’s Facebook page (Facebook! It’s like Tumblr for old folks!), and subsequently found the artist’s deviantART page — Theodore “Teokon” Kontaxis. This is “Superskulls.” As opposed to Super Skrulls, that’s something completely different.

Another artist whose work I discovered through Facebook (Facebook!) recently is the Moscow-based Otto Schmidt, after he was “liked” (liked!) by a couple of friends (“friends”!). Schmidt is a superior cheesecake cartoonist, again making his comic book influences explicit through assorted Catwoman references in his work. A poke through his blog reveals a past in comic books, and a style somewhere between Ben Caldwell and Carlos Meglia. Any editors out there looking to commission a great artist — this guy is a potential superstar.




Another artist whose work I know due to the enthusiasm of other artists on social networks is Spain’s Javier Olivares. What an amazingly refined, neat, clipped style this guy has. I’m guessing that if I spoke Spanish, this strip about Salvador Dali would be hilarious.

And finally, designer Matt Cowan may be based in Poland, but I’m pretty sure he’s not Polish. Here’s his none-cuter “Hello Super Kitties.” Awww.

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