X-POSITION: Phoenix, Upstarts & More Tear Up Bowers & Sims' "X-Men '92"
As Jane Austen once wrote, it is a truth universally acknowledged that any illustrator or painter who sticks a Superman emblem or a Catwoman mask in his or her work will probably end up in Art Barrage. The first artist up to prove the point this week is Niklas Asker, who recently posted work from his latest show “Great Expectations.” I like this guy’s style, so I’ve been hoping he’d give me a decent excuse to run one of his paintings. Mission accomplished, Nik. More fine artists dabbling in comic book imagery, and comic book artists making it in fine art and illustration, below — including Jack Dylan, Rob Schwager, Brian M. Viveros, Thomas Pitilli, and plenty others.
Also fulfilling the Jane Austen rule is illustrator/art director/occasional cartoonist Jack Dylan with this stylish piece, “Cat Fight,” for some facile superhero movie bit at Bullett Media.
Sometimes I love an artist despite their steadfast refusal to bend to the Austen rule. They keep producing new work, rudely never bothering to draw Judge Dredd or Hellboy, not even into the background of a canvas. And then — boom! — their work unexpectedly gets collected by a comic book publisher, and suddenly I’ve got a completely legitimate reason to feature them here. That’s the case with Finnish artist Riikka Sormunen, who is the latest subject in the third of No Brow’s fantastically titled Big Mother monograph series, where the creator’s work gets to positively luxuriate at tabloid size. Here’s the cover image, “Margherita.”
Comic book colorist Rob Schwager also has a career as a poster designer, producing his own work as Tiny Bird Press, where he creates limited-edition, hand-pulled screen printed art. Rob’s latest piece, “KAPOW!” is a tenderhearted evocation of his childhood.
Sometimes an artist’s style can ooze comic-book influences even without making the link explicit, such as the Bilal/Bisley-esque work of Brian M. Viveros, who has a new show opening this week at Miami’s Thinkspace gallery. Punky girls in helmets, smoking equals another good chance of getting featured in Art Barrage.
I’ll corroborate that statement with this fairly recent sketch of Tank Girl by the great Glen Brogan.
Spanish illustrator Marisa Morea next, with a Flash-referencing design from earlier this year for Biernes, an initiative that promotes the use of the bike on Fridays in her native Madrid.
One that got away: I really wanted to feature this illustration by Thomas Pitilli for The Washington Post’s Weekend Pass supplement on the occasion of September’s Small Press Expo, the convention this year with the most enviable line-up of creative talent present, but Pitilli has only recently posted a decent-sized image of this on his Facebook page. But better late than never.
Finally, I can get through an Art Barrage column without running a Yuko Shimizu or a Daniel Krall piece, but I prefer not to. Yuko’s preview of her new kid’s book Barbed Wire Baseball is utterly epic. Krall’s Batman sketch is utterly demonic. I love it.