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Ah, Comic-Con International: when comics publishers are tripping over themselves to announce new projects, and movie producers throw star-power at the fans to drum up word-of-mouth support for their latest efforts. Of course, there will be all kinds of lower-profile launches that can tend to get bulldozed off the front pages by the big ticket news items.
Ashley Wood’s 3A Publishing releasing Kent Williams: Ophthalm there is probably a case in point. It’s an art book by a painter whose last major comic project was published in 2005. I’ve loved Williams’ work since he was collaborating with Jon J. Muth in the 1980s, but the work he was producing then doesn’t hold a candle to the canvases he now exhibits. It’s amazing work, as viewable at his website. Wood is quite the advocate for Williams, publishing several portfolios of his work in IDW’s Swallow, then a pocket book of his paintings in their Sparrow series, and recently a collection of drawings through his own Goya imprint. The book’s press release is, however, rather purple. This is the art world we’re dealing with now, people, not comics! And the book’s title? That’s Greek for “the eye.”
Now here’s a different kind of comic book art: In this case, the comic books are the canvas. Behold artist Steve Seeley’s “The Creature,” a series of paintings created atop multiple copies of UFO Flying Saucers #5, a Gold Key/Whitman comic from February 1975. (You can see the originals here and here.) Each painting reinterprets the original image, swapping its robot-alien creature for everything from monkey-octopus hybrids to the Easter Bunny. We’ve included a few of our faves above to give you an idea of what Seeley’s up to, but there are 29 paintings in all dating back to 2004, so be sure to visit the full gallery at Seeley’s site.
(Via Ryan “Agent M” Penagos.)
Hey cats and kittens! Are you as excited for the upcoming release of Al Columbia’s Pim and Francie book from Fantagraphics as I am? Sure you are! Until then, however, you’ll just have to tide yourselves over with this stunning painting Columbia did titled “Toyland.” A printed version of the work can be found in the latest copy of Diamond Comics.
While many of you may know Steve Ellis from his work on HIGH MOON (due out in comic shops and book stores today!), he also has spent many years leading a double life as a fantasy illustrator and mad scientist. Elric, Dungeons and Dragons, Warcraft, Warhammer, and White Wolf are just some of the many fantastical worlds that Steve has brought to life with his imaginative and epic illustrations.
And now, you too can draw vampires, werewolves, zombies, and monsters just like Steve Ellis with his new book: SCREAM! Inside this vivid 128 page book, you’ll learn expert monster-making techniques on how to create dynamic gestures, freakish lighting effects, heart-stopping terror, or dramatic gothic tragedy. You’ll also find over twenty tutorials to help you create you own dreadful creatures in the comfort of you own home, studio, or laboratory!
The book retails for $22.99 (or $16.55 on Amazon) and it is perfect gift for the monsters in your life.
German artist Andy Awesome has a series of acrylic paintings where he boils down the essence of a particular item of pop culture on a series of almost abstracted circles painted on a 2×2 grid. Click on the link to see his takes on Peanuts, the Smurfs, Homer Simpson and various Marvel superheroes.
(found via The Ephemerist)
Aaron Noble is a painter who uses comic books as the raw material for the work he creates. Armed with an Exacto blade, the Los Angeles-based artist combs through old comics and cuts out pieces of illustration that catch his eye. He then arranges and rearranges the comic-sourced shapes into new forms on paper. Once satisfied with a collage, he will often paint it large scale on canvas or even as giant murals in cities like San Francisco and Beijing.
Drawing heavily from the “Image revolution” style of comics, Noble’s resulting pieces look less like early-’90s superheroes and their attendant carnage, and more like abstract swirls, spikes, smoke, and explosions. The biggest nerds with photographic memories will recognize elements — Spawn’s cloak here, Azrael’s armored knee there. But divorced from their original framework, they take on a whole new identity — imploding, mutated anatomies of unknown origin, alternately soaring and crawling across the canvas wrapped in computer colored hues and chrome. They are at once compelling and challenging to observe — as the brain eagerly devours the inherent eye candy, it struggles to make sense of the improbable geometries twisting across the surface.