Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Modern Masters

This is a part of my "stash". I sometimes lay these books on the ground and roll around in them naked (ouch...the papercuts!)These are books by/about some of my favorite artisits. I though tI might take a little time to share just why I enjoy their work so much. By the numbers(in no particular order) :

1) JOE OLLMAN- He's out of Canada and his writing is as impressive as his art. His character's gestures really add life to the stories. Cartoony in the best of ways, its like watching little mini-movies when you read his books. Really has a great eye for design. His work has a sweetness (not sugary)to it that is very addictive. Very inspiring.

2) JOHN BYRNE-Like many growing up in the 80's, Byrne was the man. He defines the modern comic rockstar for me. If Byrne was doing his take on a character it was totally his own. I think he is singlehandedly responsible for the massive popularity of Wolverine, his version was so defining. Is that a good thing? Now we have Wolverine up the ying yang. Any way- his 70's/80's stuff is beyond compare. Byrne rocks! Google him.

3) DAN CLOWES- Clowes work shows the versatility of comics. His mood and attitude in his art is so non-fanboy that even someone who hates comics can get into his stuff. He has a spooky eye for clean, crisp design. His characters are some of my favorite pieces of art ever. He makes me want to be a better "artist"...not just a draw-er (I almost typed "drawer"). He's the one who got me re-interested in comic book art. Google him.

4) HARVEY KURTZMAN- In short, the greatest layouts in comics EVER. What a sense of spacing and framing this guy had. Amazing. His work in early MAD is legendary. His covers for TWO FISTED TALES and the other war comics are among my favorite art pieces. Genius design and perspective drawing. Harvey is the guy I try to emulate the most when I draw....I hope it shows. Google him, its worth it.

5) SERGIO ARRAGONES-Sergio was my first art hero. His work in MAD and GROO is brilliant. Attitude-wise, he's got the personality that I wish to have one day. Nobody can draw like Sergio. Such a unique and cool style. He is amazing in his detail. Everything is perfect yet cartoon. Confident but really humble. Sergio truly is a stud and a class act in real life.

6)AL JAFFEE-Hands down the most underated artist in the world. He does so much more than the fold ins and Snappy Answers for MAD. His sense of humor is very much responsible for my own. I grew up with this guy. He and Sergio were like tutors to me as a kid. Jaffee's art is incredible. His characters always seemed to be posed in an "acting" shot. Great subtleties in his work. Nobody draws the "rich" like Al Jaffee. A legend. Google him.

7) JACK KIRBY- Just the king of comic artists. Period. Google him.

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