Archive for the ‘pen/brush and ink’ Category

Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Joshua W. Cotter

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Joshua W. Cotter splashed onto the small press comix scene in 2004, with his self published comic Skyscrapers of the Midwest. Cotter’s distinct “old-time-y” style of meticulously rendering his cartoons in black ink cross hatches, and little, scratchy lines hearkens to old underground comics of the 1960’s & 70’s.. His character’s are sometimes anthropomorphic, or humans with “cartoon animal” characteristics. Skyscrapers of the Midwest explores the trauma of childhood, and limitless imagination of two brothers growing up in the American Heartland .

After the collected edition hard-cover of Skyscrapers of the Midwest was published, Cotter would chronicle a difficult period of his life in his next book, Driven by Lemons, both published by AdHouse.

Today, you can follow updates of Cotter’s next comic, Nod Away, on the website, Study Group Comics. It’s a sci-fi drama/character study about a scientist working on a mysterious A.I. project up in a space station called USS Integrity. This story, and another that Cotter is currently working on will be the meat of his next book, also titled Nod Away.

You can learn more about Cotter’s process, and see more of his art on his tumblr site here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 12/18/14 under artists,cartoon,comic,illustrationfriday,Interviews,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Nathan Fox

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If Paul Pope and Brendan McCarthy had a love child it would be Nathan Fox. Rarely have I seen an illustrator who produces work that is equally as impressive in ink/brush mode, as it is in full colored/painted mode; each being perfectly realized pieces of art. After a short stint of focusing his career on editorial illustration, Fox moved onto comics in the early 2000’s, and further expanded his skill-set at The School of Visual Arts(New York), in the Illustration As Visual Essay Graduate Program.

Nathan Fox’s career in comics has been an eclectic one, including work on mainstream books like Harley Quinn, The Haunt, and Batman: Gotham Knights, along with indy projects such as Pigeons from Hell, Blue Estate, and Dogs of War. Currently, Fox is providing cover art for the DC/Vertigo series Federal Bureau of Physics AKA FBP(which was recently optioned for a film), drew a story in Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK, and is part of an impressive collection of artists reviving Jack Kirby’s Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers for Dynamite Entertainment.

Nathan Fox has also done illustration work for Wired Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Mad Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly, just to name a few. His work has been featured in art galleries across the U.S. and he teaches Visual Narrative at The School of Visual Arts in New York City.

You can get the latest news, and explore more of Nathan’s work at his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 12/11/14 under artists,comic,design,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Darwyn Cooke

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Darwyn Cooke is another great cartoonist from Canada to grace the pages of mainstream comics. Cooke’s current career in comics began when he wrote, and drew the memorable DC Elseworlds special Batman: Ego. After a short stint in comics in the mid-late 80’s, he found success as an animator/storyboard artist for Batman: The Animated Series & Superman: The Animated Series in the 1990’s, including creating the main title design for Batman Beyond.

Notable works from Darwyn are DC: The New Frontier(which told the tale of DC Superheroes during the dormant period of the 1950’s), Catwoman’s reboot/redesign in 2001 with writer Ed Brubaker(this run of comics is proving to be ahead of it’s time since we’re seeing a new trend of rethinking/redesigning superhero style & character; i.e. Ms. Marvel, Batgirl, etc.) , the comics adaptations of Donald E. Westlake’s classic crime thriller series Parker, and a recent spate of cover art, including a whole month’s worth of variant covers for many of DC’s flagship titles, and the first issues of IDW’s King Features line.

You can keep up with all things Darwyn Cooke on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 12/05/14 under artists,comic,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Leslie Stein

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Artist/musician/bartender/comics brew-master Leslie Stein has been making comics since the early 2000’s. She started making her comics by cutting & pasting construction paper into colorful silhouettes. Her work has continued to morph, and evolve over the years. Today, you can see how she’s broken down her characters, and stories into minimal line work, expressive colors, and animated typography!

Leslie Stein began self-publishing her personal anthology Eye of the Majestic Creature in 2004. The series stars her cartoon alter ego Larrybear(along with a colorful cast of characters based off of real life friends), and has transformed over the years from mostly fictional stories to semi-autobiographical stories, today.

Fantagraphics Books has published two collections of Stein’s comics, and is publishing a collection of her Diary Comics in 2015.

You can read new, regularly updated Diary Comics on Leslie’s tumblr site here, and VICE features a weekly comic by her, as well.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 11/26/14 under artists,cartoon,comic,illustrationfriday,Interviews,papercuts/silhouettes,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Nimit Malavia

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DC/Vertigo’s long running title Fables has been a showcase for some of the top illustrators working in comics, today. One of the shining stars to contribute covers to the series(as well as a recent interior story) is artist Nimit Malavia. His dynamic yet delicate illustrations portray a strong sense of mood/color existing in a deep field of depth. While looking at them, you literally feel like you could fall into the page(or screen, if you prefer digital)!

Nimit’s work graces the walls of Shopify’s offices(as pictured above), and he’s done commercial work for high profile clients like 20th Century Fox, DC, and Marvel Comics, just to name a few.

Iam8bit in Los Angeles, CA is currently featuring Nimit’s art, along with 39 other artists, for a show called Sequel, where artists create movie poster art for imaginary sequels(Cowboy Bebop:The Movie was Nimit’s contribution).

You can explore more of Nimit Malavia’s art, and keep up with the latest news on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 11/21/14 under artists,comic,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Illustrator & Designer Jon Contino

I discovered Jon Contino by following the work of Jessica Hische and Drew Melton (the typography world is very small). The first two things that resonated with me was the fact that he, like me, didn’t go to art school, and that he also used his musicianship as a passageway to his passion for design. As much as I’ve grown to love digital illustration and type design, I’m always the most drawn to analog aesthetics–and Jon prioritizes them in his work.

Jon Contino is an award-winning designer, illustrator, art director and self-professed alphastructaesthetitologist. His style is strongly inspired by contemporary street art, his native stomping grounds of New York, and the grit of hand-drawn type. He’s worked with clients like Ogilvy, Nike, Whole Foods, McSweeney’s, Target and The New York Times. He’s also an ADC Young Gun 9 winner to boot, and happens to possess a heartwarming Long Island-born accent.

Jon cites his family as being vital in governing his design and illustration aesthetic. His mother and grandmother happened to be artists, both supporting and assisting in his pursuit of his craft by bringing home reams of butcher paper and instructional drawing books (more about this in the wonderful Shoptalk interview here). He discovered that the lettering he was seeing in movie posters and baseball adverts still counted as typography–even at a very early age. It took me much longer to figure out that illustration and beautifully drawn words weren’t just for books–the marks of our handiwork can truly be found anywhere, if you just slow down and take the time to look.

As a teenager, Jon got his freelancer chops very early on. As a designer geek and drummer in a hardcore band, he was constantly relied upon by his band (and friends’ bands) to supply flyer designs, gig posters and the like. Soon enough, he realized that he could actually “make money at this thing,” and he was preparing invoices and freelancing by the ripe old age of 15.

In 2006, after working for a few different companies and design houses, he opened his own creative studio and has been working for himself ever since. He’s constantly turning pet projects into mini-businesses–most recently, he started up Contino Brand. And even amidst his successes, he’s learned the art of saying no for the sake of self-preservation.

Jon has spoken about how his preference for modern minimalism and his hand-drawn gritty aesthetic meets with a clash. That clash has governed a unique vision that brings the best of clean design and true-to-form drawing together. I’m enthralled by this intersection, and so clearly see the passion and determination that stands solidly behind Jon’s work. His personal history only continues to illuminate it.

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I also highly recommend his interview with The Great Discontent and his podcast interview with Shoptalk.

Posted by Rachel Frankel on 11/17/14 under artists,design,digital,pen/brush and ink,typography
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Cameron Stewart

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Change can take a long time to happen. The mainstream comics market is no exception, but there have been some recent encouraging signs. Case in point, the newly redesigned, Doc Marten/iPhone sporting Batgirl by forward thinking creator Cameron Stewart, who co-writes, and sketches story breakdowns for the series. Stewart, a Canadian native, has been drawing comics for over a decade, and has worked with some of the most celebrated comics writers out there, including Grant Morrison, Ed Brubaker, and Jason Aaron.

In addition to the monthly Batgirl, he’s currently working on a comics sequel to Fight Club with writer Chuck Palahniuk, which he’s described as a dream project to be a part of.

Cameron Stewart won both an Eisner(2010) & Shuster(2009) award for his web comic Sin Titulo. You can find a lot more artwork to drool over at his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 11/14/14 under artists,comic,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: John Totleben

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John Totleben happens to be one of the finest illustrators to ever work in comics. His first published work was in the popular science fiction/fantasy magazine Heavy Metal in the late 70’s. He first became well known for his collaboration with artist Stephen R. Bissette, and writer Alan Moore on their ground breaking run on Swamp Thing for DC Comics in the early/mid 80’s. Their run also included the introduction of popular character John Constantine AKA Hellblazer. Totleben continued to impress with his distinct, ultra-detailed inks, and lush painted covers with his work on Eclipse Comics’ Miracleman. After many years in legal limbo, Marvel Comics secured the rights to re-publish issues of Miracleman, which is once again shining a light on Totleben’s timeless art.

Sadly, John Totleben has suffered from the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa for years now, so he’s had to slow down his output as an artist. Yet, he’s still capable of rendering some of the most beautiful scenes you can imagine albeit at a much slower rate.

John Totleben has won numerous Kirby & Inkpot awards throughout his career, and was the co-founder/editor of the famed Taboo horror anthology.

You can learn more about John Totleben’s life & career here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 11/07/14 under artists,comic,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Basil Wolverton

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The enigmatic comics legend Basil Wolverton(1909-1978) is celebrated this week with the release of IDW’s Artist’s Edition Basil Wolverton’s Weird Worlds. IDW’s series of art books collects the best examples of original comics art that still exists, and reproduces that art at it’s original size(15″ by 22″ for this edition), preserving the little imperfections, and notes that might have been left on the original page. These newly printed artifacts are a perfect way to enjoy work by one of your favorite artists, and it serves as a perfect introduction to new fans.

Wolverton reached the pinnacle of his fame when he won Al Capp‘s legendary ugliest woman contest, drawing Lena the Hyena, which was featured on the cover of Life Magazine. His work was prominently featured in the early issues of Mad Magazine, and his Spacehawk & Powerhouse Pepper strips were published in various Timely comics during the 1930’s & 40’s. In the 1940’s, Basil Wolverton became a minister for Herbert W. Armstrong’s Radio Church of God, which took a literal interpretation of the apocalyptic parts of  the Bible. Some of this point of view is reflected in Wolverton’s work, and that dark side certainly trickled into many of his commercial pieces, as well.

You can read more about the history of artist Basil Wolverton, and his interest in the end times here, which includes words from his son, Monte.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/31/14 under artists,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Illustrator Lize Meddings

Back in 2009 when I first decided that illustration was definitely the route for me, I was finally beginning to stumble on a lot of other illustrators that really governed my taste and aesthetic going forward. Interestingly, a lot of them happened to reside across the pond in Great Britain. Julia Pott, Lizzy Stewart and Gemma Correll are a few that come directly to mind when thinking of the geography, and are some of my favorite working artists to this date. Lize Meddings also happens to hail from the UK. I stumbled upon her work via Tumblr of all places, and am quite happy I did!

Lize Meddings is a Bristol-based fine artist and illustrator with a penchant for the color pink, animals, nature and all kinds of positive self-expression. She works in both analog and digital formats, showcasing wonderful brushwork and gestural figures. Since finishing up the Illustration program at Plymouth College of Art & Design, she’s become a self-publishing fiend–constantly working on the next comic, zine, print, bag or fine art commission. The idea of a creative block seems far and away from this one’s mind.

Lize is quite interested in the act of characterization, if that wasn’t obvious before. Her medium of comfort is a brush and some ink, but she also demonstrates a natural comfort around the use of color. I particularly love the way she draws eyes–very fairylike for some reason.

Something I’ve noticed about several British illustrators is the tendency towards a more “naive” aesthetic. While that might sound negative, it’s completely the opposite. There’s a unique youthfulness in Lize’s work that allows it to appeal to a wider, younger audience, all while the messages remain witty and cheeky. It takes a special person to turn reality into something appealing, and she does just that by focusing on the relatable, more beautiful aspects of life.

Follow along with Lize’s illustrative adventures:

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Posted by Rachel Frankel on 10/31/14 under artists,comic,design,digital,painterly,pen/brush and ink
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