Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Artists's Artist - Part 2

Continuing where we left off yesterday, talking about the art that artists like. Once again I am a writer, so if I get this shit wrong, don't hunt me down and feed me salmon wombs, because I don't deserve it.

1. Steve Ditko. Steve is the reclusive artist genius type, but the art he has done is smashingly good. Spider-Man wouldn't be the same without him, Speedball wouldn't be around (done by Ditko he was amazing), the Creeper wouldn't be creeping and Dr. Strange would not be cool in the least. Ditko had a way with body language, his characters spoke without speaking. Also, when it came to downright crazy shit, his mind drew some twisted landscapes that have been copied ever since. If artists talk about the Kirby Krackle than they should talk about the Ditko Swirls, or dots, or some such thing. So many iconic images came from this man's pen.

2.Carl Barks. Yeah, so what if he did a lot of Donald Duck comics, he made them amazing. You try and make a million duck characters and instill them all with different personalities! Barks, on top of being a master cartoonist, was a destroyer in the painting realm. His oils are impeccable as his beautiful linework that instilled amazing amounts of fun and comedy into his characters.

3. Milo Manara. Manara is amazing. His paints are wicked, his lines are smooth and descriptive, and his woman are naked. Manara might not get enough credit, but I'm sure he does, because he draws a lot of naked woman, but in writing this column I can tell you that almost every one of the artists on this list drew naked women well, Milo just did it best. The picture of John Lennon I've included...just to show you what a fucking craftsman Manara is. Oh, and he studied architecture.

4. Winsor McKay. I remember the first time I laid eyes on McKay's work, it was like my brain had come alive and laid down on paper. Technically brilliant, precise linework mixed with an imagination that is out and out fantastic. One of my personal favorites.

5. Will Eisner. Known for the Spirit and as the originator of the graphic novel, Eisner has a room in every cartoonists head. Just plain amazing in every way, storytelling, character work, setting, everything.

6. Al Williamson. Kinda sad that this man ended up inking so much when I was growing up. What's not sad is that when he wasn't inking he was exploding people's minds by showing them world's not yet imagined in style so real it felt like you were dropped on mars, or into an eerie cemetery. A thicker, darker style with a lot of ink wash it was perfectly controlled chaos.

And more tomorrow. Promise.


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