Who are we talking about today? Paul Smith. Smith has this simplicity of line that you don't see in too many artists, but often with a bold brushstroke when he is inking, a combination that yields stunning results.
I first came across Smith in the eighties when he was working with Chris Claremont on Uncanny X-Men. His run on this series is some of the best art that I have ever seen, and remains a high point in the canon of the X-Universe. Just the other day on twitter I witnessed a conversation about Smith between artists that I consider to be extremely talented, they were praising his work.
I mention that Smith is a 'simple' artist, but I want to make sure that you know that I don't see him as that. His line is simple, the linework on the page is economical, he doesn't waste lines. This is an amazing talent to have. It leaves white space where white space is needed, and highlights the detail that is there. I am under the impression that Smith is one of the only artists to ever have gotten Doctor Strange right. I believe that without an artist of amazing talent and amazing imagination Doctor Strange can never really thrive. Without the psychedelic acid-tinged images Doctor Strange is utterly uninteresting.
I'm honestly just in awe when I go through his work, and unlike many artists that I have seen age Paul Smith does not get worse, he only gets better with each and every project that he does, from his Marvel work to Leave it to Chance with James Robinson, to the recent Spirit/Rocketeer crossover he helmed with Mark Waid. He only lasted an issue on the title, but I'll take that one issue over no issues whatsoever.
What would I want to work on with Smith? Once again, a rough question. I think something like Johnny Quest would be interesting, or Tintin. A comic with lush environments, with fully realized characters full, a story shrouded in mystery and intrigue as well as adventure. It would be FUN.
And because I love Smith so much I'm going to leave you all with a photo dump of his art.
Hope you enjoyed that,