Archive for the ‘Splash Wednesday’ Category
I never read John Byrne’s run on Iron Fist, but damn if this page isn’t a great example of a splash page that’s actually depicting a whole motion sequence:
I love how the action “reads” just like how you’d read a regular sequential page with multiple panels, i.e. left-to-right, starting at the top left, and moving your eyes diagonally down and left, then left-to-right again for the next “set” of panels. Very nice stuff by Byrne.
This page is from Iron Fist #10, published by Marvel Comics, October 1976. And credit where credit’s due: I found this page on Diversions of the Groovy Kind blog, which you can also find on the linkroll on the right sidebar of this blog.
I just read this book a couple of days ago, so here’s a recent splash page you may have seen yourself:
The talented John Paul Leon, from Animal Man #6, DC Comics, February 2012. Despite his chunky lines and minimalist approach, I like that he doesn’t skimp on backgrounds like so many artists do these days. And there’s a great sense of depth to the image as well.
Sorry guys, didn’t have time to scan a splash page for this week’s post, so I went looking online for one and happened across a whole blog that posts nothing but splash pages, which is where I found this great spread:
This gorgeous double-page splash is by Gabriel Rodriguez, a talented Chilean artist who also happens to be a super nice guy to boot (a few years back when I was still doing projects for IDW we got to hang out at San Diego). This is from Locke & Key: Head Games #1, published by IDW in 2009. Incidentally, if you haven’t read this series from Joe Hill, I highly recommend it. I’m not really a horror fan, and I ended up loving it. Solid writing, original and creative, and great art by Rodriguez.
Incidentally, the blog I mentioned above is called Daily Splash Page. Check it out, lots of great and varied stuff there.
And now for something completely different…
One of my favorite indie books ever, utterly unique and unparalleled: Tales of the Beanworld, by Larry Marder.
This is the opening page to Tales of the Beanworld #9, published by Eclipse Comics, 1988. I can’t say enough good things about this series, and I’m glad that dark Horse has collected the issues into nice little TPBs.
Granted, this isn’t quite a splash page, but what the heck…as long as I’m posting the pages for this feature, I figure I can bend the rules a bit:
From the incomparable J.H. Williams III. Does he sometimes sacrifice storytelling in service of a gorgeous page design? Yes, absolutely. Is it technically not “good” comic book art? Maybe. Is the end result, the sum of the parts, an enjoyable comic book experience? Hell yes.
The above double-page splash is from Batwoman #4, published by DC Comics, December 2011.
OK, first a confession: I’m not sure I like Lee Bermejo’s art. He’s one of those guys that has a very bold, very distinctive style, and half the time I look at a cover he’s done and think it’s quite striking and powerful, but then the other times I think it’s over-rendered and kinda ugly. I tend not to like overly-realistic renditions of superheroes, especially in that photo-realistic pseudo-painterly style that’s come to dominate a lot of recent covers (spawned many moons ago by the likes of actual painters like Alex Ross). Maybe it’s because the more “realistic” the costumes are portrayed, the more silly they look.
Anyway, here’s a splash page, minus the garish computer coloring on the finished product, from the recent Batman: Noel graphic novel he wrote and drew:
This particular image I really like, although there should have probably been a bit more white space around the standing figure to make both figures pop out more against the busy background. But my question to you, the blog reader, is what do you think of his art? I think he’s got the technical chops (the folds and draping in the fabric, the authentic look of leather, the architecture, great work with shadows and light, etc.) but does it all work for you in a superhero book? Is it too much? Too distracting when it’s eventually paired with words and story?
Just for good measure, here’s another collage/splash page from that book, again in black-and-white because the coloring is just awful:
I’m not sure if these two facing pages were meant as a double-page splash, or drawn individually to look like images from the same scene. Regardless, it’s a pretty nice Star Wars battle scene from artist Cam Kennedy:
This is from Star Wars: Dark Empire #1, published by Dark Horse Comics in December 1991. This 6-issue limited series began their popular and successful line of Star Wars comics that’s been going strong for over 20 years now.
Giarrano is one of those under appreciated workhorse artists. In the 80s and 90s he did a lot of work in the industry, but no real lengthy, definitive runs on a popular book to cement his image in the fan psyche. I believe Steven Grant was a particular fan of his work, as they worked on several books together. Vince had a nice sense of design when it came to robots and mechanical objects.
Anyway, here’s a double-page splash from Mr. Giarrano:
This is from Terminator: The Enemy Within #1, published by Dark Horse Comics, November 1991.
OK, this is the last of the Savage Sword splash pages…for now, anyway. And I’ll freely admit that I’m not familiar with Mike Clark’s work as an artist, outside of this issue.
Here’s the thing: he’s credited as penciller, along with 3 other artists – Brad Vancata, Joe Rosas, Mickey Ritter – who were part of the famous “Romita’s Raiders” in the Marvel Bullpen. For those of you not familiar with the “Raiders,” they were an art correction/apprenticeship group at Marvel, overseen by John Romita Sr., who would pitch in (often anonymously) whenever art corrections, touch-ups, or other last minute artwork needs were called for.
So what you have here is a group effort by 4 individuals, and it doesn’t deserve to look half as good as it does. I think that’s because all the inking was provided by one man: Alfredo Alcala. Another one of the great Filipino artists working in the industry at the time, I always liked Alcala’s artwork. I think you can attribute the rich textures and gritty depth of this page to his skilled brushwork.
This is from Savage Sword of Conan #174, published by Marvel Comics, June 1990.