Category Archives: Comics

Dave Stevens 1955–2008

rocketeer_pencils

I didn’t want my first post back to be something like this. I’ve been caught up in a lot of personal stuff (good stuff, but more on that tomorrow).

I never really met Dave Stevens. Oh, sure, I took stuff up to have him sign it at a bunch of San Diego Comicons. I gushed about how much I loved his work. He was always incredibly gracious and modest. However, I never had the guts to show him my work. I never felt it was good enough.

That’s a shame. Given what I know about Mr. Stevens (from accounts by his friends), he probably would have been very kind and generous looking at my awkward attempts to emulate his work. And by all accounts, he was always sincere in his compliments of other people’s work—even those less-talented than him (which is about 99% of the artists working in comics).

But I was a wuss. And I regret that.

Lately, I had been studying a lot of Stevens’ work. A lot. Trying to understand the expressive nature of his brush line. Trying to figure out how he so perfectly balanced juxtapositioning a slick, controlled line with loose, lush, rendering lines.

My mind still boggles at how perfectly he managed it.

I’d also been looking at his work in an attempt to do justice to a Rocketeer commission for my friend Matt. Pictured here are the pencils.

I’m really daunted to try and ink this.

Thanks for everything, Dave.

Steve Rude: Artist in Motion

rude

Two weeks ago, I got a treasure trove of art books in my DCBS order—among them, last week’s review, Modern Masters Volume 15: Mark Schultz, and today’s book, Steve Rude: Artist in Motion.

Usually, when I receive art books, I look at the pictures and read passages that interest me, eventually working my way through the whole book. With the Schultz book, I read it start to finish and devoured every image in the sequence of the book. It was such an enjoyable process that I decided to do the same with the Rude book.

Wow. This book is an artistic journey. Rude has long been one of my top 5 guys, but this book only increases my appreciation of the man and his work.

And it makes me want to draw. A lot.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough—whether you’re into comic art, illustration or the artistic process, you need to own this wonderful volume.

Mark Schultz, Modern Master!

schultz_cov schultz_bw

It’s no secret that I think Mark Schultz is one of the finest comics artists of the last 30 years (oh, hell, EVER). An incredible draftsman, superb storyteller and excellent technician, Mark is the real deal.

And the latest volume of the terrific TwoMorrows Modern Masters series (vol 15) celebrates Mark’s talents.

Every volume of the Modern Masters series is top-notch, and I’m now at the point where I buy each one regardless of my familiarity with the artist. I think there are a lot of people who are that dedicated to this series.

And therein lies my one gripe about this book. I would have preferred to see TwoMorrows include notations of the media for each piece (pencils, inks, etc) in the cut lines next to the illustrations. While I know the level of inking ability Mark has, I’m not sure that someone first exposed to Mark’s work would realize that some of the tonal pieces featured in the book are not pencil drawings, but incredible drybrush pieces created 100% in ink. The b/w piece that accompanies this entry is an example. No pencil. All brush and ink.

Aside from that, it’s a beautiful book.

If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out Mark’s Various Drawings series from Flesk Publications, as well.