Tag Archives: robin

70 Aspects of Batman: 29

FRAZER IRVING

From Wikipedia:

Frazer Irving (born in the 1970s, Ilford, Essex) is a British comic book artist known for the 2000 AD series Necronauts. Since breaking into the American market he has worked on a number of superhero titles, including a number with Grant Morrison.


I love when artists who seem like they shouldn’t draw superhero comics draw superhero comics: I’d place Frazer Irving in that category. His art seems perfectly suited to atmospheric horror stories, so to see his style applied to Batman and Robin is to see two potent elements combine to make a much more potent whole.

Irving’s first work with Morrison was on Klarion, part of the latter’s Seven Soldiers megaseries. His first Morrison/Batman art appeared in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2, which saw the titular hero recast as a Puritan detective (see above) during his travels through the timestream.

He recently completed work on Morrison’s final arc of the Batman And Robin title he helped initiate. Irving was given ample space to display his gothic art on characters like Professor Pyg…

…Simon Hurt…

…and, of course, The Joker.

This may sound hyperbolic, but I think Irving’s Joker has for me quickly joined the highest echelon of Clown Prince depictions (Brian Bolland’s at #1). He looks so diseased and sinister. Let’s luxuriate in his Joker’s toxic glow:

– Greg

70 Aspects of Batman: 28

MIKE ALLRED

From Wikipedia:

Michael Dalton “Mike” Allred is an American comic book artist and writer most famous for his indie comics creation, Madman. His style is often compared to pop art, as well as commercial and comic art of the 1950s and 1960s.

Allred began his career as a TV reporter in Europe, and started drawing comics in 1989 with the 104-page OGN Dead Air (Slave Labor Graphics). Following this up with his similarly-titled works Graphique Musique (SLG, 1990) and Grafik Muzik (Caliber Comics 1990/91), he set out the style that he was to become known for with his most famous character: Madman.

The first Madman miniseries debuted from Tundra Publishing in March 1992, and gained higher recognition with its move to Dark Horse Comics in April 1994. Relaunched as Madman Comics, it went on to be nominated for several Harvey Awards. Allred himself gained further mainstream attention with the science-fiction/rock-and-roll comic Red Rocket 7 and his art for writer Peter Milligan‘s series X-Force, which he began drawing in July 2001, and subsequently became X-Statix after X-Force #128.

His more recent work includes The Golden Plates, an adaptation of The Book of Mormon. Other projects are inking X-Statix Presents: Deadgirl, and work on a new ‘Madman’ series. He has also drawn three issues of the Vertigo comic Fables. His wife, Laura, frequently works as his colorist.

Allred is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormons.

Currently, he’s performing art duties on up and coming Vertigo series I, Zombie, written by Chris Roberson. The main character, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dylan, is a ‘zombie girl detective’.

I first encountered Mike Allred’s work in the pages of Madman #1, waaaay back in 1993. When I would stay with my grandparents for a bit in the summer, my grandma would drive me to nearby Iowa City in order to take advantage of some of the things the college town offered that their small town didn’t. Like comic shops! I don’t remember if I read about Madman before I bought it, but for some reason one day, instead of getting the newest issue of Spawn I got Madman #1 from Tundra. I was instantly attracted to Allred’s clean, retro style (though his early stuff had more of a Charles Burns-y feel as well), and read and re-read the issue multiple times. I’ve been an Allred devotee ever since.

Apart from the odd pin-up, Allred’s most substantial work on Batman appeared in his issue of Solo, entitled “Batman-A-Go-Go”. I want to say BAGG was meant to be a miniseries at one point, but I can’t find anything online to support that. I definitely remember it being an idea that was mentioned long before it eventually appeared.

Unsurprisingly, considering the influence the 60s have on his work,  Allred’s take on Batman in this story is steeped in the look of the Adam West starring-TV show. The main plot of “Batman-A-Go-Go”, however, actually concerns Batman’s disillusionment about how the world is changing into a much darker place than the day-glo sound effects-laden one of the show. It’s an interesting take, and it would have been nice to see this story in full miniseries form (if that was ever actually a possibility).

So in closing, Mike Allred has long been one of my favorite comic artists, and you should do your best to seek out his issue of Solo, and everything else he’s ever done.

– Greg

70 Aspects Of Batman: 23

RAFAEL GRAMPA

From Wikipedia:

Rafael Grampá is a Brazilian comic book artist and writer. The comics anthology 5 created by Grampá along with Gabriel Bá, Becky Cloonan, Fábio Moon and Vasilis Lolos won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Anthology. He is author and artist of the Mesmo Delivery comic.[1]

I don’t have much to say about Rafael Grampa, because I don’t know much about him! I do know he’s from Brazil, and that he’s awesome. He hasn’t done much American comic work, as far as I know…he did a short story in Hellblazer a little while ago, and his creator-owned Mesmo Delivery is amazing. I love his Frank Quitely meets Geoff Darrow style. I have no idea where the above picture is from, but it makes me wish some editor at DC would assign Grampa a Bat-project pronto.

G.

70 Aspects Of Batman: 17

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JOHN CASSADAY

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From Wikipedia:

John Cassaday (born 1971) is an American comic book artist and writer, born in Fort Worth, Texas and currently residing in New York City. He is known for having a high level of precision and realism in his work.

A self-taught illustrator, Cassaday studied filmmaking and directed TV news before leaving Texas to pursue a career in comics. His influences include NC Wyeth, classic pulp magazine-culture iconography, and popular music.

He is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed Planetary with writer Warren Ellis, Astonishing X-Men with Joss Whedon and Captain America with John Ney Rieber.

From 2004 to 2008, Cassaday illustrated the graphic novel trilogy Je suis légion by Fabien Nury from Les Humanoïdes Associés.

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I like John Cassaday’s stuff, though I’ve really only read his Planetary work. He strikes me as being a really solid superhero artist like Alan Davis, who he reminds me of. These pictures are all from covers Cassaday did for Legends Of The Dark Knight.

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G.

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70 Aspects Of Batman: 11

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BRIAN BOLLAND

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From Wikipedia:

Brian Bolland (born 1951)[1] is a British comics artist, known for his meticulous, detailed linework and eye-catching compositions. Best known in the UK as one of the definitive Judge Dredd artists for British comics anthology 2000 AD, he spearheaded the ‘British Invasion‘ of the American comics industry, and in 1982 produced the artwork on Camelot 3000 (with author Mike W. Barr), which was DC’s first 12-issue comicbook maxiseries[2] created for the direct market.[3]

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In addition to the above credits, Bolland is most widely known as the artist of one of the definitive Batman stories, The Killing Joke. Created in collaboration with writer Alan Moore, The Killing Joke explored the unique relationship shared by Batman and The Joker, providing a template that would underline almost every subsequent portrayal of the dynamic between these characters (up to and including 2008’s Dark Knight film).

Years in the making before its eventual release in 1988, The Killing Joke is, sadly, one of the few complete interior art jobs that Bolland has done in the past 20 years. As you can see, his art style is incredibly detailed and, presumably, incredibly time consuming.

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As such, he mainly sticks to covers. Here is a gallery of various Batman-related covers he’s illustrated over the years, many of which come from his extended run as cover artist for Batman: Gotham Knights.


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Unlike most comic artists (who still use the traditional pencil and paper illustration method), Brian Bolland has exclusively utilized a Wacom tablet for producing his artwork since the 90s. This allows Bolland more control over the artwork in all capacities, from drawing to coloring. Unfortunately, it also means there is no original artwork for the collectors to search for.

Bolland has also had a Black and White statue based on his work…

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…and figures based on his Killing Joke work.

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So yeah, I love this guy’s work. It’s a tragedy that he hasn’t done more interior stuff, but I guess I must learn to appreciate what I get, which is a regular stream of some of the best comic covers being produced today. I’ll defintely do another Brian Bolland themed post down the line, but I’ve still got a million 70 Aspects Of Batman posts to do. Y’know, I guess sometimes it’s

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P.S. Here’s a link to a short story Bolland both wrote and drew for the Batman: Black And White anthology, entitled “An Innocent Guy”. He has said of this story that “if anyone were to ask me what is the thing I’ve done in my career that I’m most pleased with, it would be this.” Enjoy.

G.

70 Aspects Of Batman: 9

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FRANK QUITELY

From Wikipedia:

Quitely was born Vincent Deighan in 1968.[6] He first worked upon the Scottish underground comics title Electric Soup in 1990. He wrote and drew The Greens, a parody of The Broons strip published by D.C Thompson. It was in working on this book that he adopted the pseudonym of Frank Quitely (a spoonerism of “quite frankly”), as he didn’t want his family to know it was his work, worried that they may have found it upsetting.[7] He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.[6]

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Quitely’s first American comics work was in various installments of Paradox PressBig Book series; his first Batman work was Batman: Scottish Connection, a one-shot written by fellow Scot Alan Grant that had something to due with Bruce Wayne’s Scottish ancestry. Or something. I haven’t read it. But if I found it, I’d buy it!

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After teaming with another fellow Scot (Grant Morrison) on the Doom Patrol miniseries Flex Mentallo, the two teamed up for the one-shot JLA: Earth 2, which reintroduced The Crime Syndicate, an evil parallel version of the Justice League to the post-Crisis landscape. Morrison and Quitely next worked on the early 2000s relaunch of Marvel’s mutant franchise in the pages of New X-Men, and returned to DC/Vertigo first with the great We3 miniseries and next with the universally acclaimed All-Star Superman title. After tackling Superman, the next logical characters for the duo to take over….

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…were these guys. Due to various things, Bruce Wayne is thought to be dead by the denizens of the DC Universe. Thus, former Robin and Nightwing Dick Grayson has donned the cowl, while the role of the Boy Wonder has been taken over by Damian Wayne, the child borne from an illicit liasion between Bruce and Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra’s. Only one issue of B & R has come out so far, and of course it’s excellent. I’m biased. These two are like the comic equivalent of The Smiths for me, they can do no wrong. Here’s some artwork from upcoming issues:

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So, Frank Quitely. Probably my all-around favorite comic artist working right now. And he’s drawing my favorite superhero, written by my favorite monthly writer.

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Pretty pretty pretty good.

G.

70 Aspects Of Batman: 8

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SIMONE BIANCHI

From Wikipedia:

Simone Bianchi (born July 10, 1971[1] in Lucca, Italy) is an Italian comic book illustrator, painter, graphic designer and art instructor, known to Italian audiences for his work in comics, CD covers, music videos, TV commercials and role-playing games, and to American comic book readers for his work on Detective Comics, Green Lantern and Wolverine. Bianchi’s style is distinguished by his use of ink wash, or watercolor halftones,[1] in rendering his work, a non-traditional technique by mainstream American standards.[2]

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I first saw Bianchi’s art in the Shining Knight miniseries that was part of Grant Morrison‘s Seven Soldiers megaseries. I was certainly impressed by his ability, and was also kind of surprised that DC was working with someone whose style is so European. Traditionally, American mainstream comic readers haven’t been terribly open to European artists, preferring instead Jim Lee clones from Brazil. Both for some reason, Simone’s work caught on over here.

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After completing Shining Knight, Bianchi went over to Marvel, where first he worked with Jeph Loeb on Wolverine. He currently is partnered up with Warren Ellis on Astonishing X-Men. But during this Marvel tenure, he still found time to be the cover artist on both Batman and Detective Comics, which is where this images hail from.

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Hopefully at some point he’ll come to his senses and do some actual Batman interior work, but until then you’ll have to settle for this. Or you could buy X-Men too, I suppose.

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G.