Comic Book Art: My favourite artists

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Someone started a meme on Facebook:

To help us appreciate comic book art we have this Facebook game. Click “like” and I will will assign you a comic book artist. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know their work; just Google the artist and choose an image of the one you like most, and put it on your timeline with this message. Make comments or just let the art speak for itself.

But no one so far has assigned me my own all-time favourite comic book artists, so I’ll tell you about some of them.

1. Jean-Claude Mézières

I love, love, love Jean-Claude Mézières’s stuff. Best known for his work on the Valérian and Laureline series (the graphic novels, not the awful anime based on the same series) but also for his concept art on science fiction movies like Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (along with Jean Giraud). Here are his Wikipedia entries in English and French. If I had to pick only one comic book artist, it would be him. He does the pencils and inks, and his sister Évelyne Tranlé does the equally wonderful colour work.

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Most of the Valérian and Laureline series albums have been translated in English, but the translations are often somewhat unfaithful, which pisses me off.

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2. Linda Medley

Kinda Medley is best known for her on-going series Castle Waiting, which revisited fairy tales in a modern light long before the recent trend marked by Once Upon A Time, Grimm, Snow White and the Hunter, or even Bill Willingham’s Fables. I love both her disarmingly homey yet detailed art and her tongue-in-cheek writing.

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3. Bill Sienkievicz

I first noticed Bill Sienkievicz’ work on The New Mutants, but he has worked on many titles like Moon Knight, Batman, and Elektra. No one has ever drawn Warlock as well as he did. He has a sense of flow and movement that I adore.

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Comic Book Art: Philippe Druillet

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Someone started a meme on Facebook:

To help us appreciate comic book art we have this Facebook game. Click “like” and I will will assign you a comic book artist. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know their work; just Google the artist and choose an image of the one you like most, and put it on your timeline with this message. Make comments or just let the art speak for itself.

Eric Lofgren assigned me Philippe Druillet. It’s some of the stuff I grew up on, except I was more into the clean line (“ligne claire”) style, and still am for that matter. Druillet, Caza, Bilal, even Moebius and the rest of the happy Métal Hurlant gang created images that were a little too busy for me, and stories that were a little too cynical (not to mention too misogynist) for my young soul back in the late 70s. Still, there is no denying that there is fantastic talent there.

One of the things I did like about Druillet’s work is that he disregarded the classic grid format and used the whole page as his canvas.

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I will leave you with his official site and an image from his version of the Necronomicon.

Druillet: Necronomicon

Comic Book Art: Jerry Ordway

Jerry Ordway: JSA

Someone started a meme on Facebook, which I first saw on Theron Bretz’ profile:

To help us appreciate comic book art we have this Facebook game. Click “like” and I will will assign you a comic book artist. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know their work; just Google the artist and choose an image of the one you like most, and put it on your timeline with this message. Make comments or just let the art speak for itself.

Theron assigned me Jerry Ordway, and I wanted to share a little more than just one image, because I love comic book art and artists.

I associate Jerry Ordway primarily with his extensive work on Superman titles, but I know his work first-hand from the Batman and Huntress titles, as well as covers for a number of other titles. But Ordway has worked mostly for DC, and I never followed DC titles as much as Marvel ones.

Having started his career as a young unknown no one wanted to hire and progressed to being trusted with the DC core titles, Ordway is now speaking out against ageism and the difficulties faced by older creators, pushed out by publishers in favour of younger, presumably cheaper and more pliable artists.

He is known for his ink work but he also has significant credits for pencils, colour paintings, and writing. So in my typical inability to “pick just one“, I thought I’d give a few samples of his work that I particularly liked. Continue reading “Comic Book Art: Jerry Ordway”

Useful Google+ Settings

Or: Why did you hide it there??

I don’t know if everyone who uses Google+ has noticed, but in addition to changing where things are from time to time, Google also changes the setting controls you have access to. Here are a few you may find particularly useful.

1. Control Who Sees Your Stuff

Or at least, have some control. Of course, once you put something out there, you actually no control over how it’s reshared; however, you can decide on your initial post who you are directly going to share this with. And now your G+ settings allow you to avoid posting to some people you are connected with even when you select “My Circles” upon sharing.

Why would you want to do this? Because you don’t want to spam people and pages you are following, for one thing; do you really want to send your kids’ pictures everywhere? Or you might have a circle called “Work”, or “In-Laws”, made up of people you don’t want to share everything with.

To get to most of the settings, hover your cursor above the “Home” button to get the left-hand menu to unfold and go to the bottom.

Where are the Settings?

Now, scroll down to “Your Circles,” about halfway down a long list. Click on the “Customize” button to select what goes in and what doesn’t.

Sharing to Circles

2. Limit Your Spamming

Another control up above, near the beginning of the settings list, is whether you will allow your +1s, Google Places comments, and other reviews (“endorsements”) to be used to spam your friends’ feed or with ads. For the love of all that is holy, please turn it off. It’s not something you did wrong, Google+ snuck that up in your settings a few months ago, but nobody actually enjoys getting this stuff in their feed. Let’s all turn it off!

While you’re there, check the rest of the settings, even if it’s tedious and somewhat confusing. In truth, you’re probably better off with most of the options turned off.

Endorsement settings

3. Select Your Notifications

This is new and potentially useful. If there is a group of people you don’t want to miss a single post from, put them in a circle and turn on the notifications for that circle. Naturally, this is not found in the same place as your other settings… At the top of your normal G+ home page, you should see a number of circles listed (your most frequently viewed) and a drop-down to the right of it giving you access to the full list of your circles.

Select the circle you want and in the upper right-hand corner of the “In this circle” summary, you’ll have an option you can click to turn notifications on and off. Note that while in your regular settings page “notifications” means via e-mail, in your circles pages it means via the notification icon (the bell with red numbers) in the right-hand area of the top menu bar.

Note also that the people in these circles you create may not filter their output in the same way at all; just because you don’t want to miss a single of their posts when they talk about knitting doesn’t mean you want to hear about their jogging programme.

Circle notifications

And finally, as a conclusion, the supreme irony: I’m posting this on my blog rather than on G+ because I want both myself and others to be able to find it again. But the company with the most powerful search engine in the world makes it nigh-impossible to find a specific post again after a few days…