RPG a Day: How I Wish…

9. Favourite media property you wish was an RPG

Concrete Park vol. 2 coverThis one is tricky because when I really want to play in a particular setting, I just do, whether there is a licensed game or not. But I’ll go with Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander’s Concrete Park, published by Dark Horse Comics. The premise: Earth’s undesirables—too poor, too brown, too rowdy—are discreetly shipped off and dropped on a barely terraformed planet. There, they are left to survive however they can, with factions vying for control. It’s science fiction, it’s dystopia, it’s today, it’s beautiful and harsh yet hopeful.

#RPGaDay2015

Comic Book Art: Ian “I.N.J.” Culbard

Ian Culbard - Bat

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.

Steve Dempsey assigned me Ian Culbard. I did not know him, but learned that he’s a British artist and writer who has also worked or been translated in French, and done some cover art for “The New Deadwardians”, a DC title under the Vertigo imprint. His speciality seems to be, wait for it, Edwardian-era literature translated to graphic novel format: Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burrows, etc. He talks about some of his favourites on his blog, Strange Planet Stories. He does pencilling, inking, colour, animation, illustration, and just about everything else.

Style-wise, he favours a “clean line” approach I like, but seems to make his characters a little cartoony for my preference. But then I set these preferences aside for artists that grow on me like Mike Mignola and Kevin O’Neil, so maybe if I could read enough of his books his style would sway me too.

I will leave you with the cover I liked best from his work on The New Deadwardians: the combination of a bloody handprint and a vintage map of London’s Whitechapel district already conveyed its theme very effectively, even before the addition of the bizarre skulls.

Ian Culbard: The New Deadwardians #2 cover

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”