Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Art Discussion Month 2010

Post-Art Discussion Month 2010 Edit

Okay, I'm sticking this here to sort of wrap things up. The month is over and I made it through. Some posts were better than others -- then again, so were some artists. I think this month accomplished what I wanted it to: I really made an effort to focus on the art and see things I hadn't seen before. Putting that into words was difficult and I failed far more than I succeeded. But, what little success I had was more than enough. Thanks to everyone who read and commented, including some of the artists involved. That was pretty cool. This may be a yearly thing, who knows. We'll see come March 2011.


Original Post

In the month of March, I will be discussing/analysing the work of a different artist each day from one comic or story they've drawn. 31 days, 31 artists spread out over 48 comics. I'm doing this for a few reasons. Firstly, I generally like doing projects like this where there's a set schedule and deadline. It keeps me on track and focused. Secondly, I want to get better at discussing art. I've been improving over the past two years, but not enough. Some recent reviews for CBR where the art took centre stage have made me improve, but I'd like to make a stronger effort. Thirdly, to give the blog some steady non-CBR review content, if only for a month.

My selection process for artists is pretty simple: I choose 31 artists who drew Warren Ellis comics. To make the discussion of the art the central focus, I decided to pick books written by the same person and Ellis has a very strong, distinctive style that will allow each artist's unique contributions to be easier to spot. Though, I admit, Ellis does alter his style somewhat for different artists, he has such a strong voice that it's never hidden too much. More than that, Ellis has worked with a lot of artists. You would think that finding 31 artists who have drawn books for one writer would be hard, but, with Ellis, it was very, very easy. So easy that I limited myself to just ten different collections of comics and got 31 artists (as the list below will show). I could easily do another month or two focusing on Ellis-penned comics with each day discussing a new artist. I chose the artists below because their work is collected in just ten trades, which makes it easier for me, and because the longest work in question is four issues. I wanted to keep the number of comics/size of the story small.

In my discussion of the art, I won't be using any scans or the art. I also won't be ignoring the writing entirely, but the focus will be on the penciling, inking, and colouring. The discussion of the colouring, in particular, will be interesting because colourists will show up more than once throughout the month (David Baron, for example, coloured Global Frequency #1-11 plus other comics on the list), so, hopefully, I'll be able to see how they alter their style depending on the artist they're colouring.

The schedule for the month:

March 1: Hellblazer #134-139 ("Haunted") by John Higgins and James Sinclair
March 2: Hellblazer #140 ("Locked") by Frank Terran and James Sinclair
March 3: Hellblazer #141 ("The Crib") by Tim Bradstreet and Grant Goleash
March 4: Hellblazer #142.1 ("Setting Sun") by Javier Pulido and James Sinclair
March 5: Hellblazer #142.2 ("One Last Love Song") by James Romberger and James Sinclair
March 6: Hellblazer #143 ("Telling Tales") by Marco Frusin and James Sinclair
March 7: Angel Stomp Future #1 by Juan Jose Ryp
March 8: Frank Ironwine #1 by Carla Speed McNeil
March 9: Quit City #1 by Laurenn McCubbin
March 10: Simon Spector #1 by Jacen Burrows
March 11: Global Frequency #1 ("Bombhead") by Garry Leach and David Baron
March 12: Global Frequency #2 ("Big Wheel") by Glenn Fabry, Liam Sharpe, and David Baron
March 13: Global Frequency #3 ("Invasive") by Steve Dillon and David Baron
March 14: Global Frequency #4 ("Hundred") by Roy Allan Martinez and David Baron
March 15: Global Frequency #5 ("Big Sky") by Jon J Muth and David Baron
March 16: Global Frequency #6 ("The Run") by David Lloyd and David Baron
March 17: Global Frequency #7 ("Detonation") by Simon Bisley and David Baron
March 18: Global Frequency #8 by Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and David Baron
March 19: Global Frequency #9 by Lee Bermejo and David Baron
March 20: Global Frequency #10 ("Superviolence") by Tomm Coker and David Baron
March 21: Global Frequency #11 ("Alpeh") by Jason Pearson and David Baron
March 22: Global Frequency #12 ("Harpoon") by Gene Ha and Art Lyon
March 23: Mek #1-3 by Steve Rolston, Al Gordon, and David Baron
March 24: Reload #1-3 by Paul Gulacy, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Guy Major.
March 25: Tokyo Storm Warning #1-3 by James Raiz, Andrew Currie, Trevor Scott, Carlos D'Anda, and Wildstorm FX
March 26: Red #1-3 by Cully Hamner and David Self
March 27: Ministry of Space #1-3 by Chris Weston and Laura Martin
March 28: Planetary/The Authority: Ruling the World by Phil Jiminez, Andy Lanning, and Laura Martin
March 29: Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta by Jerry Ordway and David Baron
March 30: Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth by John Cassaday and David Baron
March 31: The Authority #1-4 ("The Circle") by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, and Laura Martin

A couple of notes: Hellblazer #142 has two stories in it, drawn by two different artists, so each story gets its own day. I'm only discussing the first four issues of The Authority because I want to focus on a single story and not have too large a focus. As for the order of posts... I wanted Global Frequency in the middle of the month and, then, simply grouped projects by publisher/time of publication/however I felt like it. You'll note that not every artist a big name, well-known, brilliant artist and that's purposeful... I'm not doing a month discussing my 31 favourite artists.

So, come back Monday when I kick things off. As well, this post will function as my archive post and I'll update it throughout the month with links to each post.