Monday, 2 May 2016

MIVC602: Comic Artist Research

As part of my research for my final major project, I looked at comic artist J. H. Williams III for inspiration, particularly his work on comic prequel Sandman Overture. For Sandman Overture, Williams doesn’t just stick to the usual comic box panels, but uses what’s happening in the story to reflect in the comic’s layout and drawing style, an approach I wanted to apply to my own comic work. For Williams, the comic’s panels and its layout are just as much a part of the overall artwork and scene.

Sandman Overture by J. H. Williams III

Sandman Overture by J. H. Williams III
I also looked at Emily Carroll, a comic artist renowned for her short horror comics. Carroll’s sinister, disturbing comics often combine a muted or murky palette with bright spots of colour for dramatic effect, like red. Her comics are quietly eerie, and Carroll is a master of tension, and while they always feature supernatural elements, hers is a more psychological kind of horror than that of gratuitous B-movie violence.

Out of Skin by Emily Carroll
Out of Skin by Emily Carroll
The comic Pretty Deadly also proved to be another source of inspiration, as thematically, it feels very similar to the atmosphere I want to achieve with my final major project, a twilight world of magical realism that at times feels both dreamy and nightmarish.

Nature has always been a big inspiration for me, and with Pretty Deadly I liked how it incorporated natural imagery - particularly birds and butterflies - and used it to emphasise the vitality, beauty and rot of life and death.

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios
Furthermore, the vulture cloak of the character Sissy (see above), who is the next incarnation of Death, was one of the inspirations for the Black Owl's character design.

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