ARTIST APPRECIATION – RYAN SOOK

One of DC’s weekly series that I finally got around to read is the New52 Future’s End, starring Batman Beyond in an attempt to change the apocalyptic future from whence he came. While I am on the fence about how I feel after 48 issues of this crazy world we may never see again, a great takeaway from the series is the art. While the interior had multiple great artists, the covers and some of the art design are stunning, all thanks to longtime DC artist Ryan Sook. His work has a little Terry Dodson slickness, the darkness of Mike Mignola, and an energy all his own.
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Aside from this weekly series, he’s contributed all around DC, namely for some of the supernatural titles like The SpectreSeven Soldiers: Zatanna, and Justice League Dark.

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Lastly, he’s worked on many series outside of DC, including the incredible X-Factor by Peter David.

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For more of Ryan Sook, check out his website where you can buy prints and check out some of his amazing upcoming work!

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

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ARTIST APPRECIATION – Marcos Martín

It’s great to see imaginative creators pair up time and time again. Marcos Martín happens to be a great artist who has continually worked with Mark Waid, Brian K Vaughn, Javier Rodríguez and Paulo Rivera. Marcos Martín hails from Barcelona, but has worked with various publishers, including Image, DC, and Marvel! As I featured in a weekly picks section, Martín’s art is fantastically bold and colorful with every piece he puts out.

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One of Martín’s biggest standout is his work on Batgirl: Year One. A mini-series following Robin: Year One, Marcos Martín showed off flair, boldness, and elegance to demonstrate the power of young Barbara Gordon.

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Outside of this, Marcos has contributed art, notably some astonishing covers.

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I was introduced to Martín’s work in the Amazing Spider-Man, when he worked on various stories during the Brand New Day era, issue #600, and beyond.
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Marcos Martín has also contributed to two noteworthy heroes, including Brian K. Vaughn’s Doctor Strange: The Oath and Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil! In seeing all of these pieces in conjunction, you can look to the boldness inks, beautiful layouts, and solid figures that capture Martín’s style perfectly.

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Marcos Martín’s work with Brian K. Vaughn continued after Doctor Strange, as they teamed up to distribute the critically acclaimed Private Eye. A phenomenal commentary on social media culture and the internet as a societal hazard, The Private Eye was brought to life with Martín’s creativity and imagination.

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Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Here is our NerdSwole Mailbag, where you can ask questions anonymously and we’ll answer them in a video or Slice of Life feature!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

ARTIST APPRECIATION – ANDREA SORRENTINO

I love featuring artists who bring in a whole new style that shifts the whole direction of the story. Like changing directors during tv seasons, a new artist can take something already great and make audiences see things in a new light. Take the shift in creative team on Green Arrow (2011-present), which ushered in Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino.

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Using the new writer to retell the origin of Oliver Queen, artist Andrea Sorrentino took the so-so book from alright to astounding with engaging page layouts, darkness in every corner, and a focus on pushing the limits in actions sequences. Storytelling in the art is equally as important as the writing, as you can tell from the pages below. The CW show Arrow both served as an inspiration and has taken cues from this work on Green Arrow.

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In terms of action, transitioning from Green Arrow to Old Man Logan was a smart move in maintaining the level of action and drama in the art. Check out these few pages to see how Wolverine’s beastly nature tears through the pages.
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This is one of the few times where I can couple the colorist with the penner, as colorist Marcelo Maiolo (who worked on both of these great titles) was to thank for the success of the pages. Their coupling serves as one of the most unique pairings in comics.

Sorrentino’s art has been all over the place before signing an exclusive contract with Marvel. For examples, his work on the God Of War comic captures the style and fury from the games.

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Simply put, the talent is beyond description, as Sorrentino’s coupling of atmosphere, darkness, and intense lighting provides the foundation for some of the best pieces.

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Hawkeye VS Old Man Logan
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Green Arrow & Shado
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Zero Year Batman
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Apocalypse
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Old Man Logan

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For more from Andrea Sorrentino, make sure to check out the current Old Man Logan with writer Brian Michael Bendis! Sorrentino’s deviantart and official blog also feature more great art.

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Here is our NerdSwole Mailbag, where you can ask questions anonymously and we’ll answer them in a video or Slice of Life feature!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

ARTIST APPRECIATION – ROD REIS

Artist Appreciation is not just about showcasing the most popular artists; there are artists in several unique mediums who deliver incredible and astounding pages. One of those amazing artists is Rod Reis, a Brazilian artist whose talent in many areas continues to drop jaws.

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Iron Fist from The Defenders

Wow. Just wow. Using inks, pencils, textures, paint, digital tools, and applying an astounding aggressive yet honed craft, Reis takes his subjects to new levels. Check out the following commissioned work to see how his style fits perfectly with his subjects.

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Boba Fett from Star Wars
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Havok from X-Men
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Cyclops from X-Men
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Movie Poster Concept for Pacific Rim
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Wolverine from X-Men
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Black Widow from The Avengers
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Deadman from Justice League Dark

I’d be remiss if I didn’t showcase one of his standout titles, C.O.W.L.

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While I featured C.O.W.L. in an Image spotlight, the art is a breakthrough on each page. Penned by the writer of Nightwing and Batman Beyond, Kyle Higgins, Reis’ designs lying in the sixties era style mix well with the backdrop of crime-ridden Chicago.

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However, Reis dominates the page, taking every script and breathing new air into a super-hero crime drama that has been waiting to be tapped since Watchmen.

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With or without text, Reis wastes no space or moment to help set the tone and let his work grow on the page. Fortunately, Rod will be returning with C.O.W.L. creators Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel in an all new series called Hadrian’s Wall.

You can check out Rod’s deviantart page and tumblr blog for more great work!

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Here is our NerdSwole Mailbag, where you can ask questions anonymously and we’ll answer them in a video or Slice of Life feature!

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ARTIST APPRECIATION – CHRIS BACHALO

It’s no secret than I’m a huge fan of Marvel Comics; the colorful characters all living in the city that never sleeps makes for plenty of fun. One thing you notice when you’re reading from a publisher’s wide library is that some artists are used in different titles. Luckily for readers, one of those talented creators is Chris Bachalo. One of his earlier works is from the original Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.

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A preview of Chris’s tendency to play with panel layouts.

As I said, Chris is mainly an artist with Marvel and from this one time stint with DC, Chris’s art has evolved ten-fold.

tumblr_mzcrkghfZf1rcsnl1o1_1280 One thing you’ll notice of Chris’s work is that he progresses a scene well. So much dialogue and several characters fill up a page as smoothly as one can and it works.

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Different panel structure, diagonals whenever possible, fitting crowds in tiny spaces, and transitioning in the end by combining action with art, Bachalo tests the waters with every page he touches and the risks are worth it.

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One of the main reasons for this spotlight is because I am revisited the Spider-Man comics (#600 onward) and I finished up the Gauntlet storyline, which featured the Lizard (Doctor Curt Conner’s monstrous form) towards the end. Chris Bachalo not only brings color and playfulness to Spider-Man, but also redefines the Lizard we all know and remember.

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In particular, Bachalo’s artistic direction and creative panel design come to a chilling climax as he delivers one of the darkest pages of Spider-Man I have ever read.

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In the page, you see the Lizard attacking something, but as that happens, both Curt Conner’s thoughts and the panels literally torn apart. Unfortunately, Curt Conners has lost control of his body to the Lizard as the beast attacks and kills his son. A terrible gruesome scene that forever changes an beloved tragic character, this panel shook me to my core.

From brutal to magical, Chris is currently working on the new Doctor Strange solo comic with Jason Aaron (Thor, Southern Bastards, Wolverine, Scalped) and shows no signs of slowing down.

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Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Here is our NerdSwole Mailbag, where you can ask questions anonymously and we’ll answer them in a video or Slice of Life feature!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

Artist Appreciation – Ilias Kyriazis

He may not be a household name, but Ilias Kyriazis should be an artist to look out for. A creator from Greece, Ilias has come into his own with art that offers a colorful, vivid personalities with outstanding action and motion. As an artist and a colorist, Ilias brings something new and familiar to each piece he finishes.

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Recreating the iconic cover from X-Men: Days of Future Past
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Daredevil VS Hulk
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Spider-Man Redesign Concept

While his Marvel fanart hints at Chris Samnee influences, his own creative work is where he shines.

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Manifesto, one of his original series.
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Stench
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KISS Tribute

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Lastly, I’d like to show off the book that helped me discover this great artist, Secret Identities. Fans of Marvel’s The Ultimates, yet those looking for superhero action outside the big 2 should definitely give it a shot. A superteam in Canada is forming, with unique takes on superhero tropes, and a mole on the team tension tying the whole book together, Secret Identities is one of the go-to books at Image Comics.
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I usually link people to a site, but I’d also like to mention that I got the opportunity to meet Ilias at New York Comic Con this past October. He was very kind, excited about his new book, very personable to fans, and just an overall good guy.

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Ilias on the left, Nerdswole writer on the right.

 

 

 

 

For more with Ilias, you can check out his website and his deviantart page.

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Here is our NerdSwole Mailbag, where you can ask questions anonymously and we’ll answer them in a video or Slice of Life feature!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

ARTIST APPRECIATION – SARA PICHELLI

Even if you’ve never heard of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, many have been exposed to Miles Morales, a new generation of Spider-Man created by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Sara Pichelli. These series followed the previous Ultimate Spider-Man, but Pichelli’s work with Miles Morales has helped make him one of the most popular characters in Marvel Comics.

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Her work is in line with many current artists like Jim Cheung, Stuart Immonen, Ryan Stegman, and Olivier Coipel, but her definitively sleeker, smoother curves and overall clean style glistens off every page she does.

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From Guardians Of The Galaxy #4

While Guardians Of The Galaxy, Ultimate Spider-Man, and a few pages of All-New X-Men are standout works of Pichelli’s, she also has contributed plenty of fantastic variants across the publisher.

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Spider-Gwen #2
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Star Wars #1
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Infinity #5 Variant
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Uncanny Avengers #1 Variant
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SHIELD #1 Variant

Sara’s official blogspot can be found here, but also check out her upcoming work with Marvel Comics!

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

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Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

ARTIST APPRECIATION – YOSHITAKA AMANO

It’s always interesting to see where some of your favorite artists get their start, and famed Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano has been involved in so many different genres, while remaining astonishing consistent. His vibrant watercolors, exceptional palate decisions, wood printing process, and his incorporation of flowing lines gives each of his pieces an exceptional finish. Amano’s rise to fame began by working of the late 1960s animated show, Speed Racer. He went on to help create some of Tatsunoko’s famous anime characters, including Tekkaman, Casshern, and Gatchaman.

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Gatchaman
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Casshern
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Tekkaman

Amano’s work can be found on the covers and artwork for the popular Vampire Hunter D. The novel has well over 20 titles in its iconic run and Amano’s art continues to astound with every new entry.

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Vampire Hunter D
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Vampire Hunter D

Many gamers will recognize Amano’s art as a standout of the Final Fantasy series. His art has illustrated the tones and relationships that these epic stories tell; Amano contributed to the character design in over 6 titles, while providing artwork and logo design for a majority of the series.

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Final Fantasy

 

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Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Poster

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention his work with American properties. Amano has lent his talents to DC and Marvel; his work on Sandman: The Dream Hunters can only be comparable with his Elektra & Wolverine mini-series.

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Elektra and Wolverine The Redeemer - Written by Greg Rucka
Elektra and Wolverine The Redeemer – Written by Greg Rucka

You think you’ve seen every Wolverine and then Amano takes a crack at him. For more of Yoshitaka Amano, his website is in japanese, but his artbooks are sold in the US.

If you’re looking for an in-depth look at Yoshitaka Amano’s work, his growth as an artist, and related artists, check out his featured page on Artsy.com!

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

Artist Appreciation: Daniel Kamarudin

The online world of art is crazy, expressive, random, and above all, beautiful. When you get artists who are passion and talent, it is incredible to see what works comes out of the woodwork. Daniel Kamarudin is an online artist whose work ranges in different genres; his work in the digital medium is spectacular and nothing short of dynamic and inspired.

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Dracula from Castlevania
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Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost In The Shell
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Dean Winchester from Supernatural
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Hulk concept from Avengers: Age of Ultron
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Elsa from Frozen
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Santa Claus concept
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Clint Eastwood

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Bright lights, solid technical and expressive lines, and using the backdrop as effectively as the figures, Daniel’s work takes you away right in the world of imagination. For more of his incredible work, check out his deviantart page and tumblr blog for more!

Thank you again for checking out this article; tweet @Nerdswole for any artists you think should be featured, professional or not, and they will be considered to be featured in an upcoming article!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for details!

Cool Stuff: X-Men Playing Cards

In a lot of ways this article is half about how cool this stuff is and also an artist appreciation for the guy who made these cards. They are pretty damn cool. Of course there are probably an X-Men deck of cards out there already, but how many of them are made to actually look like the royals on regular playing decks? None as far as I know.

The artist/creator’s name is Mark Eastwood. His X-Men cards are the first that I’ve heard of his work, but he’s apparently done other work in a similar style before this. He actually has a line of Capcom cards as well.

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Part of me really hopes that he was a huge fan of X-Men vs. Street Fighter and he decided it was such a good game that it needed a different medium to battle it out in. Whether or not that’s the case, let’s just appreciate how clever and cool Eastwood’s work is.

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You have to love that Wolverine is actually stabbing the heart on his card. Is it because he has so many heartbreaking stories? Or is it because he’s been a stone cold killer. It doesn’t really matter, it’s just a nice little extra detail, which I’m all for.

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A lot to like, in Eastwood’s gallery. Including different categories as I mentioned earlier. Oh, and we also happened to have done a cool little history of Wolverine’s costumes if you’re interested.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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