No Effort Week Pretty Girls: Philip Bond

January 28th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

Visit his Flickr and buy whatever you see that has his name on it. He draws some of the best girls in comics.

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Pretty Girls: Cliff Chiang

November 5th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Cliff Chiang: Blog, Lambiek, Twitter
Books: Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality, Neil Young’s Greendale, Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre, Green Arrow/Black Canary: Family Business
Why? The fashion is a big part of what makes his work so crucial. He not only draws clothes like what you might actually see somebody wearing on the street, but they actually fit and have those little details that keep them from being plain. Folds, curves, wrinkles, whatever whatever.

What I like best (well not best best, but best at this specific moment in time) about Chiang’s work isn’t specifically lady-related, but it plays a role in why his ladies look so good. He’s got an absolutely fantastic sense of design. He uses blacks like the best of them, on par with people like Eduardo Risso. The lighting in cliffchiang-Justice_League_Generation_Lost_9.jpg is fantastic, especially Max Lord’s figure in the background. In cliffchiang-sadie.jpg, the crowd is rendered in both black and white, but it isn’t confusing at all.

Lady-wise, Chiang has a very classic approach to faces that I like. Same kind of classy dame/good girl that Darwyn Cooke and Jordi Bernet work with sometimes, right? You can see it in cliffchiang-scarlett.jpg, but cliffchiang-sadie.jpg and cliffchiang-sun.jpg shows that a classy dame can easily be turned into something more modern with a couple of tweaks. Versatility counts.

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Pretty Girls: Eduardo Risso

October 29th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I yapped this piece of Nancy from Frank Miller’s Sin City from ComicArtFans.

Eduardo Risso: Wiki, ComicBookDB, Lambiek, 100 Bullets Week
Books: Start with 100 Bullets Vol. 1: First Shot, Last Call and work your way down the series. All the images in this post are from 100 Bullets. Colors by Grant Coleash or Patricia Mulvihill.
Why? Stupid statement alert: I like Risso for what he draws and doesn’t draw in equal parts. Not generally–specifically. He’ll leave out certain details that your mind fills in and render other things in exacting detail. Details drop in and out as needed, and whether it isn’t there or it is, the effect is the same: it looks excellent.

He has a way around noses that I really admire. He suggests facial structure with just a few tiny lines. (It sometimes puts me in mind of whoever did the character design for Final Fantasty Tactics sometimes, but cartoony in a different direction.) Pretty much everyone Risso draws is a bombshell, or clearly used to be one. He’ll stick in subtle wrinkles and cellulite as needed, and it’s all okay. His facial expressions are deadly, too. He’s got mean stares, curiosity, amusement, surprise… he’s got everything down. He knows what to show, what not to show, and how to do it best.

All that and his signature is ill, too.

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Pretty Girls Interlude: Babes With Big Bazookas

October 15th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I’d intended to have a Pretty Girls ready for today, but NYCC caught up to me last night and I passed out pretty much as soon as I got home from work. But whatever, there’s no shortage of good art online, so I can flip the script this week and present you with this: Babes With Big Bazookas, written by Robbie Morrison, drawn by Frank Quitely, and posted by Joe Bloke at Grantbridge Street.

It’s from Judge Dredd Megazine vol 3 #26, and if anybody reading this knows word one about British comics, leave a comment or email me with some info on where I can buy a collected edition because I need this.

Any readers feel like schooling me on British comics? I know a little, but not enough, and I want to know more.

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Pretty Girls: Inio Asano

October 1st, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Inio Asano: wiki, Anime News Network
Books: solanin, What a Wonderful World!, Vol. 1, What a Wonderful World!, Vol. 2
Why? Asano’s stories are my thing because he pretty much nails mid-20s ennui, but he also draws really, really cute girls. Fashion-wise, they’re kind of hipster girl cute. They have that carefully crafted off-kilter thing going on, a lot of scarves and patterns, sometimes tops and skirts that look a little like grandma clothes, lots of layers, and hair that’s either short or worn so as to appear short. A little quirky, but calculatedly quirky, right? Asano’s girls feel very contemporary.

They have really cute faces, too. They’re kind of doughy. More like, their faces bend under the weight of their emotions. Smiles go from one ear to the other, eyes squeeze shut, certain girls have duck lips, and your commonly accepted proportions for faces don’t matter at all. Expressiveness is what counts, and his brand of particularly cartoony, exaggerated expressiveness is what makes Asano fresh.

The freckles across Meiko’s nose in solanin help a lot, too.

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Pretty Girls: Barbara Canepa (and Alessandro Barbucci)

September 24th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

There’s boobs in this one, cap’n, so you get to see one of the rare times I ever use a cut. Read the rest of this entry �

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Pretty Girls: Khari Evans

September 9th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Khari Evans: I guess my man prefers to let his art speak for itself, because I can’t even find so much as a Deviant Art. If Evans happens to read this, though, email me, I want to interview you.
Books: Thor: Ages of Thunder, Daughters of the Dragon: Samurai Bullets, Shanna, the She-Devil: Survival of the Fittest, Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 3: The Book of Iron Fist
Why? Hmm… three reasons, no particular order.

1. He can draw believable black people. Not just default people colored brown, but like real deal, proper facial structure having, broad nosed, thick lipped colored folks. Some of the best artists in the industry can’t get that right, but Evans does it like it’s nothing.

2. There’s this word I heard used in various ways growing up. “Stank.” Sometimes it was “Put some stank on it,” like jazz it up. Sometimes it was my cousin calling some girl I like “stank.” (I eventually quit asking her opinion on girls I liked.) It’s one of those words with several uses that all derive from the same origin. “Stank” is, more or less, “attitude.” Not like a cheery attitude, or a negative attitude, but a “How about you stop giving me lip and having an attitude” attitude. Evans can draw some stank girls and he puts some stank on it when he draws them. My granddad might say that “He draws some mean girls, boy!”

Nobody in comics draws a sneer like Khari Evans, man. Nobody even comes close. That top panel in ke-theorder01.jpg is killer. Misty’s face in ke-daughters04.jpg and ke-daughters06.jpg is probably the meanest ice grill you’ll see. Evans gets the lip curl, the eyebrows, he gets the whole thing right.

But that just betrays a deeper understanding of facial expressions, doesn’t it? ’cause Colleen’s dumb “Ha ha I got a surprise for you girrrrrrrrl” face in ke-daughters02.jpg is dead on, too. Or the mix of giddiness and determination in the two in ke-daughters03.jpg. Body language, too. How often do you see crossed ankles in comics? And yet, in ke-daughters01.jpg, they’re right there. That slump into the couch–let me stop.

3. You can’t really see it here because I chose scenes from one book I really like a lot, but Evans is on point with fashion, too.

(4. Thighs.)

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Pretty Girls: Kenichi Sonoda

August 27th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Kenichi Sonoda: Wiki, imdb, a pretty good summary of his career, and an impossibly ancient shrine
Books: Gunsmith Cats, Gunsmith Cats: Burst
Why? The thing about cheesecake is that there’s exactly two types. There’s the trite, ugly, boring, unattractive, and lame stuff–your Ed Beneses, Zenescopers, and the like. They take a by the numbers approach to sexiness that actually saps any sexiness from the image. Two Boobs + Two Butt Cheeks+ Flimsy Thong Plus Arched Back = Any Given Issue of Birds of Prey. The other kind, the stuff that comes from your Frank Chos, Adam Hughes, Amanda Conners, and Adam Warrens, has a certain care and spontaneity that the other stuff doesn’t. The difference is that the latter group actually cares about what they’re doing. That care led to them really pushing and getting good at what they do.

I’d put Kenichi Sonoda in the latter group. He has his quirks/fetishes/interests (they are guns, cars, girls, and girls who wear pantyhose, in that order), he has his downsides (the occasional flagrant panty shot, prizing sexiness over sensibility, Minnie May), and he is absolutely technically proficient, but what raises him above artists like Benes is that he’s clearly put a tremendous amount of thought into what he’s doing. His style is probably exactly what you think of when someone says anime or manga (big eyes, small mouth, big boobs, small waists), but he’s not as generic as he might seem at first glance. He’s got a great grasp of body language (ks-sleepy.jpg, look at her slump!), he can actually work facial expressions (look at that saleslady in ks-asteal.jpg and tell me you can’t see the “cha-ching!” in her face), and the women wear actual, if occasional impractical, clothes (Rally in ks-copkilla.jpg, for example). He’s not just an artist drawing empty T&A. He’s making an effort to make his characters real. He’s drawing typical cute stuff, but with just a little more talent and care than you’d expect.

An aside: Gunsmith Cats is really, really good stuff, but Minnie May, and what she represents, makes me real uncomfortable. Without her, it’s a rocking manga about girls, guns, and fast cards. With her, well… you’re gonna get some funny looks if you read this funnybook in public. (no pedo)

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Pretty Girls: Sara Pichelli

August 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Sara Pichelli: Twitter (defunct), blog, black and white art
Books: Runaways: Homeschooling, X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back
Why? Pichelli is an Italian artist who recently blew up in America with a number of Marvel series, usually with Kathryn Immonen (another person who deserves to be a superstar). While her Marvel books tend to feature teen characters, something she’s pretty good at to be fair, but she’s also good at drawing adults. If I had to pick two things that make her great, I’d say it’s her attention to hair, something mainstream comics artists generally render as a big block of ugly, and the way she nails body language. Look at Poison Ivy’s hair in any of the drawings, particularly the Cruella de Vil buns, Emma Frost’s tangle of hair, or Zatanna’s tangles. For body language, look at Batman’s open mouth and Poison Ivy’s arched back in sp-bat-ivy.jpg, the relaxed but sad look in sp-sunday02.jpg, everything in sp-womandriving02.jpg (someone please get Pichelli to draw a crime comic), and the hands wrapped around the man’s head in sp-fuck.jpg.

Streetwear Snow White is great, too. I’d read a whole book about that.

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Pretty Girls: Cameron Stewart

August 22nd, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Before we get into the proceedings this evening: I was poking around on the internet once a couple weeks back, maybe the first weekend after San Diego Comic-con 2010, and saw something terrible. It was a drawing of a topless woman, legs spread, sitting in a, what, a meat locker? A restaurant? I don’t know, but everything around her was filled with poked out eyeballs, severed heads, butchered bodies, and entrails. The woman in question was rendered like a copy of a copy of a copy of Jim Lee’s sexier ladies. Simply put: it was gross on several levels, and it was supposed to advertise a comic book. I’m all for liking whatever you like, man, but the way this juxtaposed creepy sex and lazy gore just really got under my skin. I’m as interested in the way that sex and death interact and coexist as any other English major, but c’mon. Consider this series a bit of counter-programming. There are several artists who are crazy talented at drawing women, and I want to show off some of my favorites or ones who are particularly good at one aspect. I’ll be doing a few this week, and I think it’ll be weekly beyond that.

And if you like that other stuff… more power to you, man. Whatever floats your Flying Dutchman staffed with half-naked zombie girls, you know? You’re still gross, though, B. Sorry.

Cameron Stewart: Twitter, blog, Comic Art Community gallery, webcomic
Books: Apocalipstix, Batman and Robin 2: Batman vs. Robin
Why? Stewart’s style is one that appeals to me in part because he knows how to pay attention to the little details and has a good sense of comedy. I love the cover to Catwoman 20 because of the way that Holly’s lip is being pulled by the back of her hand. The real boots on cs-Robinchair.jpg are fantastic. The relaxed posture in cs-girlfridays7.jpg is great. The cliche says that every picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s clear that Stewart’s girls have a story behind them. You can intuit personality at a glance.

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