In Review: Comic Art Now

Almost every creative industry has its creative directory but comics seems to have missed the boat — until Comic Art Now.

Edited by industry veteran Dez Skinn, this impressive a 200-page “comic art directory” has been published by HarperCollins Design (US) and ILEX (UK), plus various European publishers.

Over 100 artists are featured — a mouth watering selection of sample art from artists from the US, UK, Brazil, Sweden, Manila, Tokyo, Singapore, Bulgaria and more, as well as their contact details.

Unlike many existing directories which charge for inclusion, this book’s selection for inclusion was based on the quality of the art rather than the artist’s bank balance. Assembled from over 500 submissions, the book presents the samples in well-honed chapters according to style — heroes and villains, science fiction, horror etc — and while some chapters are slight (personally, I felt the humour section was vastly under represented, despite the inclusion of great talents like Lew Stringer and Hunt Emerson), Comic Art Now is a welcome first edition of what I hope will become a regular release.

One enjoyable aspect of the book, lacking from much larger art directories such as Elfande’s Directory of Illustration, is the inclusion of, from most artists, a ‘snapshot’ of how their work was created, which means the book could be useful for other artists looking for tips on technique.

Comic Art Now probably has to get a few editions under its belt to command the same level of usefulness as The Writer’s Handbook or the Directory of Illustration, and, at present, lacks an online complement which would enable updates on contacts and additional information for creative agencies seeking artists (something the Directory of Illustration does have, and how). That said, it is a welcome reflection of the as ever high standard of work on offer from many working in the comics industry worldwide and the samples will no doubt steer some readers to track down copies of the full works featured – for example, Al Davison‘s Scar Tissue, Sam Hart‘s upcoming Robin Hood: Outlaw’s Pride from Walker Books, John Higgins’ Razorjack or even (I wish!) an English language version of Mike Collins‘ detective series, Varg Veum.

Comic Art Now is also a glorious celebration of the sheer range of comics now available, for all the doom and gloom opined by many in terms of declining print sales figures etc. For that alone, it deserves every success.

Buy Comic Art Now from amazon.co.uk (ILEX Edition)
Buy Comic Art Now from amazon.com (Harper Collins edition)

• You may also like Fantasy Art Now featuring the work of artists such as Clint Langley, Greg Staples, Glenn Fabry, James Rayman, Linda Bergkvist, Liam Sharp, Jason Chan, Aly Fell, Aaron Sng and Robert Chang.

• Buy The Writer’s Handbook from amazon.co.uk
• Check out the online verisoon of the Directory of Illustration

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics

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