Comic artist José María del Barrio Ken Niimura (Ken, for short) is based in Tokyo, Japan but is originally from Spain. As well as illustrating numerous comics, he has taught comic and manga courses at the University of Salamanca. The work that Mr. Niimura is most famous for is his Eisner nominated limited series I Kill Giants, written by Joe Kelly. It is a stand out comic and a must read. Mr. Niimura’s style is loose and packed with energy, but somehow he always retains clear, thin lines. You can see more of his work on his blog.
Multiple Eisner award winner, writer/illustrator, Gene Luen Yang began his career self-publishing his comic books under the name Humble Comics in 1996. He went on to write and draw a host of books including Animal Crackers, Prime Baby, American Born Chinese. The latter was released by First Second Books in 2006 and became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award.
Mr. Yang is also the writer of Dark Horse’s comic series the Avatar: The Last Airbender. Very recently First Second Books released his two-volume graphic novel project, Boxers & Saints.
Not long ago I watched a wonderful talk Gene Luen Yang gave at Penn State University, where he champions the comic medium, and discusses his thoughts and process behind some of his work. If you have a spare 60 minutes, it’s definitely worth the watch.
As an avid fan, I have been following the work of Argentinean comic book illustrator Edwardo Risso, for some time now. Best known for his collaborative work with writter Brian Azzarello on 100 Bullets, Mr. Risso and his iconic, often gritty, style has become instantly recognisable among comic fans.
Mr. Risso has an amazing rhythm to his visual storytelling, often using small gestures, dynamic compositions and expressive line work to create an experience in the story. If you like gritty film noir-esq visuals then I highly recommend that you check out his work.
If you’re a comic book fan and would like to purchase some original artwork by Mr. Risso click here.
Jeff Stokely is the brilliant illustrator of the Western/Sci-Fi miniseries, Six-Gun Gorilla. His previous comic work includes The Reason For Dragons, Aliens vs. Parker, and The Thrilling Adventure Hour. His compositions are always dynamic and energetic, but his work really jumps up a whole another level when he employs dry brush work coupled with splatter effects. To see more of Mr. Stokely’s work, head over to his website, or keep up-to-date by following his blog.
I think I will leave you with a few of Mr. Stokely’s wise words:
My name is Jeff Stokely, I love to write and draw comics and eat pizza. Sometimes I like to draw pizza, but I never eat comics. Ever.
American illustrator Dan Santat is probably best known for creating the Disney series ‘The Replacements’, as well as his children’s book ‘The Guild of Geniuses’. He has also been awarded with the Silver Medal by the Society of Illustrators for his work on ‘Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett. He has such a wonderful understanding of colour and composition; a total natural.