Michael Avon Oeming is an American comic book creator. He has worked as a penciler, inker and writer for all the big comic companies on a lot of their biggest properties. Though a prolific writer himself, Mr Oeming still frequently collaborates writers Bryan J. L. Glass, and with Brian Michael Bendis. Mr Oeming is most famous for his co-creator series Powers, The Mice Templar and The Victories.
Interesting side note, Powers was originally published by Image comics, which is famous for its creator-owned titles and exceptional treatment of creators. However in 2004, Marvel set up an imprint called Icon Comics, explicitly for creator-owned titles. Powers, along with other Images title’s Kabuki and Casanova, jumped ship to the Marvel imprint.
Mr Oeming’s career has earn him some notable accalades, including an Eisner Award for Best New Series for Powers and a favorite writer/artist Eagle Awards for Cross Bronx. His 1998 collaboration with Brett Lewis, R. A. Jones on Bulletproof Monk was adapted for film. More recently a television adaptation of Powers has begun production. The series will premiere on the PlayStation Network and will be PSN’s first original programming.
You can watch a brilliant interview he did for From The Gutters, where he talks about how started out and the necessity to developed his distinctive stripped-down style. You can find more of Mr Oeming’s work on his tumblr.
Today’s dose of inspiration is from the acclaimed American illustrator, Charles Dana Gibson, whom is best known for his emblematic creation The Gibson Girl.
1867, baby Gibson is born to a creative and wealthy family. A head-start that an ambitious young Gibson would use as a springboard. At the age of eight, after watching his father, he started cutting silhouettes and by twelve he was selling them. By his mid-teens, after dabbling with sculpture under the guise of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, he picked up a penchant for pen and ink.
Soon after he enrolled in an Art Students League, but had to leave at the age of eighteen due to family financial troubles. Out of school and looking for work, Mr Gibson ventured unsuccessfully to get a job. However, in 1886 he managed to sell one of his illustrations to LIFE magazine. A then newly established magazine, attempting to compete with the likes of Puck and Judge.
The public took a strong liking to Mr Gibson’s satirical portrayal of high society. So as his popularity rose, so to did his importance to the magazine. Going from a salary of $33 to $185 in just three months. Obviously with such popularity Mr Gibson was soon approached by other magazines including Scribner’s, Century, Harper’s, and Time (then named Tid-Bits).
In 1890, he started drawing The Gibson Girl. With only a slim argument to the contrary, it is widely accepted his wife, Irene Langhorne Gibson was the basis and model for her. The Gibson Girl’s importance as a public figure cannot be slighted. The youthful Gibson Girl was the visual embodiment of a new feminine ideal, described at the time as the “New Woman”. She was confident and glamorous, from her creation up until World War I, she set the standard for fashion and decorum.
The success of Mr Gibson’s girl was phenomenal, his demand and fees were so great that at the height of his career his annual salary had reached $75,000. In 1904 he had even signed a four-year contract with Condé Nast to produce 100 illustrations for the sum of $100,000.
On top of his own personal illustrative successes Mr Gibson founded the Society of Illustrators. He helped the war effort by assembling a group of illustrators (including James Montgomery Flagg, J.C. Leyendecker, and Howard Chandler Christy) to set up The Division of Pictorial Publicity whom produced all those famous wonderful and patriotic posters. He, along with some other illustrators, writers, and staff members bought LIFE magazine.
In his retirement he finally put down the pen and ink and picked up oil painting. In 1944, at the age of 77, suffered a heart attack and died a few weeks later.
Charles Dana Gibson’s importance and impact, though praised at the time, nowadays does not get the attention it duly deserves. His skills along with his tenacity were, and probably still are, unrivaled. You would be hard pressed to think of an another illustrator whom has had equal cultural and financial success. To see more of Mr Gibson’s work I strongly suggest picking up a copy of The Gibson Girl and Her America.
Originally hailing from Hong Kong, Joy Wong is currently living in London, England. She is a digital illustrator working as a concept game artist and comic artist. Her elegant painted artwork accompanied Neil Druckman’s adventure tale, A Second Chance at Sarah.
You can find more of Ms Wong’s illustrations on her devianArt and tumblr pages.
Dave the Chimp is a multi-disciplinary artist and skateboard zealot from London, residing in Berlin. Often sharing his talents on the streets around the world, Mr Chimp has also contributed to books, fanzines, skateboard graphics and videos.
His array of work has been exhibited (indoors) in London, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Milano and Barcelona. Mr Chimp’s video work include music videos for Robots in Disguise and Puppini Sisters, as well as commercials for Badly Drawn Boy and Led Zeppelin.
Find out more about Dave the Chimp by checking out his website.
We were recently contacted by a young French artist whom goes by the mononym Klemt. His large illustrations are comprised of short lines using China ink and a traditional quill pen. His illustrations have been exhibited in Limoges, Paris, Brussels and New York.
Klemt’s artwork is the representation of his personal thoughts and questions. Starting with a statement like “Everything Will Be OK” and allowing the drawing to manifest itself. The result of that particular statement can be seen in his piece La Fille A L’Echelle.
Check out more of Klemt’s illustrations on his website.