Scanning the bookshelves in our offices for some inspiration on an artist to feature for today’s post, Book one of “The Walking Dead” by Robert Kirkman leaped out at me. I just can’t believe that we have yet to write up a feature for this great and current comic book.
(If you don’t already know) The Walking Dead is a huge franchise published by Image Comics and is one of the most successful comic series of our generation spanning a dedicated TV show (currently airing around the globe), toys & merchandise.
Robert Kirkman is also best known for “Invincible”, “Battle Pope” and his multitude of collaborations across Marvel and Image comics including “Marvel Zombies”, “Haunt” and “Ultimate X-Men”. Kirkman helped breathe new life into the fledgling comics book industry when he first broke on to the scene and has helped inspire and develop a new generation.
Seriously stunning work from today’s feature, the award-winning illustrator, Nimit Malavia. Born Ottawa, Canada in 1987, he studied Illustration at the Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. Currently based in Toronto, Mr Malavia’s work has been exhibited across North America and Europe in galleries including Gallery Nucleus, Spoke Art Gallery, Bold Hype Gallery, Thinkspace Gallery, LeBasse Projects, and London Miles Gallery.
Mr Malavia’s has created numerous comic covers for Marvel, DC, and IDW. He is also the current Fables series cover artist, starting at issue #139 it is expected that Mr Malavia will continue until the series conclusion issue #150. Outside of the world of comics, he has worked with companies including PEN Canada, Soapbox Design, the National Post and 20th Century Fox.
You can find Nimit Malavia’s portfolio on his website, and I strongly recommend you check out his instagram too.
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 he started out and the necessity to developed his distinctive stripped-down style. You can find more of Mr Oeming’s work on his tumblr.
Paolo Rivera is an American comic artist working for Marvel Comics. While still in high school, Mr Rivera met Jim Krueger at Megacon whom helped him get into the industry. His skilful oil painting, due to it’s time-consuming nature, is perfect for covers which he regularly works on. However from 2006 to 2008 Mr Rivera produced richly-painted interior and exterior artwork for the six issue one-shot Mythos. Mr Rivera has since worked as a penciler, inker, and colourist. In 2011 he penciled six issues of Mark Waid’s multiple award-wining Daredevil series.
Paolo Rivera’s blog, The Self-Absorbing Man, is an absolute treat as it is filled with behind the scenes to Rivera’s creative process and artist advice. Also check out Rivera’s YouTube page which has glorious videos of inking and colouring.
Today’s dose of inspiration is without a doubt the coolest person to ever work in comics, James F. “Jim” Steranko. Born 1938 in Pennsylvania, Mr Steranko was drawing from a very young age. Influenced, like many, by the standout Sunday comic strip art of Milton Caniff, Alex Raymond, Hal Foster, and Chester Gould.
In 1957 Mr Steranko got his foot in the the comic industry as an inker. His first published penciled work was in Spyman #1 (1966), which he wrote the story “The Birth of a Hero”. It was published under Harvey Thriller, an imprint of Harvey Comics.
It wasn’t until he moved to Marvel Comics that he really made a name for himself. Working on the spy stories of Nick Fury, Mr Steranko really started to stretch the comic medium. He experimented with layout and sequencing, and most notably bought in elements of Surrealism, Pop Art, Op Art, and graphic design. What Mr Steranko was doing was groundbreaking, and caused waves not only in the comic medium, but also in film too.
In 1969 Mr Steranko formed his own publishing company, Supergraphics, and in 1970 and 1972 published The Steranko History of Comics volume 1 and 2 respectively. These tabloid-sized books, written by Mr Sterenko also featured the first, and in some cases only, interviews with many creators from the comic book Golden Age. At the time the volumes were well received, and today are very sought after. Although, not everyone agreed with their content. At a San Diego Comic-Con Bob Kane had a few word to say to Mr Sterenko about his chapter on Batman, what unfolded is priceless. Last year Mr Steranko explained the whole story on twitter.
Outside of comics Mr Steranko has also shared his talents as a concept artist for film, including Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark and Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He has also worked on movie posters, production designs and has written an episode for the DC Comics animated TV series Justice League Unlimited.
Unsurprisingly his amazing contributions to the comic industry has earned him many awards, not least a Shazam Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual, and a place in the esteemed Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.