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2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prog 886 06/05/94

The back and forth between fully painted and more traditionally drawn thrills has probably been going on for years in 2000 AD by this point. The Clown, for example, seems to me to be a good example of a fully painted strip that’s very difficult to enjoy. Painted thrills have been running long enough in the weekly for the artists to know that certain styles of art reproduce badly and yet, Robert Bliss and Nick Percival seem to ignore this reality. Consequently, The Clown The Painted Mask might have art that in its original form looks amazing but in print is murky and difficult to follow.

On the other hand, The Journal of Luke Kirby has always enjoyed more traditional artists and benefits for it. Currently, Sympathy for the Devil is drawn by Steve Parkhouse with help from Nick Abadziz and Gina Hart. Everything about it is clear. The characters have their own visual personalities and carry their own features and expressions. They move around environments that, no matter how outlandish, don’t ever seem under or over rendered. Parkhouse is such an accomplished artist that he knows exactly when to stop drawing which is a skill in itself.

Not all fully painted art is by definition disappointing, however. Clint Langley’s current Judge Dredd story, The Enemy Below, works for me. Recently, I criticised his work on Dinosty because I was unable to tell the characters apart. He seems to benefit on this occasion because he’s either enthused by working on such an iconic character and has tried harder or he’s had all the character signalling work done for him by previous artists. His work makes me think of Richard Corben, a classic underground comic artist whose air-brush work never seems to forget his cartoonist sensibility.

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