Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine, New Yorker cover, Dec 7, 2020
Adrian Tomine, New Yorker cover, Dec 7, 2020

Originally from California, Adrian Tomine is an illustrator and cartoonist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Tomine has taken to his adopted city so well that he has become a reader favorite contributor to the New Yorker.

His New Yorker covers, as well as many of his other illustrations and drawings, have that wonderful combination of evocative artwork and wry observation that exemplify the best of the magazine’s cover art. His artwork uses a streamlined line and color fill approach, reminiscent of the European ligne claire style of comics art.

As a case in point, his cover for the new December 7, 2020 issue of the New Yorker (images above, top) pretty well catches the whimsical side of the 2020 zeitgeist.

The New Yorker has a wonderful new online feature called Cover Story in which they give you background on the creation of the current issue’s cover; here is the one for Tomine’s December 7, 2020 cover.

Tomine is the author/illustrator of a number of books of drawings and comics, many of which are published by Drawn & Quarterly, and the latest of which is The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist (Bookshop.org link).

There is a video overview of some of his titles by “panellogy 080” on YouTube.

Tomine’s website contains examples of his illustrations and information about his books and comics, as well as offering prints and original art for sale.

Unfortunately, his online gallery is of the wearisome “pop up and close, pop up and close” variety, which discourages casual browsing, and the images offered are small. You might find it helpful to augment your visit to his website with this Google image search I’ve set up for Tomine’s work on newyorker.com.

 
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R. Kikuo Johnson

R. Kikuo Johnson

R. Kikuo Johnson

Originally from Hawaii, R. Kikuo Johnson is an illustrator and comics artist based in Brooklyn, New York.

His illustration clients include Apple, Random House, Penguin Books, Marvel Comics, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and the New York times, among others.

Johnson maybe best known for his wonderful covers for The New Yorker. The image above, top is an example. I don’t know about you, but it took me a second glance to catch the point of the illustration; I love that.

He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has returned to teach there.

Johnson’s work ranges from dramatic to subtle, and often has something of a feeling of the ligne claire style of European comics — little variation in line width, flat color, but within those constraints producing a naturalistic feeling of time and place.

 
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David Nakayama

David Nakayama

David Nakayama

David Nakayama is a free lance illustrator, concept artist and illustrator. He is known in particular for his cover art for Marvel Comics, as well as work for DC Comics, Fantasy Flight Games, Upper Deck and others.

Nakayama’s comics covers combine the fun, over-the-top energy and sensationalism characteristic of mainstream American comics with firm draftsmanship and solidly dimensional rendering.

His approach ranges from serious to lighthearted and even comical, in a manner appropriate for the title and subject.

 
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Yoshitaka Amano

Yoshitaka Amano

Yoshitaka Amano

Yoshitaka Amano is a Japanese illustrator, concept artist, and designer of scenes, characters and costumes for film and gaming.

In addition, Amano is known for his work for both Japanese and American comics, as well as his gallery art.

His style blends influences from Japanese woodblock prints, American and European comics and pop culture as well as Art Nouveau and Golden Age European illustration.

Amano appears to work primarily in watercolor and ink. There is a brief video on YouTube that includes scenes of him working. There is also an interview on Polygon.

 
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Eye candy for Today: Jean Giraud illustration

Jean (Moebius) Giraud illustration

Jean (Moebius) Giraud illustration

Mystere Montrouge, plate 10, Jean Giraud

This is an image from a portfolio of prints published in 2001 by Jean (Moebius) Giraud.

Dreamlike, inventive and striking, it’s yet another wonderful example of his line and color approach, without the spotted blacks and feathering characteristic of American comics art.

Note the subtle gradations in the face and headdress.

I found this copy of the image posted on Reddit

 
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Austin Briggs, The Consumate Illustrator

Austin Briggs, The Consumate Illustrator

Austin Briggs, The Consumate Illustrator

I initially encountered the work of Austin Briggs (see my previous post) in his role as a comics artist — working as an assistant to the great Alex Raymond, and eventually ghosting Raymond’s Flash Gordon newspaper strip, and taking over in a credited role on Secret Agent X-9.

Briggs’ work in comics was a sideline, however; he was primarily known as one of the great American illustrators of the 20th century. He started in advertising illustration, but moved into editorial illustration, which is where he made his mark, providing illustrations to prestigious magazines like Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and The Saturday Evening Post.

Briggs was a relentless experimenter; he was always pushing the boundaries of his approach to illustration, and expanding the language and range of that art form in the process.

I was delighted to receive a review copy of a new book from Auad Publishing that showcases the work of Austin Briggs from all phases of his career.

Austin Briggs: The Consumate Illustrator is an absolutely beautiful volume; nicely sized at 9×12″ it features 160 pages crammed with Briggs’ illustrations in both color and black and white. Briggs exceled in both areas, his black and white and tone drawings are remarkably economical given their power and expressive nature. His color work is simultaneously bold and subtle.

The range of his work, its dynamism and nuance is captured beautifully in this volume from Auad. They already have a reputation for presenting the work of great illustrators with high production values and great attention to detail and selection, and this book continues in that fine tradition.

The book includes a knowledgable and fascinating text by David Apatoff, that drew on an interview Apatoff was able to conduct with Briggs’ son, Austin Briggs Jr., who also contributed the forward.

Apatoff has two posts about the book on his own, always excellent blog, Illustration Art: here and here.

I had seen some of Briggs’ work in pieces here and there, but to see a collection like this upped my impression of his accomplishments even further. I recommend the book highly and suggest that if you’re interested, you should order sooner rather than later. Auad Publishing limits their print runs and does not do reprints.

Austin Briggs: The Consumate Illustrator is available direct from Auad Publishing for $34.95 plus $5 domestic shipping.

There is a small set of preview images on the Auad site if you click on the book cover image. I’ve added general links to Austin Briggs material below. You can find more if you do an image search for Austin Briggs.

 
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