Category Archives: Comics

Free Comic Book Day, 2016

Free Comic Book Day, 2016
Today, May 7, is Free Comic Book Day, 2016!

Participating comic book shops will be giving away a selection of special promotional comic books, designed to introduce new readers both to those individual titles and to the fun of reading comics in general.

Find a local participating shop by zip code on this Store Locator.

The Free Comic Book Day website has more information, including a list of the available titles. Glen Weldon has an overview of the titles on the NPR website. (Not all titles will be available at all shops.)

The comic book shops will be in a kind of “open house” mode, and glad to make recommendations and introductions to the current range of comic book titles and subjects — which you may find surprisingly diverse.

Many shops will be featuring guest artists or writers and having special sales in coordination with the event. Check the individual shops’ websites for details.

I’ll be checking out the free comics at my personal favorite comic book (and other book) shop, Between Books, in Claymont, DE.

For more of my descriptions of the event, see some of my previous years’ posts on Free Comic Book Day.


Mark A. Nelson

Mark A. Nelson
Mark A. Nelson is an illustrator, comics artist, concept artist and art director. He has worked for Dark Horse Comics, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Kitchen Sink Press, Wizards of the Coast, TSR and many other publishers, as well as gaming and visual development companies like Raven Software, Sega Games and Pure Imagination Studios.

Nelson has a graphic style, largely in pen and ink, that emphasizes beautifully effective line work and linear textures. In addition to his confident drawing style, the linear character of his work gives it a particular visual appeal that owes much, I think, to his background as a printmaker. The lines are controlled, emphasized and varied in weight in a way that gives the renderings a wonderful surface character.

Many of the pieces on his website appear to be for personal projects, or just the fun of sketching — and they are a treat. Nelson seems to have a endless array of imaginative creatures, drawn from a fascination with natural forms.

I particularly enjoy his ink drawings on toned paper, which are highlighted with what I take to be touches of white chalk or pastel, and perhaps gouache. Nelson also works in color, and you can sometimes find the same piece in both a monochrome and later color stage.

You can also find his work on his deviantART gallery.
There is a short video interview with the artist on YouTube.

There are several print collections of Nelson’s work available from his website store.

Nelson is married to painter and illustrator Anita C. Nelson; they share the Grazing Dinosaur Press studio and website.

[Note: some of the images on the linked sites should be considered NSFW.]


10 years of Lines and Colors

10 years of Lines and Colors
Today marks the 10th anniversary of my first post on Lines and Colors, on August 22, 2005.

My initial intention for the blog — which you can read more about here — is still basically the same: to introduce my readers to wonderful art and artists that they may not be familiar with, or to point out something of interest about more well-known artists.

The artwork I feature is in a broad variety of genres, but tied together by two common factors — I personally like it, and it’s more or less within the traditions of representational realism. Other than that, as I’ve always said in the blog’s capsule description, if it has lines and/or colors, it’s fair game.

You can see some of the range of genres in the “Categories” listing in the left hand column, and below that, in the “Archives”, you can still read all of the posts I’ve added over the past ten years. (Well, almost all — I still need to restore about 10 posts from July of 2013 that were “misplaced” when I moved the blog from one server to another — it’s constantly a work in progress.)

My most popular single post to date, at least in terms of response and comments, has been “How Not to Display Your Artwork on the Web“.

The images I’ve selected above are meant as a small sampling of what you may find in the archives.

It has always been my hope that those interested in a particular genre of art — like traditional painting, plein air, art history, comics, concept art, fantasy art or illustration — would be drawn to Lines and Colors to pursue their area of interest, and through it discover wonderful art in other genres that they may not have sought out or encountered otherwise. I see that aspect of what I’m doing as an attempt to gently counter the ever-increasing fragmentation of art interests on the web.

In the 10 years since writing my first article for Lines and Colors, the resources for art images on the internet have expanded dramatically, most notably in the form of major museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian and the Rijksmuseum, posting high-resolution images from their collections online; the appearance of remarkable resources like the Google Art Project; and new online destinations for illustration, comics and concept art.

Originally, my posts were short, and the images single and small, and I actually worried that I would run out of “favorite artists” to write about. Today, after more than 3,400 posts (not quite a post a day for ten years, but pretty close), I have an ever-growing list of potential topics to get to — that may actually be longer than the list of already written ones.

There’s more to come!



Jordi Lafebre

Jordi Lafebre, comics
Spanish comics artist and illustrator Jordi Lafebre works for both the Spanish and the Franco-Belgian comics audience, the latter being the largest in Europe.

He notably teamed with writer Zidrou for the highly regarded graphic albums Lydie (FR) and La Mondaine (FR) from French publisher Dargaud.

I particularly admire Lafebre’s succinct but visually charming rendition of the environments within which his characters play out their stories. His characters are likewise portrayed with verve, wit and engagingly emotional expressions.

Lafebre’s understated coloring allows the character of his drawing to enliven his panels. His wonderfully elegant and fluid inking style uses both brush and pen, augmented with a bit of marker.

I addition to his website, Lafebre has a blog. You may find some of the same images on both, but if you respond to his work as I did, you’ll go entirely through both and wind up wanting more.

Unfortunately, there are no English translations of his albums that I’m aware of, but the French and Spanish editions may be available; a few are listed on Amazon (if you can ignore the #@$&! Kindle Edition BS they keep shoving at you). I haven’t yet tried ordering directly from Dargaud or Lambiek. The U.S. resource I used to depend on for ordering European comics is no longer available; if I find a new one, I’ll try to add it to the post (suggestions welcome).

[Note: the linked sites contain some nudity and should be considered NSFW.]


Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips, comics art, illustration
Sean Phillips is a UK comics artist and illustrator known for his comics work and covers for titles like Fatale, Hellblazer, Criminal, Incognito, Marvel Zombies, and many others. He has worked for most of the major comics publishers in the US and UK, as well as for illustration clients like Twentieth Century Fox, Sony, Maxim and Island Records.

Phillips commands a wonderfully graphic style, with strong spotted blacks and bold use of negative space in his compositions. He can also render in a very finished style and works in a variety of mediums, including digital, and watercolor.

I particularly admire his work, and notably his covers, for Fatale, the supernatural crime series published by Image Comics, in which collaborates with writer Ed Brubaker. Phillips’ noir sensibilities are perfect for the series. He also shows his admiration for the wonderfully lurid pulp artists of the past in a number of his covers for Hellblazer and other titles.

He also sneaks in a sly sense of humor at times, zeroing in on one of my favorites in his take on Hellblazer’s John Constantine as a version of Steve Ditko-era Dr. Strange.

Phillips’ website has galleries of his work in several categories, including illustration and gallery paintings. You can find more, along with work in progress and detail crops, on his blog.

In addition, you can find his original art for sale on Splash Page. UK readers can order his titles directly from his store. Those of us in the US can just do a general Amazon search for his work, including the collection, The Art of Sean Phillips. (Or better yet, ask for his titles at your local comic book shop.) You can also find his blow up collection on Lulu.


Jakob Rebelka

Jakob Rebelka
Jakob Rebelka is a Polish comics artist, illustrator and concept artist for the gaming industry.

His interestingly different style combines areas of complex, intertwined forms with more open spaces and applications of texture. Often he will create the sensation of forms within forms by defining surface areas with lightly applied shadows and highlights, in a sort of bas-relief against the surrounding form.

His comics work includes the new graphic novel Le Cité Des Chiens (“City of Dogs”, link is to with writer Yohan Radomski.

In addition to his Tumblr blog, you can find his work on ArtStation. Many of Rebelka’s images are available as prints through inPrint and society6.

[Via Concept Art World]