Gus and His Gang by Christophe Blain
Vampire Loves by Joann Sfar
This is a quick examination of some color, drawing and design techniques used in two great bandes dessinées. I've kept Vampire Loves close to my drawing table for some time now, trying to glean some ideas and inspiration from Sfar's art. More recently I picked up Gus and His Gang and that's also been both enjoyable to read and to look over, saying "How did Blain do that …?" Both artists have versatile, energetic, and very "cartoony" art styles, in the best sense of using all the tools of caricature, exaggeration, and symbolism that are available to cartoonists. They are Big Guns and worth close study. Some other artists in this vein that I enjoy, but didn't have time to fold into this post, are Kerascoet and Emile Bravo, both of whom have some work available in English (and probably a much vaster amount in French.) I hope you'll look them up!
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District
Pantheon Books, 2000
The Jew of New York
Pantheon Books, 1998
The central joke in "The Beauty Supply District" is neatly summed up by this gem from Carol Lay‘s old Frequently Asked Questions page:
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: I buy them in enormous rolls from Hammacher Schlemmer.
The Beauty Supply District—another picturesque corner of Ben Katchor's New York-like city—is a little warren of shops where art and design ideas are sold over the counter. Towering geniuses of the art world make furtive visits to punch up their paintings, atonal compositions, and what have you. Commercial manufacturers stride in with less trepidation, aiming to put a new gloss on their line of olive products.
Hello ComixTalk readers—Brian Moore here. Thanks for the invitation to guest blog, Xaviar (and thanks for the kind words re Smithson, Alexander.) Let me add one link to the bio info posted earlier: my sketchblog, which is the site I most frequently update these days.