Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Frank Quitely Drawings and Sketches: The smaller, the better

Most hardback books that focus on the art of a particular comic artist come in an oversized format, showing off all the fine detail that goes into a piece of classic comic art.

Frank Quitely Drawings and Sketches - published by BHP Comics last year - is not a big book, but it's not a slight book either. Barely larger than the average paperback and just 100 pages long, it's still packed with gorgeous art from Quitely, showcasing his most appealing pencils and sketches and finished pages from just a couple of the projects he has worked on in the past decade or so, with notes from the artist and script excerpts.

Quitely is objectively brilliant comic artist, design work, instantly recognisable and always a delight to read. There is such an incredible inventiveness and humour in his layouts and figurework, with caricatures that somehow look more realistic than real life.

And the size of the thing really helps sell his work as well, because Quietly's art looks even neater when it is shrunk down. His line can look wavering up close, but locks in when reproduced at a smaller size, creating the ultimate detail work.

There is some risk of eye strain looking at this stuff - one reproduced double page spread from Multiversity with 32 panels goes right to the limit of readability - but in this neat little format, Quitely's work still stands out, and is worth a little strain on the optic nerve.

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