Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Comic Book Art 4

Watching him work is both incredibly
mesmerizing… but also a bit infuriating at the same time. He’s such an incredible
artist, but all of his female characters have the exact same face. Stjepan Sejic,
Stjepan… Sejic, okay I think I got it. If you’ve never seen an episode of
‘Illustrator reacts to good and bad comic art’ I’ll leave a link to the playlist in
the description, but basically my name is Christian Pierson, I’ve been a
professional illustrator and animator for about seven years now, and basically,
in this series, I look at some art work from some top-tier industry
professionals and I talk about their process and break down what’s going
right in some of their best art and occasionally what’s going not so right
in some of their less-than-stellar work. Though, admittedly, even when I look at
some of the less than stellar stuff I’m usually defending the artists and what
they’ve done in the piece because these are all artists that are doing thousands
of drawings a year and you can’t do that without doing the occasional dud cover
or panel… unless maybe you’re this first artist who seems to do absolutely
nothing wrong ever somehow. When I look at anything Kim Jung Gi has done, the
first thing to come to my mind is just the term ‘chaotic masterpiece.’ It’s like
every single section you zoom into there’s some new event happening that
you didn’t see earlier. I love how he separated the background buildings by
doing them in a lighter washed ink and then in the foreground slash I guess
middle distance we’ve got these two characters in the middle about to clash
and you can really feel that the two sides of this battle are just about to
collide. And this piece specifically admittedly wasn’t actually comic book
work he did, it was a collaboration he did with Blizzard for World of Warcraft
but he has done lots of work for Marvel and DC and pretty much any company that
has anything to do with art wants Kim Jung Gi doing stuff for them because
he’s just such a mind-blowing artist. And a large part of that is his process
because he doesn’t do any rough drawings or construction lines. Most artists when
they’re working and starting out with a piece
they’ll start with some rougher shapes to kind of block out the pose of the
character and the composition of the image so they can decide okay I like the
layout of this image and then they’ll start building the details on top maybe
erase things out a little bit but Kim Jung Gi just starts right into inking. He
just puts pen to paper and starts and he’s using inks right off the bat so he
can’t erase anything and while he’ll sometimes say ‘oh I made a mistake here
or here’ almost nothing in his work ever actually looks like a mistake. And he’s
making these images that are so epic and huge and have so many characters and he
doesn’t have to do any layout work to start he just jumps into it. As an
illustrator myself watching him work is both incredibly mesmerizing but also a
bit infuriating at the same time because a lot of the time the appeal of watching
other artists work is you can see their process you can kind of see what they’re
thinking and learn from it, but with Kim Jung Gi, I can’t really learn that much
from watching him work because I have no idea what he’s thinking. It’s like he’s
some kind of crazy art printing machine. If there is an art god it’s probably Kim
Jun Gi. It’s so exaggerated and aggressive looking. Everything in Joe Madureira’s work
will be pushed to its limits. If you’ve got a character like Venom or the Hulk
who’s supposed to be big he’ll, make them huge. If you’ve got a character that’s
supposed to be buff and bulky he’ll make them as shredded and muscular as he can.
His style of anatomy is just it’s so cool-looking. Subjective, I know, I’m sorry,
but another thing that I really love about his work is how he’ll frame things
in his images. Even in this piece, Black Panther is framed inside Venom’s body.
Also mad props to the colourist on this piece Christian Lichtner for managing to
make a character that is predominantly all black stand
out against another character that is pretty generally drawn all black
themselves. He made him a bit more blue and used that sort of red lighting
around Black Panther to help him pop out. looking at Joe Madureira’s work on
Avenging Spider-man; he’ll use a monster’s mouth to frame characters or a
shockwave or even the ring of dying seagulls. And then also, a lot of his work
will have kind of a section of chaos, chaos, chaos… and then the main focus of
the image will be framed by a section of just textured background or kind of just
nothing. He’s really good at getting you to focus on the things that he wants you
to focus on which is an easy thing to overlook in his work because a lot of
the time when I’m even looking at his work I’m just going, “Oh, the way you do
anatomy is so cool!’ and Joe Madureira doesn’t actually do that much comic-book
work anymore, if at all, he’s actually moved on to working predominantly in
video games. He did a bunch of work on designs for the video game Darksiders
and a lot of his work on that’s really cool looking. And, more recently, he
actually co-created a video game called Battle Chasers based off an old, original
comic of his from I think the 90s. And I I mean, I would love if he came back to
working in comics, but a lot of the stuff he’s doing in video games is really
awesome looking, I recommend checking it out. Stjepan Sejic, Stjepan Sejic ( Pronounced: Styapun Shayitch) okay I think I got it. I never had to say his name out loud
before and just from looking at the spelling I never would have figured out.
His style is so unique it almost looks like he’s a concept artist more so than
a comic book artist. The things about his work that I personally think stand out
the most are how he uses texture, the way he does expressions and how he draws his
female characters. That’s something I really like about his work. A lot of
comic book artists will lean more into the sexuality of the female characters
instead of making them look like superheroes who are ready for a fight
and step … sorry Stjepan Sejic absolutely dress
female characters as if they mean business. They’re ready for a scrap. But
what was really cool about his work is, I actually like looking at a lot of his
rough work more so than his finished stuff. A lot of his tests are where he’s
just warming up that he’s posted online it’s just all so cool looking. He
has such a unique way of doing his rough drawings that I think is just really
nice. The thing that caught me most about this one is this creature in the
background the detailing and the sort of moist texture on its teeth and
lips and that in contrast to the texture of Aquaman scales and Aquaman’s facial
hair. I think this image really does a good job showing off how Stjepan Sejic
does textures. I have so much respect for this Spider-man art.
Todd McFarlane has influenced the way that Spiderman looks and moves more than
anyone, besides obviously Stan Lee and Steve Ditko who created him in the 60s.
But when Todd McFarlane took on Spider-man in 1988 he totally changed
the dynamism of Spider-man’s poses. Before that, this is kind of how
Spider-man was drawn. He still moved in a pretty dynamic, interesting way because
web-swinging is different from how any other comic character moves, but Todd
McFarlane took the idea that Spider-man’s bones are supposed to be
more elastic he and he’s supposed to be very flexible and he just pushed it to
its limits. He made Spider-man bend and twist in
impossible ways but it works so well for a character like Spider-man because he’s
supposed to be able to move in impossible ways. And he also did other
things like he changed how Spider-man’s webbing looked, both in terms of the
webbing on the suit and the webbing that Spiderman shoot. The webbing that he
shoots became very crazy and spaghetti gangly and I that’s one of the parts of
his art that I love the most. And then in terms of the webbing on the suit he made
it much more detailed and… just a lot more webbing. My personal taste… I don’t
love how MacFarlane draws Spider-man just because I personally like slightly
cartoony art and when more detailing is done in the colouring stage than in the
inking and McFarlane’s Spider-man work is very Ink heavy, but again that’s
purely personal taste, not a comment on the quality because I am so happy with
what McFarlane did for Spider-man in the 80s. And for anyone that doesn’t know
Todd McFarlane’s work, he’s done a lot of other big stuff in comics. He co-created
venom and he created Spawn who’s arguably the most famous Image Comics
character. He doesn’t do that much comic book art anymore. Now-a-days, he’s actually
in the process right now of directing a Spawn movie. There was one in the 90s that
personally I haven’t seen I’ve heard mixed things about it, but it’s cool that the
actual creator of the character is going to be directing the movie. Although I
don’t think he’s ever directed a movie before so who knows how that could go.
Also Todd McFarlane Canadian-born. Alright, the next artist we’re gonna talk
about… it’s gonna be a little bit weirder because this is an artist that I
personally really, really love, but I’m going to talk specifically about a
problem with their work. And it’s something that a lot of artists, even
big-name professionals, can struggle with and that’s a thing called ‘Same Face.’ J Scott Campbell has so much incredible
artwork. I personally love so many of his covers and there are so many things to
praise about his work. But one thing that’s very easy to spot when looking at
any of his covers with multiple female characters is that they all have the
exact same face. And this Mighty Avengers cover is a good example because besides
the hair and the color of the skin all of the characters have the same face
just looking in a different direction. They all have the sort of ski slope nose,
same head shape, same sort of lips and mouth, same sort of teeth even their eyes
all are a bit bigger and have that kind of black eyeliner on them. And he’s
actually managed to make it sort of his brand a lot of people love how he draws
his female characters. I mean, it is very visually appealing. it’s almost like he’s
drawing his own original character in the cosplay of other famous comic book
characters and people love it and they want to see it, but he also doesn’t do
very much interior comic-book work anymore.
Most of the stuff he does is things like variant covers and posters. A lot of
aspiring comic book artists and illustrators will try replicating the
work of artists that they really love and a lot of people including myself
love J Scott Campbell’s work, but aspiring artists shouldn’t take the
lesson away from his work that it’s okay to draw all of your characters with the
same face and same body shape because, especially if you’re looking to do
interiors, that is going to be very confusing from a storytelling standpoint.
Especially when you cut to a close-up of a character it’ll likely be very
difficult for your audience to tell who’s who if all your characters have
the same face. But I can’t talk about J Scott Campbell and not go over one of my
favourite covers of his, which was pretty recent. It was a variant cover he did for
the 300th issue of Spawn. This is another one where I love the use of framing in
it because, not only is the stonework and the stained glass window framing Spawn
and bringing us down to him, but even his cape; that crazy red swirling cape that
Spawn always has, is being used and sort of doing that toilet bowl effect that I
mentioned and twirling us in down towards the main focus the main
character it’s just so cool-looking. So, again, I want to make sure to
emphasize I think J Scott Campbell is an incredible artist,
but just because drawing the same face and same body shape over and over and
over again has worked out for him does not mean it’s gonna work out for you. Now
I realize there’s not really much quote unquote “bad comic art” in this episode so
to make sure I’m not lying him title and people get their fix, here’s a really
weird drawing of Ms. Marvel that J Scott Campbell did a while back for an
Avengers vs. X-men cover that I’ve always found it a bit odd looking and out of
character for him. Ms Marvel’s got kind of a weirdly long neck and her chin
and jaw are doing something a little bit weird and her body is a little bit more
twisted then he’ll usually do. But what can you say, even the best will do some weird
images now and then. Let’s go back to talking about some really great stuff. This art is just so soothing and calming
to look at. The way he does landscapes and environments is just gorgeous.
It’s very easy for a lot of comic artists to get hung up specifically on
how they draw characters and not work that much on environment so when I see
an artist that’s just this fantastic at rendering out landscapes it’s just so
impressive to see. Now I’m not super familiar with Takehiko Inoue’s work.
I haven’t read Vagabond before but I’ve been recommended it by so many people
and I get it now. It’s so detailed and it’s got this realism to it that is just
so much more impressive when you think about the fact that he’s using just inks
and I watched this interview where he was talking about how he really likes
using a brush pen because he likes how unpredictable it can be which is just
crazy to think about because looking at all of this it all looks so deliberate.
This image specifically I love because
it’s so detailed and there’s crashing water against these rocks that all have
lots of texture to them going up to a character that’s pretty detailed himself
but surrounded by just blank white. And he feels so serene in in an image that
has so much detail and busyness below it but that character just sitting on his
own with all the calm space around him… I, to be honest before I started recording
I just sat here staring at this one. It almost feels like meditating looking at
a lot of his work and from what I’ve looked at there’s a lot of really
fantastic looking battle sequences in this series but I was just so drawn to
these calm beautiful landscape and environment shots. I remember the first
time I saw Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth’s art. It was in the story
‘The Wake’ which was written by Scott Snyder (not Zack Snyder) and is fantastic both for the
writing and the art and I just fell in love with it so much. It was the first
super stylized art that I really fell in love with in comics. And these two paired
together… their skills and style complement each other so perfectly.
They’re one of the best pairings I’ve seen in the comic book industry. Sean
Murphy’s art is very streaky and has textured inks and his characters are
very angular and Matt Hollingsworth’s colors are have this watercolor
texture to them and they’re… a lot of the time they’re very desaturated and using a limited color range. But then other times he’ll just go full blown vibrant and
somehow it just always works with Murphy’s art. They’re just so in sync
artistically. They’re currently working on a sequel to Batman White Knight and they
worked on a series that Mark Miller wrote called Chrononauts, which I hadn’t
actually heard of before this, but I’m gonna have to go read it now. But, anyway,
something I’ve noticed specifically about Sean Murphy’s art, that I just noticed
while I was looking at stuff for this video, is he really likes these big
pillars of black in his image and he likes his work to be
very vertical. Like your eye is going down through the image and I
specifically love that in this art of Gordon which you can see the colors…
there’s just this really vibrant dark red to it and I love that
Hollingsworth’s done this this colored streak of smoke cutting through the
black so it’s not too plain there’s some extra texture to it. And then you’ll see,
I assume this was Sean Murphy, around the bat-signal
there’s a texture in this ink that’s supposed to be like I guess a bit of a
cloud or something, that looks like he just pressed his thumb or fingerprint
into it. And that’s just such a cool weird thing
to see an art like this. These two really are just a stylistic dynamic duo. If you
want a place to jump in on their work I highly recommend ‘The Wake.’ I’ve loved a
lot of their stuff, but that one, the story, the art… fantastic! All right
everybody that’s all for this episode, I’m really sorry I haven’t talked about
Junji Ito or Frank Miller yet, both of those artists are very fascinating
individuals and I want to do more research on them before I actually talk
about them, but anyway, if you’ve got more artists you’d like to recommend please
leave them in the comments. If you haven’t seen the other episodes go back
and check those out. These are so much fun for me to make I put one I would
every two weeks and be sure to check out a whole bunch of my other art,
illustration, tutorial, animation videos, all that kind of fun stuff. And besides
that thank you all so much for watching I’m Christian Pearson this is PopCross
Studios; home of the nerdiest art videos on YouTube and I will see you all on the
next one. Videos on Saturdays and Monday’s by the way, okay everybody good

100 thoughts on “Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Comic Book Art 4

  1. Whole playlist is right here if you wanna watch (or re-watch 😝) all the past episodes the link is right here!!!

  2. hey man. you should react to some junji ito art if you haven't already. i'd love to see your thoughts on his art and his stories 🙂 if you've never read any stories you should read uzumaki. which is being made into an animated adaption next year.

  3. Nice to see you do Takahiko in this one. He’s definitely a master. Can’t wait to see you analyze Miller and junji ito. I’d love to see you do David finch, david mazzucchelli, and Makoto Yukimura in future episodes. You already did kentaro miura, but there can never be enough berserk lol.

  4. I would check out Kelley Jones's art in the Kings of Fear miniseries. It's very interesting, his particular brand of anatomy, and the colors are so mesmerizing.

  5. I’m also the type of artist that jumps in without making a sketch or something. I have thought of making sketches before doing the final version but I’m lazy lol I guess for a drawing to come out good I have to have full focus on it along with a reference

  6. I admittedly haven’t read that many comics, but Scott Snyder is my favourite writer at the moment, particularly when he’s working with Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia.

    I still remember seeing the trailer for Last Knight on Earth earlier this year and being initially dubious, but then completely sold as soon as saw Snyder and Capullo’s names.

  7. Hayashida Q, manga artist of Dorohedoro
    Keisuke Itagaki, manga artist of Baki the Grappler
    you've pretty much covered all the comic artists I know of. maybe Frank Cho?

  8. Met Sean Murphy at a local comic con this year. Really awesome guy and a great artist. You should check out Ramon Perez's work too.

  9. You should take a look at the phenomenal art of Feng Shen Ji by artist Tang Chi Fai.

    Also might be worth checking out Yasuhisa Hara. He has some great artwork in his manga Kingdom. He's friends with Takehiko Inoue and his art has improved significantly over time because of Inoue's advice.

  10. Check out a comic called "Los Inmortales" from a spanish magazine called

  11. Have you seen The Hawkeye project ? It’s a blog about parodying overly sexy superwomen in comics and their impossible poses and sexy costumes by drawing them replaced by Hawkeye , it’s hilarious !

  12. Another great video! While I really like Sean Murphy's art, it's kind of weird how similar it is to Otto Schmidt's style. You don't have to do a video on it, but you should check it out to see what I mean (especially the way they draw faces)

    I'd love to see you do a video on Esad Ribic's, and Dave Gibbons' art

  13. 5:25 Nice! Darksiders 2 is a great game, not only in how fun it is, but in how pretty it is. It's my understanding that a lot of the art team for that game were former comic artists, and it shows.

    Stjepan is an icon at this point. There are plenty of artists out there who will draw in a pseudo-realism style, but Sejic sits on that line in a way that nobody else does. His art feels real, but is also so expressive to the point that it surpasses reality. Personally, I'm grateful to for his work on Aquaman. His art truely elevated that particular arc to – as far as I'm concerned – classic status.

    15:28 Ayy, The Wake! Great series. I truly believe Scott Snyder is the best write in the industry today. He's done a couple great projects with Sean Murphy, and they really work well together.

  14. re: J Scott Campbell "same face"
    The funny thing is that JSC is incredible at doing likeness' (likenessesesess?) For his last creator own project Wildsiderz his entire cast looked like celebrities so there was no "same face" syndrome. And it's usually just his females who suffer from it, he does a pretty good job differentiating his male characters from one another, and given that he's only doing covers and not being rushed with panel to panel work his women shouldn't suffer from it either, he could just think of an actress to "cast" as a character and that's it.

  15. I'm glad to see Takehiko Inoue's art getting some love. He's easily my favourite artist. You should check out his volume covers as well, they're by far the best volume covers of any manga artist

  16. Interesting; you found an issue with J. Scott's work I hadn't noticed. But my issue with J. Scott is the opposite of what you praised Stjepan Sejic for: how he draws women. I know female characters are, by and large, overly sexualized in the medium, but to me, J. Scott is the worst offender, and the older I get, the less I enjoy his work (even though that Spawn cover was legit and I can say, objectively, that he's an insanely talented artist). The irony here is, Stjepan is fully capable of sexy work (Sunstone, and his upcoming Fine Print) without resorting to a lot of the tricks J. Scott and others in the business use.

  17. Would love to see you comment on Esad Ribic's Thor work – the facial expressions and his ability to tell a story through imagery only is masterful. Also, if you're a fan of framing, check out Greg Capullo's work in Reborn. In issue #1 there's a scene where the main character is dying and he shows her framed against a shattering chandelier made up of the memories of her life. It's on another level all together.

  18. I'd love to hear your comments on Gary Frank and his take on Superman. Something about the way he portrays Supes always makes it my favorite.

  19. Artgerm, David Mazzucchelli, Sonny Liew, Lee Weeks, Jorge Fornes, Mikel Janin, Amanda Conner. Awesome series – I definitely look forward to these!

  20. Riley Rossmo has some good art, i like the art style he draws. my favorite ones where in the batman: night of the monster men and the batman who laughs. also i love Mikel Janin artwork in justice league dark and the way he drew the batman who laughs is my favorite look of the character.

  21. Honestly I’m okay with you talking about good art and explaining why it’s cool. Speaking of which, it’d be cool if you talked about Joëlle Jones and/or Mitch Gerads in the next episode… not saying you have to, but it sure be cool if you did

  22. My favorite comic artists right now are (that I don't think you've featured yet)
    Dale Eaglesham
    Doc Shaner
    Liam Sharp
    Gary Frank
    Ivan Reis
    Jason Fabok
    Mitch Gerads

  23. I know I said this in the last video, but you really need to see the cover artworks for the Heavy Metal Magazine comics. The April 1981 issue is by far my favourite. It was designed by Esteban Maroto.

  24. I love these "illustrator reacts to good and bad comic book art" as they are educational and thrilling to see the various featured artist's work. I love your special effects you incorporate into the show casing of the other artists you review.

  25. I'm so glad you addressed the same face syndrome. I feel so many artists ignore it as not a big deal, but don't understand that it can sometimes be frustrating to the viewer, especially when they can't distinguish between characters. I understand that it's hard and as an artist, I struggle with it too, but with enough time and effort, it can be avoided as well.

  26. I really would love you to check out the mangaka Oh! great (yes thats how you type it). His work on air gear is extremely inspiratioal to me as an artist, it's also especially interesting to see his development over the course of the manga's run, he was already extremely talented but his style becomes more and more refined as the vollumes go. If you love artist who can dirct and control extremely chaotic and detailed imagery then he's one you'd wanna look at. Love these videos man keep up the great work!

  27. the Joe Madureira's art looks like what rob liefeild wishes his art would look. super muscular, crazy proportions, but Joe Madureira's art actually looks good.

  28. I think either Dan Mora or Guisseppe Camuncoli have my favorite style for Spider-man. Likely because of the nice, sharp lenses and perfect blend between muscular and lanky.

  29. Michael Turner’s style was really cool too. Sadly he passed away a while back. Any thoughts on his art, for future videos?

  30. You don't have to go back to the other cover to show the same-face issue. Look at the stained glass window in the top right and there's that same lady's face. Haha.

    He is a phenomenal artist, though. No shade whatsoever.

  31. Talking about same looking faces, what about "Steve Dillon"?
    I really don't like his art except for "Preacher" – there it somehow works.

  32. I hate Sejic's art. its pretty at first glance. thats it. he really shouldn't be do full books. Reading his run on aquaman was terrible. it was too much. if he maybe contrasted the heroes with the backgrounds more, it'd be better. his men have really wide hips and don't have v tapers. his women all have the same face and are too disney looking. also he's not fast enough for even a monthly comic. I think he eventually figured it out during JL odyssey (maybe a different book). like the first issue will be be super detailed and complete but then the rest of the arc will be that incomplete style. his rough stuff looks, well, rough. I can't seeing it. Like I said, he started to figure out how to combine his complete stuff with his rough stuff to make a better product but I still have ptsd so I'd have to really be interested in the story to not turn it away right away when i see his name attached to it.

  33. Thanks for covering my fave comic book artists and introducing me to a couple I was unaware of, can’t wait for the next video!!

  34. You should really continue these videos man! I’m Campbell using the same face I’ve noticed another artist who does something similar which is Jim Lee I’ve noticed he uses the same body structure for every male character he draws

  35. When you were talking about the Scott Campbell's same face syndrome all i could think of was Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon artstyle. He's in the game industry. Dude is a beast, but every girl he draws looks the same! Still, it doesn't make his work any less impressive! Altough i'm relatively still at my baby steps in the art journey, that's something i'll try to keep in mind.

    Great video, keep them coming!

  36. I love your channel so much! It really helps me become a better artist with your tips. Also could you look at Simon Bisley’s art, he is known for 2000 AD artwork! 👍🏻👍🏻

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