Sunday, June 22, 2008

Waiting for the train to arrive..

Rien Poortvliet

Rien Poortvliet (1932-1995) is remembered by many people for his 'Gnome' books. The amazing talent of Poorvliet is however better illustrated in his animal books. I have never seen an illustrator better capture the personality and beauty of animals! In his field Poortvliet certainly was one of the greatest living illustrators.
Poortvliet often spoke of his religious life in his books, but most apparent in his book "Hij was een van ons" ('He Was One of Us: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth'). Here the life of Christ is portrayed by Poortvliet in a humble fashion. The book is quite touching!

More phenomenal comic artists...!

In Holland some people yell 'toppi!' when they are excited about something. Sergio Toppi (b. 1932) is certainly 'toppi!', but not well-known under a certain age. He's VERY much old-school.
But as the saying goes, a thing of beauty is a joy forever, and that certainly holds true for this mans dazzling comic art:

Buy his books and be inspired.

A friend of Toppi, and even a greater layout artist and drafsman is Dino Battaglia (1923-1983). Battaglia is a master of graphic narration! Almost every frame in his comic work is worthy of study...: they are little miracles of graphic composition, texture, lighting and coloring. Here are four pages of Battaglia's "Till Eulenspiegel" (1975):

More Jose Ortiz please!

In the blogosphere there is only little information published on some comic art masters or illustration giants.
One of them is Jose Ortiz Moya. Born in 1932, Ortiz is a virtuoso draftsman and he is incredibly skilled in the pen & ink medium. Ortiz's style is easily recognizable: daring strokes of ink and a heavy use of black segments.
In his best work, Ortiz has only a handful of equals.

The Comiclopedia of gives the following biography:

"When he was very young, José Ortiz Moya won a tournament organized by the Spanish magazine Chicos. This launched him into the comic scene, and he started producing numerous pocket-sized comics, like 'Capitan Don Nadie', 'Dan Barry el Terremoto' and 'El Duque Negro'. From 1959 on, he created 'Sigur el Vikingo' and 'Johnny Fogata', and in 1962, for the English newspaper Daily Express, he made 'Carolynn Baker'.
In the seventies, he ventured onto the American market with several horror stories, published by Warren. At this time, his collaboration with writer Antonio Segura started. Together, they created titles such as 'Jack el Destripador', 'Morgan', 'El Hombre' and 'Burton y Cyb', all throughout the eighties. Ortiz was present in Spanish magazines like 1984, Creepy, Metropol, K. O. Comics, Zona 84, Totem and Cimoc all through the 1980s until the mid-1990s. He also cooperated with the Italian publisher Bonelli, illustrating series like 'Ken Parker' and 'Magico Vento'."

The quality of Ortiz' work varies greatly through time and in between stories, and I suspect this has something to do with working under tight deadlines.
In the English Wikipedia one can read that "Ortiz would remain with Warren until 1983 and drew more stories for that company (approximately 120) than any other artist."
A certain haste in drawing is certainly evident in Ortiz' work from that period.
A few years earlier, in 1975, Ortiz published together with Selecciones Illustrada the wonderful story "Le petit sauvage". This story is masterfully illustrated!
Could it be that perhaps Ortiz worked on this story for his amusement? The art is certainly more polished than in his other stories. Luckily the album can be bought at almost every comic convention (search between the secondhand cheap albums).
Here are some Ortiz pictures...and although hastily drawn, they are little jewels!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I've never seen this picture of myself before..I love it!

+ I'm working hard on a new large-size painting! I'll post it soon.

Saturday, June 07, 2008