Sunday, November 25, 2007

In Praise Of: 52 The Covers by JG Jones

Disclaimer: It was my pleasure to work with JG on more than a couple projects, and to get the chance to watch his artwork develop by leaps and bounds from its first days on Dark Dominion at Defiant to Shi: The Series to his current amazing work. I stumbled across this hardback two days ago, while starting in on the hell that is holiday shopping. Imagine my happiness then, to see his work collected and put out in such a wonderful package. Yowza!

In the current landscape of simply horrendous comic artists who couldn't draw their way out an old issue of Ambush Bug, it should be a joy to go through and see the weight and heft that JG's people have: when Black Adam stands up, gravity pulls at his heels. When Batwoman spins around, there are real hips moving under those tights.

It also should be an interesting lesson for many young artists to read the sidebars and realize how diverse the influences are that inform the art for these covers: 14th century painters, old movie posters, dog-eared paperback book covers, old soviet propaganda posters. The lessons here: go the Met once a month, keep your eyes open and always bring your sketchbook with you. Perhaps I'll add: spend a little time studying Tiepolo's use of cloth.

It is also interesting to me to note that this series of covers simply couldn't have been done as fast to make the deadlines had Photoshop not been invented. Certainly JG could have painted in color, but it would have taken longer and been harder. The computer has certainly taken over, hasn't it?

For a hardback, 52 The covers is a great deal at $20 whole dollars. Do yourself a favor and get it. And spend some quality time poring over it.

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