Sunday, July 27, 2008

JH Williams, Bryan Hitch and a Bizarre Business Plan

You know you're looking at something special when you are inches from a piece of artwork and you still have to ask, "How did you do THAT?" Years of training, and I'm holding page after page of JH Williams artwork for his forthcoming Batgirl stint, and I can't quite wrap my brain around how he's getting his beautiful grey tones.

I also can't wrap my brain around these two facts: one - that the artwork is so good that it is making his Promethea and Desolation Jones work look like a warm up to these issues, and two - that DC isn't announcing this work at the biggest comic show in the country. I mean, this work if absolutely flooring me, and no one knows about it.

A musician once said, "There are two kinds of guitarists: some, that when you hear them, make you want to drop everything and go home and play, and some that make you never want to pick up your axe again." I've got original Promethea pages, and they're gorgeous, but they make me want to draw. The Batgirl artwork just makes me want to go home and be a fan boy and wait for the issues to come out.

Perhaps, once again, this is a microcosm for everything that ails the comics industry. One of the great, not good, great current artists on their roster, and DC fails to take advantage of promoting stellar work to 140,000 unique visitors. Why? Perhaps because it doesn't come out for a few months. and yet Warner Bros. has no problem plastering the entire convention with Watchmen posters and bags, and that doesn't hit til March of 2009. With everything to gain, and nothing to lose, DC again makes the worst possible choice with regards to getting readers excited about what is, lets face it, a "B" level book.

Marketing people, please log in to post your resumes online. Clearly, unlike other jobs, success elsewhere isn't necessary.

Also had the chance to meet Bryan Hitch, whose work on The Ultimates was a revelation. Bryan was hard at work doing sketches, as well as being represented by his art dealer, Rich DeDominicis. I enjoyed seeing some some of the FF originals, which are huge, massive pieces of art, and thinking that Bryan's work is meant to be seen that way, that a 50% reduction may not be the best physical approach for reasons of reproduction, but man, do those originals look good. Also walked away with a sketchbook copy, and I may just do an inked version of a Hitch piece just for the hell of it. You can see a few scans from the sketchbook with this post.

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