Would you look at that, it’s time for another installment of our feature “So You Want To Read Comics”, where we try to introduce new readers to comics by highlighting books that focus on other interests, fandoms, and hobbies.
This week we’re focusing on comics that are “art forward”. One of the key aspects of comics is the artwork, but perplexingly, it often takes the backburner to the writing, or seen as more of a tool to tell a story rather than having qualities on its own. But for many people, looking at a nice piece of art is itself a pleasure and comics have come a long way away from the more simplistic stylings of their early days. With the advent of digital methods of creating art and a demand for more complex artwork, the world of comics have become a limitless supply of gorgeous art.
Here are a couple of comics that put the artwork in the forefront and are a true joy for the eyes.
Publisher: Image Comics/Ballantine Books
Flight is an anthology series that ran from 2004 to 2011 and contains eight volumes. The goal of this series was to highlight emerging and innovative comic creators. This often led to stories that pushed the envelope of what comics and sequential art could be and an experimental feel that isn’t typically reached in mainstream comics. The stories contained in these volumes often featured stunning artwork and storytelling techniques that put the visuals in the forefront and were enjoyable just to look at. Also, being that it was an anthology, the stories were typically standalone which made each volume feel like an art gallery featuring the hottest artist of the day, in your hands. Basically, if you want to be able to sit down and flip through 200+ examples of how good comic book art can be, you can’t go wrong with a volume of Flight.
Writer: Richard McGuire
Artist: Richard McGuire
As comics and comic artwork have become more mainstream and respected, there have been no shortage of museum exhibits featuring it. But, it’s not as common to see comic art that itself feels like an installation in itself. That’s where Here comes in. In a nutshell, Here is the story on a single corner of a house and what can be seen from that corner. What elevates this graphic novel beyond just a quirky little idea is the paradoxically large scope of it. Not satisfied with just a single scene or a constrained period of time, Here spans thousands of years, all from that one corner. It’s this scope that makes this comic such an art forward book as the various time periods are represented by different color schemes that layer upon themselves to form connections and paths between the seemingly disconnected story beats.