By Leroy Douresseaux
October 24, 2007 - 12:40
|A blazing Jonah Hex image by Paul Gulacy graces this issue's cover.|
ROUGH STUFF 02
The masthead declares, “Celebrating the ART of Creating Comics!” Rough Stuff #2, the Bob McLeod-edited magazine from TwoMorrows Publishing, does just that, returning with another round of beautiful sketches and preliminary art from a group of respected comic book artists.
This issue’s cover feature/Rough Stuff Interview is Paul Gulacy, an outstanding veteran artist who has been working for over three decades. Michael Kronenberg conducts an interview with Gulacy, which is illustrated with several examples of Gulacy’s art – the highlight of which are four pages from Gulacy’s recent run as penciller/inker on DC Comics’ new Jonah Hex series. There are also a few examples of Gulacy’s lush layered pencils for comic book covers including Catwoman and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, as well as some pencil pages for the book, Punisher: Valentine Special, among other pieces.
This issue’s “Featured Artists” offers a selection of illustrators whose work is both excellent storytelling and simply beautiful art. Brian Apthorp offers three pages from Dreaming Special: Trial and Error and two pages each from Shadow of the Bat: Year One: Poison Ivy Annual #3 and The Kingdom: Son of the Bat #1 (all DC Comics publications), among other examples. Apthorp’s work on these DC books is stylishly graceful and visually potent.
We see work from Frank Brunner (Doctor Strange and Howard the Duck), including several sketches and preliminary drawings. Bob presents 11 pages of Jerry Ordway (Action Comics, Power of Shazam), including pencil layouts for All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc. Add that to a couple of tightly penciled pages from Adventures of Superman, and the reader will learn to appreciate this under-appreciated artist. Then, there are 11 pages of Alex Toth, including three pages of Toth’s model sheets for the 1960 animated Fantastic Four TV series. Bob also discovers Matt Wagner and offers several pages of Wagner pencil prelims.
In addition to the lovely art, the respective artists speak in detail about each piece – offering descriptions of both context and technique. These somewhat long text pieces jockey for position with the art, but the words are just as important as the pictures in illuminating the ideas and stories behind the art. That makes Rough Stuff #2 a stand out issue in a magazine that is already a stand out.