:X No art to post here, I just want to take a minute to geek about what I've been following over the break, since I don't really talk much about what my influences are.
One of the perks of working in a bookstore and being a comic geek is the management is generally happy to let me take tender loving care of the graphic novel section, meaning I get to see/read all the cool new stuff, and always discover things I probably would have otherwise overlooked. So even though I spent the majority of my "vacation" working, I was still able to pick up and read a lot of things.
-I think back in October or November, Shawn had let me borrow the sweet new collected edition of Local, which totally blew me away. I've always been somewhat hesitant about using the brush, because I didn't think I could get away with pulling off what I wanted to with it, but Ryan Kelly's amazing line quality really opened my eyes, and really allowed me to relax and go crazy with my pages a bit. So yeah, after reading Local and flipping through New York Four and Northlanders, I'm just in love with his style. Have you SEEN the Northlanders covers? I think I was also feeling conflicted that using a brush to ink would mean sacrificing the line quality I wanted in illustrations, but good lord, look at what he does with color! I really think I just need to learn how to distinguish what tool to use when.
-Truthfully, I mostly used the break to try to take a break from American comics (which I pretty much exclusively read all Fall Quarter) to re-energize my manga mojo. I completely indulged myself at onemanga.com, and read about 20 different series all the way through. I still check obsessively for updates to Bakuman, Reborn, Special A, and Kaichou Wa Maid-sama, and Papillion (mostly all girly "shoujo" love stories) but also re-read to read a lot of the old school titles that got me into the genre in the first place--Red River, Fushigi Yuugi, HanaKimi, etc.
The diversity of subjects and styles in manga just amazes me.
-Okay, I'd read an issue or two of Sky Doll before and was like "eeeeh, okay, this is pretty... and kinda weird... and like... a little too 'trying to be anime/manga because the character has giant sparkly eyes and a pointy nose'" so I didn't pursue it much further. But just recently I stumbled across Barbara Canepa's blog and was completely blown away by her illustrations, and the work she's posted for Lacrima Christi. I adore that soft, whimsical and feminine style that's characteristic of her and artists like Audrey Kawasaki. I'd love to be able to explore this type of coloring style with my own art this year.
Also, I would basically become the slave to anyone that presented me with this. I have become somewhat obsessed with Qee's/Kid Robot Toys in general lately.
-Other artists I have recently taken to watching/reading include Marguerite Sauvage, Ted Naife, Joshua Middleton, aaaand Matthew Woodson. Also my mom got me Watching the Watchmen which is aaaaawesome for the loads and loads of breakdowns, if nothing else. And I bought myself a copy of James Jean's Process Recess book with my Amazon Giftcard *_*