Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Frank Quitely

Who needs words when you’ve got page after page of awe­some comic book art at your fin­ger­tips?

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

We’re used to art books hav­ing some­thing in the form of a fore­word and some slight, some­times mono­syl­labic tex­tual cu­ra­tion. Frank Quitely’s com­pi­la­tion launches straight from the con­tents page into an ex­cerpt from The Physi­cist and the Fly­ing Saucers with lit­tle in the way of ex­pla­na­tion or in­tro­duc­tion. It’s a blunt ap­proach, but it works.

Frank’s ca­reer be­gan with in­die comics in the mid-90s, and he re­ceived his big break with Bat­man: The Scot­tish Con­nec­tion in 1998. From here he went on to work on big ti­tles such as The In­vis­i­bles, The Sand­man and DC Uni­verse. Ear­lier comics were inked in black and white, but later ones see the use of dra­matic con­trast­ing colours. His sense of form also de­vel­ops, be­com­ing more ex­per­i­men­tal in terms of an­gles and group tableaux.

As well as se­quen­tial art ex­cerpts the book is pep­pered with larger pieces, such as cov­ers, on which Frank goes to town. Th­ese show the artist’s un­der­stand­ing of the form: the mere im­age of Bat­man sav­ing The Joker from an at­tack by Robin tells even non-Bat­fans ev­ery­thing they need to know about the char­ac­ters and story.

It con­cludes with the briefest of af­ter­words from Frank that re­veals how the book was put to­gether. But this is a tome where the pic­tures do the talk­ing – and it’s all the bet­ter for it.

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