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?
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.