I feel like I’m back at art school all of a sudden. But although I have picture books coming out of my ears, none of them concern landscape painting or Caspar David Friedrich.
It’s all about comics, you see. I’m trying to soak up as much comic brilliance as I can at the moment, as I’m about to create some of my own for the Yetis. It’s all sort of taking shape at the moment, but here is some of the work I picked up on Tuesday.
I’m well known for my love of Hayao Miyazaki, and although he’s more revered for his films, this Nausicca manga is absolutely phenomenal. The movement of the flying machines, the characters, the action scenes – it’s all beautiful, and hand drawn, and as good as any artwork I’ve ever seen in a comic.
Then there’s Osamu Tezuka and Astro Boy. He’s king of the fast-paced action scene and the huge wide-angle landscape shot to create setting. Astro Boy is quite unique, and for a lot younger audience than his other work that I’ve read, but it’s still captivating and full of heart.
As you can probably see, there’s a big Japanese theme here. It’s not intentional, as such, but it’s more a case of me catching up. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman would have been here had I not read it a short while ago.
Next up is Tintin. I’d not read any of these before – I preferred the adventures of Asterix, Obelix and, of course, Dogmatix when I was younger. (It was a sort of Beatles versus the Rolling Stones case, I think.) Tintin didn’t grab me at all, but now I’m loving them. I love the involved stories, the beautifully clean drawings and machines, and I love Captain Haddock and Snowy.
And then there’s Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo. Speaks for itself, really, but to see the bike scene drawn on paper is a wonder to behold. Here’s the animated version – I can remember getting so excited seeing this as a young teenager. It’s the blurry trail of lights off the back of the bikes that are so awesome.