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Three Hot Hands
11.15.2002 by Scott, every Thursday.

This week, we’ll take a look at three of the best artists working to bring you some of the prettiest drawing in monthly comics right now. Three artists, three publishing companies, and three books are wonderfully better as a result of the diligent and talented work of these men. Let’s cut the dallying and get right to it.

Greg Land has worked on titles like “Nightwing” and “Birds of Prey” for DC Comics, but is really in his work on Crossgen Comics’ “Sojourn” that land has really come into his own. Gorgeous panoramas illustrate a fantastic world of dragons, trolls and magic in his monthly book. He mixes lush backgrounds with brilliant character design and interaction to create one of the most finished looks printed on comic pages today. He hasn’t been getting a lot of press, either in comic publications like Wizard magazine, or in the online community, but he has a strong following on his book. You can mark my words right now; this guy is going to be the next Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, or J. Scott Campbell, the big line at the comic conventions. Need more convincing? Have a look at these pretty pieces he’s done so far.

Mike Oeming is on one of the best books being printed every month, Image’s “Powers”. This is in no small part to his beautifully stylized artwork. At first glance, it seems overly simplified, almost cartoon-y. But his cityscapes come to life, giving a feeling of reality through his simplicity. His characters emote off the pages, their expressions and reactions are clear and understandable. The great success of “Powers” has allowed Oeming to shine some attention on his other work, notably “Hammer of the Gods”, a tale of Norse fantasy, and “Bulletproof Monk” a tale of a Tibetan monk who escaped into mystery during the second world war, and will be a motion picture, that is currently in pre-production. Take a look at some of Mike Oeming’s work on “Powers”.

Bryan Hitch wows the fans every month with his work on Marvel’s “The Ultimates”. He gives such a great feel to the book, that the words that accompany the art are almost unnecessary. He creates such drama in his simple conversation scenes, such force in his action sequences, that the art is totally involving to the reader. Hitch has worked on WildStorm’s “Stormwatch”, but his breakout work came during his run on their title “The Authority”. Leaving the book as it was already a hit was a risky move, but one that’s paid off, as his work with scribe Mark Millar has created a huge success in “The Ultimates”. With his grit and realism, Hitch is one of the industries top artists working today.

Until next time.

Scott MacIver

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