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June 19, 2010: I've launched a new version of this website as a Wordpress blog. This version won't be updated anymore.
If you don't see the images of a review, it means that I've transferred it to the new site.

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Brush and Camera
So Super Duper #8



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Entries for August 2009:
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Saturday, August 22, 2009
Blog review
If you don't see the images of a review, it means that I've transferred it to the new site.

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Brush and Camera

Category: illustration.
Author(s): Douglas Simonson.
Year of publication: 2006.

Douglas Simonson is a fine art painter I really admire, and I'm a bit ashamed that I've found out only now that he'd published a third book of his art back in 2006. Brush & Camera is more than a simple collection of paintings and drawings, which would already be quite nice. Simonson takes photos of models as a springboard for his work, and here, he shows us these photos alongside the finished art (just like on the cover).
I've always been impressed by the versatility of Simonson's styles, and here in this book you get a large sample of that: there are pencils portraits which are extremely realistic, but there are also colored pencils sketches which sometimes serve as studies, as well as a lot of acrylic paintings which go from model-realistic to almost geometric shapes where the male body is sublimated in a way that retains all its sensuality. As you can probably tell, these are my favorites. The warm, fauve colors that leap out of the pages are also an important aspect of my appreciation of Simonson's work.
This particular book is also fascinating because it gives us the opportunity to see how the artist works from a photograph, sometimes following the model's specific traits quite closely, sometimes using him to create a painting where his face, his body and even his skin color are altered beyond recognition.
In an interview published when the book came out, the artist states that Picasso was a major influence on him, which didn't surprise me, though I was also expecting someone like Matisse or Gauguin. More surprising was his interest in Mike Mignola's work (Hellboy). It might be the stark geometry of Mignola's art. Another artist, this one gay, seems to have made a big impression on Simonson: Cornelius McCarthy is a British artist whose work is sold at the Adonis Art gallery. Have a look, you'll see some relation between McCarthy's and Simonson's work. I especially recommend the book of his work that the gallery has published. It's a beauty.
I'm not showing you more of Simonson's work here, since his website, where you can buy the book (or on Amazon), presents hundreds of his drawings and paintings. I wish artists like Douglas Simonson or Cornelius McCarthy were properly recognized beyond gay art lovers. Poring over these books will have to make do for now.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Review update
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So Super Duper #8

Author(s): Brian Andersen, Jon Macy.

coverThe eighth issue of So Super Duper brings us another chapter in the never-dull life of Psyche, who's become, yes, a real fairy (one can't reproach author Brian Andersen for being too PC). Or more exactly, and due to a super-villain and his power-swapping ray, he's changed into a male version of pint-sized teammate Tink, complete with little wings and incomprehensible "Tee-hee" speech patterns. Very annoying. As for Tink...Well, it seems Andersen likes the X-Men's storyline of Dark Phoenix, so those of you who know it should guess what's what.
While Psyche's budding self-consciousness takes a back seat here, as well as his possible relationship with hunky hero Comet--who does appear nonetheless, the comic is so full of surprises and turnarounds that it's not disappointing at all. And Psyche does get kissed again by another man, though not the one we'd like to see him smooching. 
It's a fun, action-filled issue, with an important change at the end, as Brian Andersen leaves the art of future issues to collaborator Celina Hernandez (Reignbow and Dee-Va). And he's managed to do it in an organic way which reminded me how Alan Moore included various art styles in Promethea. No, really.
The back-up sees Jon Macy write and draw an over-the-top story set at the beauty salon. Lighter than the main story, it complements it quite nicely.

You can buy this comic from the Indy Planet site or Prism Comics, and the author's site is here (with previews of the issues).


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