Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Newest Acquisitions

Snappy Sammy Smoot Death Merchant
Skip Williamson, "Snappy Sammy Smoot, Death Merchant" page 2, ink, halftones, photo-typesetting on illustration board

Skip Williamson was always a bit of a "second tier" underground comix artist (compared to Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton). And he had a great "day job," working as an art director for Playboy. But unlike lots of his peers, he continued to do a new story every now and then. Blab!, which started in the 80s and continues to come out every now and then, was the location for some of his funniest work, in my opinion. This page is from one of the smaller, digest-sized issues of Blab! (I can't remember which issue off the top of my head). When you hold the original in your hands, you can tell it was created by an art director--highly professional, ready for reproduction, sturdy illustration board. Some of the half-tone is starting to yellow--inevitable in this kind of work. A lovely piece of satire by a pretty key artist. Williamson also has one of the most entertaining blogs around!

Cave In page 1
Brian Ralph, Cave In page 1, ink on paper

In contrast, Brian Ralph's piece is drawn small, on an ordinary piece of unlined paper--it may even by a sheet of copier paper. The ink includes some dark blue lines that look like they might be from a ball-point pen! But when reproduced in a book, it looks every bit as "professional" as Williamson's art. Ralph was one of the great Fort Thunder artists (a crew that included Brian Chippendale, Mat Brinkman, and Jim Drain). His work is some of the most accessible of the artists. He also has a blog that is well worth checking out.

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