Last year, due to a lack of storage space and the vulnerability of my comic book collection (to two young children raiding it!) I decided to take a leap of faith and “go digital”. Next month will see a year of me experiencing my favorite medium in the digital format. It has taken some getting used to. One bonus of this switch was that it allowed me to study the art work in much more detail, through a combination of HD downloads, bigger panels, and back-lighting which allowed the artists’ and colourists’ work to be showcased to wonderful effect. Despite this when the tablet shut down and the screen went black there remained a need for something tangible to give you that tactile experience of the art.
To meet that need I have started a little side-collection of comic books and related material bought not for the reading experience, but purely to have a hard copy of the the art. My collection started with the work of Elsa Charretier. Many visitors to this site will know her work from the fantastic art for the recent IDW series entitled Star Wars Adventures. She is also working on the forthcoming Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny Series and has done work for the Marvel Star Wars series with some particularly special variant covers.
Charretier’s style nods to the character styling of the golden age of comics (her work reminds me of Fred Ray’s Superman art from the 1940s) while still achieving a thoroughly original and modern look. Her art uses clean beautiful lines, quirky character depiction and bold, surprising colour choices. There is a vibrancy and life about the work which leaps off the page.
I thought it was worth doing this short piece to highlight her other work to Star Wars fans that may be new to it. I first came across it when buying up The Unstoppable Wasp series from Marvel and was amazed by the art in every panel. It was like a bolt from the blue, and I knew I had to get more.
I worked my way back to The Infinite Loop. That series was co-created with writer Pierrick Colinet and is a groundbreaking work, which advances social issues using a science-fiction premise. The series now has a sequel with beloved characters Teddy and Ano returning, and Charretier and Colinet both on writing duties accompanied by artist Daniele Di Nicuolo (also wonderful). Other past work of Charretier’s includes work for DC depicting Harley Quinn, DC Bombshells, and Starfire. I particularly love her depictions of Batgirl.
I now have an ongoing project to collect up those comics featuring Charretier’s art. As well as her full run on The Unstoppable Wasp, and The Infinite Loop, I also have some prints of her work added to my collection (from the wonderful selection in her etsy store).
While I may have switched my comic collecting to digital, I’ve decided that I need to also keep some space in my home for the type of work that made me fall in love with the medium in the first instance!
May the Force be with You.
- Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny will be released in January 2018 from IDW Publishing. Art and covers will be provided by Elsa Charretier, Arianna Florean, Eva Widermann, Valentina Pinto, and Nicoletta Baldari. As well as writing and artistic duties, Charretier will contribute five interconnected variant covers, which will combine to create an iconic Forces of Destiny image.
- Issue 3 of Infinte Loop: Nothing but the Truth from IDW Publishing, written by Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier, with art from Daniele Di Nicuolo is released on 3 January. Cover art by Elsa Charretier.
- A deluxe HC version of The Infinite Loop Vol. 1 is released in April and is available for pre-order now.
- Elsa Charretier’s store on etsy is available here.
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