There are very few new comics on shelves today as many shops, distributors, and publishers remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the absence of new issues may be disappointing, it doesn’t leave comics fans without recourse. Artists from across the energy have continued to work on future projects and many have begun posting sketches and commissions from home.
While quarantine measures remain in effect, ComicBook.Com will be assembling a weekly round up of favorite new pieces posted to social media by comics artist. Each shared sketch will also include a recommendation and links for readers to further explore each artist’s work. We hope this will help fans discover new artists and find some books to order from their local comic book store.
So without any further ado, here are some of our favorite sketches from the past week along with information and links on where to find more work (available today!) from these incredible comic book artists.
Lucie Bryon drafted this sketch to celebrate the fourth anniversary of ShortBox, an outstanding small press comics publisher created by Zainab Akhtar. The publisher’s roster is packed with talented cartoonists and a diverse array of styles and stories, but Bryon’s sketch shows off the joyful mentality that has quickly made ShortBox one of the most esteemed curators of comics today.
Most of the artwork we feature here is tied to an existing character or property, but this sketch of a mysterious woman by Becky Cloonan shows that readers don’t need a recognizable mask to be sucked into a piece of comics art. The staging of the figure, including windswept locks of hair and an incisive glance over the shoulder, suggests an unknown story just waiting to be discovered.
Dalrymple’s comics are some of the most inventive publications today, featuring settings and characters unlike anything else on the stands. However, his recent series of Universal monsters makes it clear that there’s plenty of love for the familiar as well. This depiction of Dracula captures an old world aesthetic and plenty of creepy details for a frightening rendition of this classic creature.
Dave Johnson may be the best cover artist working in comics today; he deserves a spot in anyone’s top ten list for the past decade. He has a knack for pinpointing the elements that make any character or story resonate, as readers can see in this hilarious depiction of Hellboy. It’s the sort of blunt humor that make many Hellboy short stories infinitely re-readable, translated into Johnson’s own style.
If you’re not already reading Andrew MacLean’s Head Lopper, then put the first volume on the very top of your quarantine comics reading stack. This massive commission of the titular hero, along with the decapitated head of Agatha Blue Witch, shows off the powerful figures and inimitable style which make each new installment of the series unforgettable.
I encourage everyone ogling this tremendous take on Daredevil’s original yellow costume to check out all of the character commission’s posted by Mike McKone over the past week. Each one features a character against a staid background, but each figure possesses an attitude and refined design that leaves no doubt as to what made these heroes (and villains) iconic.
Not a single day goes by where I don’t check Mignola’s Twitter feed for the newest sketches of preposterous characters and familiar figures made far stranger. His take on Jake and Finn from Adventure Time are a treat, especially for fans of the show. They are simultaneously recognizable and almost entirely alien, allowing the familiar to be made new again through the eyes of one of comics’ best.
Frank Miller returned to his classic work on Ronin in order to draft an exceedingly rare sketch for auctions benefiting local comics book stores this week. As much as Miller’s style has evolved since Ronin debuted almost 40 years ago, he can still channel the movement, linework, and frenetic details that made it a career-defining hit—and the best part is that it will directly benefit the industry that made Miller a star.
Terry Moore’s work on creator-owned series like Strangers in Paradise have allowed the creator to focus on telling his own stories for decades. However, it’s still a treat to see him interpret someone else’s creation, like Death of the Endless, in a short sketch like this. As much as I’d love to see Moore tackle a Sandman-adjacent series, this makes me want to re-read Rachel Rising even more.
Kitty Pryde and Lockheed read like a classic duo from the very moment they first appeared together in the midst of “The Brood Saga,” and Drew Moss’ drawing of them together embodies that familiar dynamic perfectly. He doesn’t shy away from Lockheed’s alien nature, allowing his ridged face to show as much character as Kitty’s without needing to transform the classic design.
Karl Mostert implied that this piece didn’t live up to his expectations, which begs the question of what more an artist could hope to create. This stunning composition that features two of DC’s most iconic heroes wrapped in their elements makes it clear why he’s working for the publisher on projects like DCeased: Unkillables. We just hope to see more from him soon.
Ande Parks, coming off the recent success of Netflix’s adaptation of his comic Ciudad into the hit movie Extraction, delivered some excellent sketches for Star Wars Day this week. His version of Obi Wan Kenobi stands out for capturing Alec Guinness’ ability to embody wisdom in a performance. It’s an unmistakable glance from one of the most memorable performances of the entire saga.
Even in the briefest of sketches, Chris Samnee’s sense of composition is unmistakable. Subtle touches, like the creation of Superman’s shield in his shadow, provides this touchdown moment with a tremendous effect. Given how much weight is placed on characters like Superman, it’s incredible to see an artist like Samnee balance that weight against the effortless grace of flight.
Declan Shalvey is one of comics’ best regarded artists today (and for good reason), but he’s also developing quite a reputation as a writer. This piece auctioned to support comic book stores in Ireland is inspired by his upcoming graphic novel Bog Bodies. Having read an advance copy, I’m already jealous of whoever manages to win this great piece tied to a new story bound to thrill comics readers everywhere.
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