Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mark A. Nelson

Mark A. Nelson is a prolific artist, primarily of fantasy subjects, who has drawn widely for comics, illustrated role-playing games and worked for computer games (Raven Software, where he was senior artist in 1998-2004, Big Rooster, Emergence Games, Sega Games).

Nelson was born on 28 November in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and was educated at Moorehead State College, at Cleveland Institute of Art and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He later worked as a professor of art at Northern Illinois University for over twenty years.

His comic strip credits have included Starslayer (First, 1985), Aliens (Dark Horse, 1988-89), Feud (Marvel/Epic, 1993) written by Mike Baron and Blood and Shadows (DC, 1996), written by Joe R. Lansdale. His work has also appeared in Graphic Classics from Eureka Productions, and he has also contributed to IDW Comics, Eclipse Comics (Airboy), Now Comics, Kitchen Sink Comics and Just Imagine Comics.

His illustrations have been published by Hero Illustrated, Subterranean Press, Cemetery Dance Publications, Borderlands Press, Roadkill Press, Ziesing Books, Journal Wired, Byron Priess, Sight and Sound Books, Worldbook-Childcraft, David C. Cook and Fantasy Newsletter.

Nelson has had a long association with the role-playing games industry and has produced illustrations for many Dungeons and Dragons books and Dragon magazine.since the mid-1980s. He had also produced artwork for games including Villains and Vigilantes (Fantasy Games Unlimited), Earthdawn and Shadowrun (FASA) and Orpheus (White Wolf). He also produced illustrations for the collectable card game Magic: The Gathering.

He has published two collections of artwork: From Pencils To Inks: The Art of Mark A. Nelson (2004) and Strange Thoughts and Random Images (2008).

Nelson nowadays works as a conceptual artist creating digital skins and textures for computer games. He was the lead instructor of the Animation Department of Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin.

He now lives in Missouri City, Texas, with his wife, artist Anita C. Nelson. They jointly run Grazing Dinosaur Press.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rudy Nebres

Rudy Nebres was one of a group if talented Filipino artists who found work in the USA with DC and Marvel, amongst them Alfredo Alcala, Alex Nino, Nestor Redondo and Tony De Zuniga.

Born Rodolfo D. Nebres (pronounced NAY-bres) in the Philippines on 14 January 1937, Rudy was able to attend art school in Manila thanks to the sacrifices of his parents, who sold their possessions to pay for his tuition. He made his first professional sales as a teenager and was already working regularly before he graduated.

After  graduating, he found work with ACE Publications and  Graphic Arts Service (GASI), where he worked on various stories including 'Baby Face' (1958-59) for Extra Komiks, 'Kamay ni Dimas' (1962) for Ditektib Komiks, 'Themesong' (1963-64) for Redondo Komix, 'Anino ng Agila' (1964) for CRAF Klasix, 'Blanca Negra' (1965) for Hiwaga Komiks, 'Babaing Bakulaw' (1965) for Espesyal Komiks with writer Galo Burgos, 'Ang Paborito ni Linda' for Hiwaga Komiks with writer Mer. A Abella, 'Nakabakas sa Langit' (1965-66), for Pioneer Komiks with writer Angel Ad Santos, 'Suicide Sammy' (1967) for Aliwan Komiks with writer Greg Igna de Dios, 'Javlin and the Pirates' 1968) for Pilipino Komiks,'Magkuwento Ka Puso' (1968) for Aliwan Komiks, 'Micaela' (1968) for Aliwan Komiks, 'Talagang Gusto Kong Magpakatino!' for Kislap Komiks (1971-72) and many others.

Rudy Nebres began working for DC Comics in 1972 when DC Comics publisher Carmine Infantino and Editor Joe Orlando visited the Philippines on a scouting trip.  He was given assignments on such DC mystery titles such as The Unexpected, House of Secrets and Ghosts, but was not working as regularly as he wanted. He continued to draw for Filipino comics such as 'Ginintuang Rehas' for Sixteen Magazine (1973-74), 'Huwag Mo Akong Tangisan!' for Kislap Komiks (1973-74) and 'Paper Doll' for Kislap Komiks (1974-75).

Nebres moved to the United States in 1975 and promptly found much more success when he started working for Marvel Comics on such prestigious titles like Dr. Strange, The Avengers, Iron Fist, Master of Kung Fu and The Hulk. His speciality, however, was sword and sorcery and his talents for drawing the muscular heroes  like Conan, Kull, Red Sonja and John Carter are renowned. His ability is to draw exaggerated musculature without losing the realism of the figure. He has put this down to a strong grasp of anatomy. "The key is the collarbone. If that's off, the whole drawing will be wrong," he has said.

He found much further acclaim when he started working for Warren Publishing on Creepy (1978-82), Eerie (1978-83), 1984 (1978-79), 1994 (1980-82), The Rook (1979-82), Vampirella (1980-82) and The Goblin (1982), where he turned in stories that represented an extraordinary evolution in his art characterized by profuse, graceful hatching, dynamic figurework and imaginative compositions. Tim Perkins has said, "His line work was very stylised and yet still had all the contemporary licks of his fellow Filipino artists. Instantly recognisable amongst the group his work flowed with the same lushness of line that the others had, but with a greater dynamic, which probably explained his use of super-heroic titles, when the others were considered, wrongly in my honest opinion, not to be suitable for superhero comics."

Nebres was in demand as an inker. Editor Ralph Macchio recalled working with Doug Moench and John Buscema on 'Warriors of the Shadow Realm' (Marvel Super Special #11-13) in 1979: "We needed an inker to work on John's brilliant pencils who would brink his own flair to the pencils but not over-power the delicacy of what John had drawn. We were astonished at how faithfully [Rudy] rendered John's pencils yet added his own special touch."

He next spent 10 years working with Neal Adams for Continuity Studios doing storyboards and animatics, but was able to work on Continuity comics titles like Armor (1986-90), Toy Boy (1986-87), Megalith (1989) and Ms. Mystic (1989).

He went freelance again afterwards and has since worked on a variety of titles and companies like Spider-man, Conan and Punisher for Marvel, as well as a Negation one-shot in an issue of Crossgen Chronicles for Crossgen Comics in 2002.

The Art of Rudy Nebres, a collection of fan commissions, was published by SQP Inc in 2000.

Nebres currently lives in Edison, New Jersey, with his wife Dolores. They have two children Melvin and Edwin.

In a 2012 interview, Neil Adams said that Nebres "has got to be one of the nicest guys in comics. He's very humble, almost too self-effacing. he's humble to the point that I want to hit him in the head and say, 'You're better than you think you are. You're great.' He's that humble, but he puts better lines on the page than any artist or inker I know."

Examples of Rudy Nebres's work can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arthur Nash

Arthur Nash was a contributor to Look and Learn, his artwork appearing in 1981. Nash was also a contributor to Treasure. Nash also illustrated Alice in Wonderland but is otherwise unknown.

Examples of Arthur Nash's artwork can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dean Motter

Dean Motter is a Canadian artist, illustrator and graphic designer best known as the creator of Mister X and Terminal City, two highlights of the "comics aren't for kids" boom of the 1980s/90s.

The history of Mister X began in the early 1980s: Motter was then sharing a studio with Ken Steacy and Paul Rivoche and the character went through a lengthy development process before independent publisher Vortex Comics began insisting that work the comic book needed to begin. Motter provided a story outline from which Gilbert Hernandez created a script, illustrated by Jaime Hernandez. After only four issues, the Hernandez brothers quit, citing non-payment by Vortex, and Motter wrote issues 5 through 14, which were illustrated by Seth (Gregory Gallant).

Mister X himself was an architect, the creator of Radiant City, which has been designed on the principals of psychetecture, driving its citizens mad.

Although the character continued to appear, it was in the hands of other writers and artists. Motter later used the characters in Electropolis and returned to them in the mini-series Mister X: Condemned, published in 2008-09 by Dark Horse.

Motter has earlier co-created The Sacred & the Profane with art by Ken Steacy, which he later described as being influenced by the Symbolists and the Pre-Raphaelites, aesthetics he had wanted to introduce into comics since his days as an art history student. Mister X was influenced by Art Deco, German Expressionism, film noir, Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus, mid-20th century industrial design and the futuristic artwork of SF and popular mechanics magazines of the pulp era.

Motter's influences, thanks to his upbringing in Canada, were European, especially French, when it came to comics, although for Mister X he acknowledged the heavy influence of Will Eisner and Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Motter, born in 1958, began reading comics around the age of 8 or 9 and was also a fan of vintage horror and science fiction films. He produced comic pages for his college newspaper and freelanced for Media Five, a tabloid magazine published in London, Ontario, whilst at college. After moving to Toronto, he was a regular at the Silver Snail comic book store. The owner of Silver Snail produced the SF magazine Andromeda in 1977-79, reprinting stories by Arthur C. Clarke and A. E. Van Vogt. Mottor worked as art director and designer for the magazine.

Another acquaintence, Marty Herzog, began working as a creatove director with CBS Records Canada, which led to Motter designing album covers for numerous bands, creating the cover art for Anvil's Metal On Metal (1983 Juno Award winner), Seamless by The Nylons (1984 Juno Award winner) and Jane Silberry's No Borders Here (1985 Casby Award winner). He was awarded the Best of the 80's Album Cover award by the Toronto Art Directors Club for Honeymoon Suite in 1985.

The Sacret & the Profane was originally published as a 5-part serial in Star+Reach in 1977-78. Motter and Steacy subsequently revised and coloured the strip for Epic Illustrated in the early 1980s; the revision was then reprinted as a graphic novel by Eclipse in 1987. The story has echoes of James Blish's A Case Of Conscience as it concerns Sister Marianna, a nun aboard a spaceship of the Catholic Interstellar Crusade – in effect, a flying church – who has begun to question her faith. After attacking an alien vessel, the human crew start to fall prey to an invading alien force.

Following on from his work on Mister X, Motter was invited to produce a comic based on Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner,  drawn by Mark Askwith, a former Silver Snail manager who went on to become a TV producer.

In 1990, Motter relocated to New York, working for Byron Preiss Visual Publications where he was art director and senior designer, as well as editing a series of graphic novels based on the stories of Raymond Chandler. He subsequently joined DC Comics as manager of the Creative Services Department. This latter job allowed him to freelance and, for Vertigo, he produced Terminal City, drawn by Michael Lark.

Reverting to freelance, he continued the Terminal City saga with Aerial Graffiti, also drawn by Lark. The two also teamed up for the Batman graphic novel Nine Lives, winner of the Will Eisner Award in 2003. Motter's other works have included The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (adapted for Classics Illustrated), Batman: Gotham Knights, Grendel: Red, White and BlackHellblazer and 9-11: Artists Respond. Further stories have appeared Superman Adventures, Star Wars Tales, Will Eisner's The Spirit, and Wolverine.

Examples of Dean Motter's artwork can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.