Once every few years it seems as if there is an explosion of great new artists on the comic book landscape. I remember being enamored with Mazzuchelli’s daredevil, Mignola’s Rocket Racoon, Mike Zeck’s fantastic Captain America run and of course John Byrne on everything he graced with his pencils. Jim Lee led a new wave in the 90’s and ever since then the “next greatest artist” has been a thing-something fans of comics can look forward to as the artistic direction of the art form changes.
In recent years I’ve really enjoyed Sara Pichelli, Olivier Coipel, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and Scott Hepburn and many many other fantastic artists but recently I’ve been seeking out the work of Pepe Larraz.
Pepe has been tackling a few Marvel titles, most notably Star Wars: Kanan, and you can see his most recent work in the last few issues of Uncanny Avengers (15-19). This is where his art really takes off!
The story is great, but what brings the words to life is the consistently beautiful story telling. Technically, his layouts could be called traditional; but he always finds a way to re-imagine the page so the viewer is drawn into the story. His clever use of framing helps move the story along; and of course, the details he adds are never superfluous—they’re always necessary. Have you ever experienced a comic with great figures but absolutely no backgrounds? Pepe has yet to leave the reader wishing for more.
His line work has such a beautiful flow to it; his figures are never stiff, never lifeless. I can think of many artists who, I assume due to deadlines, crank out art that is missing something—maybe you think they just scratched in the blocks and let the inker sort it out. I am sure every artist in the industry has had to take a short cut to make a deadline, but it seems as if Pepe only puts out consistently high level art.
If you like great art with solid storytelling check out Pepe Larraz, he has a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account. His art sells through Artcoholics and he has a blog, though it hasn’t been updated since 2014….