Jun 2, 2014

The Art Of Ricken - An Interesting Take On Western Comics

I've grown a little disenchanted with American comics- The eternal series of reboots, side universes, deaths and rebirths wore on me over time, making even the most cataclysmic events be lessened by the idea that 'it was all a dream,' or 'this was only a one shot not related to canon cycle #235.' Over time manga has become a much more worthwhile time investment, because I know there's always a beginning, middle and a definite end to any Japanese comic. I'm not saying there haven't been high points in mainstream US comics, there's been plenty- Alex Ross' Kingdom Come is one of my favorite comics of all time, just about everything Alan Moore has touched has been nothing short of incredible, and the wildly twisted reboot of Animal Man for the New 52 reboot was really refreshing.

Thing is, despite how amazing any of these takes on superheroes are, there's a lack of continuity that can be truly maddening. A desire to make money off these heroes keeps them going forever, which really highlights an interesting cultural difference towards creators of comics at home and abroad.

Comic rants aside I recently ran into the work of Ricken, who really caught my attention as a Japanese artist enamored with western comics. So much so that he's had the chance to work for the likes of DC Comics as a cover artist on a series of different franchises, ranging from Birds Of Prey to Batman Incorporated. While so many artists have over time found themselves influenced by anime, it's really cool to see the exact opposite- a Japanese artist working hard to emulate a western style with his work. Even Ricken's character choices for his illustrations are truly curious, with now obscure characters like Supeboy and Jubilee (I always thought she was awesome) gracing many of his pieces. More of Ricken's awesome work after the break!

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