MadInkBeard by DerikBadman

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Panels: L&R 16

I rarely write about Love and Rockets, mostly because I don’t know where to begin, but it is hands down one of my favorite comics, at least the Jaime side of it. Here are three panels from the most recent issue (Vol. 2 #16):

Great use of silhouettes here that is reminiscent of Toth. Nicely balanced with the three black figures/shapes in the front (skewing a bit to the right where the next panel is) and the two delineated figures in between. The black shape on the guy’s Batman mask bridges the two women similar to the way the woman on the right’s arm connects to the black wall. Great use of the spot blacks. The top edges of all the characters also move across the page pleasantly.

Another great use of black here. It’s a night scene and I love the way he’s made the trees and bushes in the background white. We can still tell it’s night but there’s visual contrast. The shadows here are not very realistic, but, rather, done with a sense of design. Why is the side and back of Ray’s (that’s him on the left) face black but not his neck or back? Why just part of his arm? It doesn’t make much sense in a realist way, but it works to make us see the scene as “night.” Jaime rarely uses shading or lots of shadow particularly in the way we see on Ray’s arm, but it makes him a little more equal in weight to the two women with their black shirts.

Also note the juxtaposition between Ray’s narration (“She sorta laughed”) and the slightly pained expression on her face.

This one’s here because of the very simple tree line that goes across the top of the panel behind the word balloons. It’s very very simple, but instantly recognizable. Like something out of an Archie comic (which, having recently read a bunch of, must have been an influential on Jaime’s style). That Archie style simplicity and iconic identification is part of what makes Jaime’s style so attractive to me. The simplicity combined with his advanced sense of composition, subtle line work, and spare but skilled use of blacks (to say nothing of storytelling and narrative).