Every week How to Love Comics spotlights a comic book artist that should be on your radar. We present you a gallery of their work and then leave you some reading recommendations if you are starving for more of their work. We have cleverly titled this Artist of the Week.
This week I feature well respected Scottish artist Frank Quitely, the alter ego for Vincent Deighan, best known for his work with the writer, and fellow Scotsman, Grant Morrison. Throughout his career he has collaborated with Morrison on projects such as Batman, All-Star Superman, We3, New X-Men and Flex Mentallo.
Quitely has a style that is unique with a slight grotesque element, which makes each character look more real and believable. This is done through the use of mostly fine line, which allows for plenty of detail. Additionally, the way he depicts a character’s posture and movement speaks volumes about them, allowing for an extra layer of personality.
Recently, Quitely was the centre of a BBC documentary which allowed him to talk about his process and inspiration in great detail. More about this documentary can be found here.
Below is a gallery of his work from various points in his career. Enjoy!
You can find more Frank Quitely art all this week on the How to Love Comics Tumblr.
Frank Quitely Recommendations
Hopefully the gallery has you excited about Frank Quitely’s art, so much so, that you want to go out and read some of his work. Here are three comics I would highly recommend you read of his.
Released to critical and commercial success, All-Star Superman is Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s love letter to the character. The maxi series tells the story of Superman, who has discovered he has a year to live, after being tricked into going too close to the sun by Lex Luthor. Accepting his fate, Superman spends the year setting up world for when his gone.
Set out of continuity, All-Star Superman is a good story to read if you have never read Superman before. The series also takes a lot of inspiration from different points in publication history and melts them into a narrative that celebrates the character.
Frank Quitely’s art is looks great with all of the characters looking iconic, but with his own spin on each. I particularly like the way Clark Kent is depicted, with his hunched over back and slumped shoulders – making a very convincing disguise for Superman.
All-Star Superman is available in trade paperback as well as Absolute format and digitally.
Of all the collaborations between Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely We3 is the most experimental. The 3-issue miniseries tells the story of three prototype animal weapons who have escaped from the facility that were holding them. Throughout the series they struggle to find freedom from their military captors. I suggest that if you intend to read this that you have plenty of tissues close by, as it is an emotional read.
Quitely’s panel layouts are quite experimental for the time, with the artist trying different ideas. In more intense moments he uses dozens of inset panels that focus on different parts of the action. This makes the action more frantic and work quite well. As seen in the gallery, he also experiments with a flipbook panel layout which shows action in almost slow-motion.
We3 is available in a lovely hardcover edition as well as digitally.
Jupiter’s Legacy is Quitely’s current project, working with regular collaborator Mark Millar. The series depicts a world of superheroes and the exploration of their ideologies. Each generation has different ideologies with the older generations motivated more by altruism, while the younger generations are more concerned about sponsorship deals and being celebrities.
Jupiter’s Legacy is four issues into an intended 10-12 issue run. The series has been ordered in large numbers so it shouldn’t be hard to find copies. The series is also available digitally.