snickfic: Sif scowling while swinging sword (Sif)
Herein with much visual evidence I argue my thesis that Valerio Schiti (artist on Mighty Avengers starting in February) is amazing and explain why he's one of my, hmm, top three artists working in comics right now.

A few things to watch for:
  • The best expressions. The best. Both the humor and the pathos in this owes a lot to Schiti's faces.
  • Women being gorgeous without their depiction being even remotely sexualized or male-gazey. Women being physically imposing. (Would love to see him draw She-Hulk.)
  • Everything being gorgeous, really. I don't know much about art in general or composition in particular, but he takes what could be ho-hum scenes and makes them very attractive, and he takes would should be beautiful scenes and make them absolute stunners.
  • Great large-scale stuff. Big gorgeous scenery with little tiny people. (For example: I have a pair of earrings that are pictures of Sif pasted onto Scrabble pieces. They are full-body shots, and they're both full size wrt to the comic.)
  • Really clean lines/inking? I don't have enough comics knowledge or vocabulary here to articulate exactly what I mean, but there's no muddiness in his lines, and no extra anywhere. His lines are extremely unfussy, but at the same time the border between one thing and another is very clear. (That he manages this while drawing Sif's costume is particularly impressive, because it is a very fussy costume indeed.)

I would be remiss if I didn't also gush over colorist Jordie Bellaire. I would say she relies less heavily here on particular palettes than she does on Hawkeye or Pretty Deadly, both of which tend to rely on one or two key colors per scene, sometimes for an entire issue. However, here she still does a great job making the color choices in each panel complementary and pleasing to the eye. A lot of comics (I'm going to say specifically a lot of, how to put this, comics for Real Men) seem to be trying to draw a lot of their visual force from being as ugly and affronting as possible. I think this is also an era thing – possibly the early Image era? Anyway, this is not those comics, and Schiti and Bellaire are not those artists. Bellaire's colors here rarely clash or jar. They are just, well, very pleasant. Possibly that sounds like I am damning with faint praise, but as someone who frequently puts down comics because I find them so visually unpleasant, I really, really am not. And her simple palettes complement Schiti's simple lines very nicely. The last thing his pencils need is a misguided attempt at photorealism.

I should note that despite my enthusing, I actually don't know tons about art in general or comics art in particular; half the point of this post is me trying to work out why this particular artist works for me so well. Feel free to jump in and provide historical context and/or better vocabulary to describe what I'm talking about here.

Anyway. On to the visual evidence! The bulk of these come from #652, which is the issue that just went up on Marvel Unlimited today and begins the Gaea / Sif IN SPACE arc. I apologize in advance for weird lines; I missed things while cropping.

behind the cut lies an image-heavy post of AWESOME )

So there you have it. Aren't you excited about Schiti's move to Mighty Avengers now? If you can't wait, both trades of Sif's Journey into Mystery are out now, available here and here.

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March 2017

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