The great Oscar Wilde once said that “a true artist takes no notice whatever of the public. The public are to him non-existent”. While, of course, money has to be made, some artists are less well-known than others. To an extent, these artists are also more free; liberated from commercial constraints; they are able to pursue their main goal: the creation of art. Here are five excellent comic artists you may not be acquainted with:
Squires is a British cartoonist, living in Sydney, who has been working in the world of freelance illustration for 20 years. For commercial work, he often delves into the world of full colour paintings but, since starting The Sunshine Room in 2011, Squires has become known as a talented cartoonist. Squires primarily draws satirical sports-based comic strips, and his work has started to reach a wider audience recently, via a weekly strip he does for the football section of the Guardian newspaper. You can read his latest entry here. Squires's comics are drawn in black and white, and often portray rather jovial-looking characters.
Healy is a young artist based in Dublin. Last year, he won the MoCCA Fest Award of Excellence from the Society of Illustrators for his comic Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales, named after a chapter in Moby Dick. A student cartoonist, Healy originally found himself practising the art while he travelled around Europe; his 200-page epic, entitled Eat the Pig, can be found here. Healy is a versatile artist, exploring a number of different styles and themes. His work isn't easily identifiable, but Healy is a comic artist on his way to the top, and he is the co-founder of Dog City Press, a small magazine dedicated to printing mini-comics.
Boswell is an experienced illustrator and comic artist, who has worked as a freelance designer for over 20 years. During that time, Boswell has had artwork commissioned by some well-known companies, including EasyJet, the NHS and National Express. He has also worked for the kids' football magazine, KiCK! Boswell's style of comic art evokes memories of old Marvel and DC superhero comics. You can find examples of his work on his website [http://www.jimmibo.co.uk]. In addition to his comic work, Boswell is an outspoken critic of animal abuse, regularly retweeting Ricky Gervais's views on the issue.
An Australian, Harper is perhaps more well-known Down Under than he is in the UK. Harper boasts over ten years' experience as an animator and illustrator since graduating from the Queensland College of Art with a BA in animation. Harper was a storyboard supervisor on the Australian kids' TV show Farmkids, but has delved into the world of illustration since, most notably with his black and white satirical Guh! strips that appear in the online Trouble magazine. Harper is, like Healy, a versatile artist, who can turn his talents to anything. You can find him on Tumblr.
Originally from Sofia in Bulgaria, Tzekov has now lived in Canada for 25 years. He currently works as a professional illustrator for Bearbrook Studios in Ottawa, designing artwork for children's books and posters using a whole wealth of methods, including watercolour painting. However, it is arguably in the comic medium where Tzekov excels, with some of his finest comic works covering the game of poker. You can read some of Tzekov's strips at Titanbetpoker, including the hilarious Fish from the Valleys (Jack Tzekov's last piece of work), which looks at a colourful collection of poker buddies obsessed with the game. Tzekov's seedy style of illustration has drawn comparisons with the work of Alan Moore, the illustrator of the V for Vendetta graphic novel.
These artists are all still pretty unknown, throughout mainstream media anyway, but they all have the potential to emulate the likes of Moore and Frank Miller. The question is, do they want to?
It is perhaps fortunate for fans that comics are still very much a niche form of art. Even so, that doesn't make these five artists any less talented.
In collaboration with Titanbet Poker