Future Comic Rock Stars – Nick Dragotta

GameStop, Inc.

EoW2Welcome to my weekly column showcasing up and coming or undiscovered talent, bringing to your attention creators that I feel will be break-out stars in the near future. Some are already well on their way to super stardom, while some are just on the outskirts.

Everyone has a favorite comic book creator. One they’ve discovered recently, or maybe followed from the very beginning of their career. Some have so many favorites it’s hard to choose just one. Every single one of those creators started somewhere, be it by producing photocopied mini comics to sell at their neighborhood comic shop, getting a table in the artist’s alley at their local comic convention, publishing fan fiction, posting images to deviantart.com, or doing commissions through the internet or at conventions. There are so many different ways to break into the American comic industry.

SpiderManFairyTalesI first noticed Nick Dragotta when he was teaming up with Mike Allred, a favorite artist of mine. The two have worked together quite a bit over the years, from Spider-Man Fairy Tales to the FF, with Dragotta providing pencils, and Allred the inks.

Through their collaboration Dragotta has worked on such characters as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, X-Statix, the original X-Men, She-Hulk, and plenty of others.

He’s no slouch when it comes to working on his own though. Oh no, Dragotta has availed his pencil to a number of titles for different publishers, including The Losers with Andy Diggle, Vengeance with Joe Casey, and quite a few with his current East Of West collaborator, Johnathan Hickman.EoW There is a reason so many top-notch creators want to work with him.

It’s been great watching his style evolve through the years into the brilliant storyteller he is now. East Of West is as gorgeous as it is disturbing in places, and Dragotta’s attention to detail adds so much to the creep factor and really makes it all feel real.

He’s as comfortable drawing an outdoorsy, western-type action scene, as he is a post-apocalyptic cityscape, and everything in-between. His range is impressive, and his characterization really comes through, even in “talking head” panels, using body language to sell the emotion in a scene.

IronFistAllredDragottaI’ve grown to look forward to anything Dragotta draws, and I don’t see that impulse going away any time soon.

With the aforementioned East of West he has upped his game on so many levels, seemingly reveling in his creative freedom to produce one of the best looking books on the shelf. And he gets better with every issue. I’m so happy my LCS recommended it, as it’s easily one of my favorite books coming out right now, and Dragotta is a big reason why. East of West Volume One is available now, and if you pick it up, you’ll see that Nick Dragotta is a Future Comic Rock Star.

Be sure to follow him on twitter, and check out his website from time to time as he posts updates, as well as sketches.

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