Future Comic Rock Stars – “Savage” Greg Smallwood

GameStop, Inc.

dream_thief_teaser_by_gregsmallwood-d5wqgwyWelcome to my 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 breaking in.

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. Some come from the world of graphic design, advertizing illustration, or fine art, using those jobs to pay the bills in the meantime.

Then came their break. Something they did got noticed, an editor got in touch, and they were on their way. A fill in page here, a small press book there, maybe a miniseries or one-shot for one of the big two. Something about their style catches fan’s eyes, and their star begins to rise.

marvel_a_x__15_cover_art_by_gregsmallwood-d6yurftGreg Smallwood came to my attention through his work on A + X #15.

I’m a sucker for Doctor Strange, and as soon as I saw the cover I knew I was in store for something fun. As I turned the last page I knew I was going to have to track down every piece of Greg Smallwood work I could find. Unfortunately there wasn’t much out there, which surprised me because his work has the touch of a seasoned pro. Other than Day of the Dead: The Rising of Bub #1, from Dead Dog Productions in 2007, he didn’t have anything else until 2013’s excellent Dream Thief with his A + X writer Jai Nitz. As far as I know that Day of the Dead series never saw another issue published.

Just over a year ago saw the release of Dream Thief #1, a supernatural revenge tale about a thief who steals an ancient mask and becomes possessed by spirits that make him enact their revenge while he sleeps. The concept itself isn’t THAT original, but what Nitz and Smallwood do with it sure is. It became one of my favorite books of last year, a year already filled to the brim with brilliant new series after series. The story itself was great, full of action, excitement, and pathos, as the main character, a man of dubious morals, struggles with the things these spirits make him do. But man, that art!

robocop__beta_cover_art_by_gregsmallwood-d6yurk2As a regular reader of this column can probably tell I’m not a fan of the slick and polished work of many Big Two artists. I don’t dislike it, by a long shot, but to me there’s something to be said for an artist like Sean Phillips or David Aja, and Smallwood’s work occupies the same class of draftsmen. His brushwork has a loose quality to it, not sloppy by any means, just free flowing and organic. If Jim Lee is the digital of comic artists, Greg Smallwood would be the analog, and I always preferred analog. He sometimes uses a dry brush technique that really adds depth and texture to his work, giving it a weight that isn’t found in many artist’s work.

His covers for Dynamite’s Grimm: The Warlock series, as well as the Robocop: Beta cover, show his ability to not merely capture the looks of real people, but to distill their essence into as few lines as possible. The reflection in Robocop’s helmet doesn’t clearly show Michael Keaton’s Raymond Sellars, but implies him with a simplicity of line that is just fantastic. No matter what you thought of the movie itself, that cover is beautiful in it’s design and execution.

Moon-Knight-7-CoverHis page layouts are smart, nothing too flashy or experimental, but easy to read, drawing your eyes from one panel to the next. A consummate storyteller, Smallwood would probably make a good director if this comic thing doesn’t pan out. But of course it will, or I wouldn’t be writing this. His panel backgrounds are full of life and motion, not to the point of distraction mind you, always just enough to make the world feel lived in. That and his attention to detail make his pages ones to linger over, to hold your breath and just dive in, swimming in them for a while until jumping into the next page. Ordinary objects placed just so, giving his worlds scale like our own.

Along with Dream Thief and Grimm, Smallwood is about to take over from previous future comic rock star Declan Shalvey on Moon Knight as of issue #7, with Brian Wood on writing detail. This is an inspired decision, as I can’t think of a better artist to come in and put his own stamp on the title. I have no fear that Smallwood will be an excellent successor for Marvel’s latest hit, and that he is a future comic rock star. Next week I’ll bring you another.

You can see more of his work here and here, and be sure to follow him on Twitter for updates.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Invasion Earth Trailer

Press Release – Premiering in loungerooms this August, an exhilarating new...

The Old Guard Review
‘The Old Guard’ Review — An Uneven, Ambitious Blockbuster Subversion

This summer has really deprived movie lovers of blockbuster action, as...

Allison Marie Volk Talks About her new Dark Comedy ‘Deany Bean is Dead’

Allison Marie Volk is the writer and star of the independent...

Event News Event Reviews
Adult Swim Con is Apart of Comic-Con @ Home!

From Cartoon Network – Adult Swim announces the first-ever Adult Swim...

SDCC Amazon Prime Activation
[Con-Pression] SDCC Amazon Prime Activation

We relive moments of Con past to deal with our Con-Pression,...

Casey Biggs and Jeffery Combs Discuss their Virtual Meet and Greek Along with Star Trek Las Vegas

On the heels of Creation Entertainment announcing the Official Star Trek...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
SnowRunner
SnowRunner Launches Today

SnowRunner looks to be the ultimate off-roading virtual experience and launches today...

John Wick Hex
John Wick Hex Releases May 5th on PC and Playstation 4

John Wick Hex releases on May 5th on PC and Playstation...

Marvel United Funded
Marvel United Funded – Only Hours Left to Back Marvel United

Marvel United funded in the first 31 minutes! Now you only...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Variant Covers Announced

Press Release from DC Entertainment:   “In brightest day, in blackest...

Comic Historian and Writer, Scott Beatty Discusses the Future of the Industry

Scott Beatty is an incredible guy. He’s a writer, professor, father...

AEW Star, Hangman Page Reads Aloud to Children on Instagram on Friday, April 17

Press Release – CHICAGO, IL (April 14, 2020) – With schools...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Celebrate Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting with Loot Crate

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA (April 16, 2020) – For almost...

McCafé Frappé
McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is a Great Way to Start the Day

McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is the best way to start...

Consumable Gift List 2019
FBN Consumable Gift List 2019

Our Consumable Holiday Gift List 2019 – The best gift to...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
NBA Legend Tim Hardaway Will be an Analyst for ‘The 5 Tournament Pro Basketball Invitational’

One-third of the RUN TMC that also consisted of Mitch Richmond...

WWE Superstar Sonya Deville Wants to Dawn the Cowl as ‘Batwoman’

Most of you may know her as formerly one half of...

We get ‘Fit with Mandy’ Rose

Former WBFF Bikini World Champion and current WWE Superstar, Mandy Rose...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and New Horizons: New Neighbors

A borked attempt to rescue the boys brings new characters to...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the wizarding rumble: A new horizon chapter: 4

Ron falls further and further under the spell of the island....

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Wizarding Rumble, mini-arc: New Horizons chapter 3

Ron is easily seduced by the trappings of Animal Crossing..

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
New Single ‘Aqua’ from ‘The SpongeBob Move: Sponge On the Run Debuts Today!

From Paramount Animation – LOS ANGELES, CA (July 9th, 2020) –...

Comedy Duo Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed Take Us, ‘Back To The 80s’

Two of the funniest men in show business, Ben Giroux (Hart...

James Maslow ‘Rush’es the Stage to Perform at Super Girl Surf Pro on Sunday

James Maslow is an American singer, actor and songwriter best known as the star of...