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
Filmmakers Marcia S. Ross and Jeff Kaufman Discuss Their new Documentary ‘Nasrin’

Producer Marcia S. Ross and Producer/Director Jeff Kaufman discuss their latest...

Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 Writer Tim Sheridan Talks Adaptation

Writer Tim Sheridan Talks to us about Batman: The Long Halloween...

Gunpowder Milkshake Trailer
Gunpowder Milkshake Trailer and Key Art

Gunpowder Milkshake Trailer and Key Art released from Netflix. The official...

Event News Event Reviews
Prime Day Show
The Prime Day Show

The Prime Day Show, featuring Billie Eilish, H.E.R., and Kid Cudi,...

Verizon 5G
Verizon 5g Powering the Future for Gaming

Today during Verizon’s first E3 keynote, the company shared how Verizon...

E3 2021 Preview
E3 2021 Preview Trailer

E3 2021 Preview Trailer gives us an in-depth look at the...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
I Am Fish
[E3] I Am Fish First Impression

I Am Fish, from Bossa Studios and Curve Digital, is an...

Sonic Colors: Ultimate
Sonic Colors: Ultimate

Sonic Colors: Ultimate, the gorgeous Sonic game on the Wii in...

Halo Infinite Multiplayer
Halo Infinite Multiplayer Overview

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Overview reveals the evolution of one of the...

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
Creators Samuel Haine and John Livesay Talk to Us About ‘Slow City Blues’

Creator Samuel Haine and Artist Coordinator & Inker John Livesay talk...

Jim Starlin and Jaime Jameson Discuss Dreadstar Returns

Comic Book Creation and Legend Jim Starlin along with Inking Sensation...

Dr. Harley Rotbart Discusses His New Book ‘No Regrets Living: 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment’

Dr. Harley Rotbart, MD discusses his new book, No Regrets Living:...

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
OtterBox Power Swap
[E3] OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries

OtterBox Xbox Power Swap Controller Batteries, and more gaming gear, debut...

Converse & Nike Space Jam: A New Legacy Sneak Peek & New Poster

Converse and Nike Space Jam: A New Legacy sneak peek at the upcoming...

Shadow Cast Review
9/10
GENKI: ShadowCast Review

GENKI: ShadowCast Review – The GENKI: ShadowCast by Human Things is...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Pat Bondurant Discusses the Revival of the Bondurant (Driving) Method

Pat Bondurant the wife of racing legend Bob Bondurant discusses the...

Lance Archer Talks About Facing Miro at AEW’s Double or Nothing

The Murder Hawk Monster, Lance Archer Talks About Facing Miro for...

Kyle Chambers Returns to Gym Crashers Pro Seeking to Repeat at ‘Kings of the Hill’ to Claim the $3000 Purse

10th Planet BJJ Black Belt Kyle Chambers returns to Gym Crashers...

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...?
Comics on the can – Vote Loki!

When she exposes this truth, Loki’s followers just shrug it off...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Among Us – Black and Blue

Satire mixes with Video Games.

Fantoy Comics Presents: Among Us pt 2

Ron is the impostor in his game of Among us... or...

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
Mortal Kombat Sound Track
Mortal Kombat Sound Track Available April 16

The Mortal Kombat Sound Track will be available April 16, 2021 on Watertower...

Rising Country Artist Daniel Bonte Releases New Single ‘Dancing Away from Me’

Indiana Native turned California Kid, Country Artist Daniel Bonte Releases New...

Noelle Scaggs of Fitz and the Tantrums Talks ‘Concerts in Your Car’

Performing on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds,...