Real Human Beings Driving the Digital Art Movement
Greetings and jamutations, Tin Hatters! The effervescent Tin Foil here with another dosage of electro-techno vibes and conspiracy theories. What came first? My articles where I blather on, or my articles where I blather on about Previews? Well, since the Previews book doesn’t come out until a couple more weeks, I suppose it’s time for the former. In this week’s Tin Foil Spec, I want to rave about two digital artists that I think are the next big thing for spec. Digital art has come a long way, and it has won over many critics. I believe these next two guys will soon be the faces of that movement. Am I talking about Stanley “Artgerm” Lau? Nope, I’m talking about his two amigos, dos compadres, the Power and Wisdom, the two-thirds of the triangle: Derrick Chew and Eric Chen.
I’ll start off with Derrick Chew as he’s been getting some steam recently. I spoke a little bit about him in my February Previews Tin Foil and gave him a quick blurb in my March Previews, but he definitely deserves a lot more. His art is almost as if glam rock and indie rock had a child, but aside from that, it’s his sense of speed that makes a lot of his drawings mesmerizing. We’ve all seen the cover for his upcoming Harley Quinn variant (which is actually an old drawing of his), but did you know he also has a similar drawing for Catwoman?
For those that found the Harley image too busy, this may be the image for you. While the other image has colors flying all over the place, this image is much more subdued. We only get black and grey as the dominating colors, allowing her goggles to pop out as the city blurs behind. This is the sense of speed that I mentioned earlier. Although his Harley is awashed with color, it makes sense since it’s Harley Quinn herself. Her obsession with crazy and wild colors would make make for a sickly rainbow to whiz by. He also captures this blurry motion with his recent Flash covers. If we got Gotham City Garage out of a bunch of statues, could we get a Gotham City Biker Gang out of Chew’s art?
Japanese biker girls aren’t Chew’s only forte as evident by this Miles Morales vs Venom drawing that was recently picked up by Sideshow Collectibles.
(Whoah, did I just plug something? Is that allowed? Tom Cruise?)
Once again, we get that blurry sense of motion. Is Miles running from Venom, or is he about to dodge out of an attack from behind? Is it the shoes? One thing’s certain: Derrick Chew should team up with Sean Murphy to create a Speed Racer comic. Derrick Chew has a lot of talent, and I think he will be “here” before the summer. Amazing art that he can pump out at will, eye candy, and a style that he is making all his own, 2019 promises to have a lot of Derrick Chew in it, and it starts in February.
Now here is the guy that I think is worthy of being a “blue chipper”. Methinks that DC will get him to do variant covers soon if they haven’t already. Artgerm tends to focus on bringing good girl art into the modern age, and Chew looks ready to bring a chaotic, rock and roll style. However, Eric seems to be the happy medium between the two. His art and colors tend to be soft and sensual, almost hinting an impressionist style, while still having the sharp lines that we are accustomed to in the comic book world.
His penchant for mixing culture with modern heroes is astounding. This Kabuki Spider-Man is something I need more of. The clashing colors of blue and red allow for this white figure to pop out, essentially much like a ghost.
John Constantine is a character who has gotten a lot of love from passionate artists, even if those books are low print runs.
Chen demonstrates his ability to continue that trend with this amazing Hellblazer drawing. After all, Constantine is a great occult detective, and a great detective deserves a fantastic portrait. The grey around his arms looks like an evil demon enveloping him, but at the same time, it looks like he’s easily blowing it away through his cigarette.
However, I did mention that Chen will be a legendary digital artist much like his two brethren. With that in mind, I leave you with this final image.
Imagine if he gets to do a high incentive ratio cover? He’d definitely give In-Hyuk Lee a run for his money.
Two amazing artists, both with different styles, but united by a strong bond. To be honest, I don’t know exactly how close these 3 artists are, but I’m dubbing them the “Digital 3”. They balance each other out so perfectly; if they were to work on a piece together, it would be a piece that this world is not ready for.
What do you think, Tin Hatters? Are there other digital artists that we should watch out for (that haven’t already done a plethora of covers for the Big 2)? Based on Artgerm’s Instagram, he does seem to carry a posse of interesting artists. Should we just name all these people the “Digital Ratpack”? We’ll find out.
Brace yourself, Tin Hatters. A new movement is coming. From Singapore to Tokyo to everywhere in between, keep looking up to the stars, and farewell from the world of yesterday!