ISSUE #85: Girl on Girl (Part 1)

 

Welcome back to a new Cover TunesI hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and, perhaps more importantly in nerd-ville, an even better Black Friday weekend. There were definitely deals to be had and I hope you all snagged some great loot.

It has been a while since I featured girly covers as we’ve explored horror, monster, Neal Adams, Star Wars and Peanuts over the past two months. But you know me; I can’t stay away from sexy covers for long and since I was beginning to go through withdrawal, we get back to the girls (with a little added twist), this week.

With the Faithless series that had all female artists drawing the erotic variant covers, I applauded Boom! Studios for such a bold move. I think it goes a long way in seeing a new viewpoint on sex in comics while celebrating the feminine aesthetic from the female point of view.

For far too long have we seen only the male perspective on the female form and/or sex and, to be fair, it isn’t always sexy. As a matter of fact, it is often downright cringy and overdone.  

From modern favorites like Hughes, Cho, Parrillo, Maer, Artgerm and J. Scott Campbell, the list of men who do the sexy “thing” these days, is long and distinguished. However, over the past decade, female artists have exploded onto the comics scene, as well; one better than the next.

Many of them are among my favorites and while I can’t possibly highlight all of them in three articles, I will do my best to give a decent cross-section of those whom I think are the best at it.

This week, we hit the first five, next time we hit five more (Staples, Conner, Witter, Bartel and Takeda) and on 12/18, we hit up the final five (Jones, Sanders, Dalton and Hans).

I hope you enjoy my selections, this week. Here we go…

 

Ame-Comi Girls #5 (2013 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – April, 2013

ARTIST: Emanuela Lupacchino

 

Lupacchino (pronounced “Loop-a-kee-no”), the oft-forgot artist, was once quite hot. It seems she has fallen off from popularity as of late which is most likely due to a lack of output. Out of sight, quickly out of mind in the FOMO world of comics, these days. However, there is no denying her talent. Don’t neglect taking a peek at her three Starfire covers, as well.

To be sure, Lupacchino has a vague anime style, but not in an overly distracting way like so many other artists. Instead, we get voluptuous lines and a playfulness that lends a lovely and fun balance. I’ve featured the #4 from this series, before (The Power Girl issue which is equally as-good-or-better).

Do yourselves the favor of re-discovering her work. On this cover, we get a wonderfully dynamic pose (along with WAY too much trade dress). There is also that AWFUL ad banner for Arrow which is a ridiculously gratuitous distraction on the part of DC, but the beauty of the art thankfully overpowers it.

 

Red Sonja #20 (Series)

PUBLISHED: Dynamite Entertainment – August, 2018

ARTIST: Tula Lotay

 

Lotay has become a silent powerhouse on the indie scene and if you really want to see her prowess, check out her little sketchbooks that she brings to conventions.

With that said, while she has some incredible incentive variant covers that I can’t feature here (like her Black Widow #1 1:25), she also has plenty of fantastic “A” covers like this favorite Red Sonja cover.

Lotay’s impressionistic style stands out amongst a lot of same-ness in the market. Her bold slashes of blocked color and stupendous and simple linework (especially on faces) in quite intriguing. She is slowly becoming my favorite (although, beating out Frison will be nearly impossible).

I had the opportunity to meet Tula at Heroescon this past year and not only was she gracious and kind, but also did a free little sketch for me in one of her sketchbooks. She’s not in the U.S. very much, so try to meet her if you have the chance. I’ve featured another one of these Lotay Red Sonja covers (Red Sonja #18) in Cover Tunes #61. So, check that out if you’d like to see more.

NOTE TO VARIANT HUNTERS:  Be aware that there is a virgin version of this cover which can also be gotten rather cheaply (it was a 1:20).

 

Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64 Leaves on the Wind #1 (2014 Series)

PUBLISHED: Dark Horse Comics – January, 2014

ARTIST: Jenny Frison

 

What can I say about Jenny Frison that I haven’t already said. She is one of the most pleasant and generous artists on the circuit in addition to being among the most talented. She signs for free for everyone and gives your boy her time each year for interviews.

She is honest, forthcoming and extremely casual in those interviews and, if you haven’t already checked them out, you can do so here and here. From an artistic perspective, Jenny’s style stands out as completely unique; one can identify a Frison cover from a mile away. Her subtle tonal rendering and smooth linework is unparalleled as is her ability to combine lovely femininity with strength.

From Wonder Woman to Red Sonja to Vampirella, I’m challenged to find anyone better. This rendition of Morena Baccarin as Inara is amazing and I’m also a sucker for all things Firefly/Serenity. So, Frison + Firefly + Inara = Perfect.

 

[Michael Turner’s] Fathom #6 (2018 Series)

PUBLISHED: Aspen Comics – December, 2018

ARTIST: Sia Oum

 

Pronounced “See-ya Oom,” we have another one of the sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet out on the con circuit. Siya is an outstanding talent. She rarely delves outside of her Aspen work other than for the spurious Marvel variant and/or store variant, but does have a few outstanding regular covers for the big guys.

Having taken over many of the duties of the late Michael Turner, most of her best work exists on Fathom (featured here in the classic Fathom fashion) and her own Lola XOXO title for both of which there are an almost uncountable number of incentive variants by Oum.

As can be seen on this cover, especially in the water, her linework is quite unique as is her overall figural composition. The slight sketchy quality provides a great mood on her pieces that I particularly love. That mood combined with her ability to compose timeless pin-up style art place Siya Oum in a place where I believe she is poised to soon explode.

I do hope so as she more than deserves it. I’ve featured a couple of her Lola XOXO covers in both Cover Tunes #23 and Cover Tunes #63 if you’re inclined to see further work by Oum.  

 

Hit #1 (2015 Series)

PUBLISHED: Boom Studios – March, 2015

ARTIST: Vanesa Del Rey

 

Definitely the darkest of this week’s featured artists, Vanesa Del Rey (not a typo… there is only one “s”) has some very interesting and macabre work under her belt including her Redlands series for Image. When she and I spoke at Heroescon, this year, she was every bit as accessible as her art.  Her loose style is refreshing and lends itself to heavy inks and dark compositions. This, in turn, creates amazing atmosphere. This Hit #1 is amazingly “noir” and has the feel of an incredible 1940’s/50’s poster. I prefer Del Rey’s painted pieces over her line-heavy work, but to each their own.

 

*****

 

And that brings us to yet another conclusion. I hope you enjoy these covers as much as I do. Let me know your favorites from these artists in the comments, this week. I look forward to your thoughts. Next week, we hit on the next five fantastic female artists who draw lovely girls. Until then, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting.    

 

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