Saturday, September 02, 2006

Book-A-Day #45 (8/31): Frank Cho Women: Selected Drawings and Illustrations

Another day, another book with hardly any words in it. In fact, this one (which I picked up at the comics shop and read on the bus on the way home) has no text sections at all -- no introduction, foreword, appreciation, or afterword. It doesn't even have captions for the art, which is unfortunate; I'd have liked to have seen some explanations and background from Cho.

Cho is a cartoonist who seems to be in the middle of turning from the creator of his own series (Liberty Meadows, which started out as a newspaper strip, was reprinted in comic-book form and then migrated to comics entirely, and which seems to have ended at some point after I stopped keeping track of it) to a Marvel Comics gun-for-hire. He's got an appealing, just-to-the-cartoony-side-of-realistic style, does faces well, and has a good eye for areas of black. But the reason he's a fan favorite is that he usually draws the kind of women who will have severe back problems later in life. (He always draws them as if they're just eighteen, though, and the anatomy of any one of them is just barely plausible. All put together, though, it's clear what type of woman he prefers.)

He has a very good eye for covers/pin-ups/calendar illustrations, so much so that he seems to have been born about fifty years too late for his own good. If he can paint like he draws, he could have been another Gil Elvgren.

This book goes by very quickly unless one stares at each page for a long time -- admittedly, perhaps the expected audience will do just that. There is a fair bit of nudity in it, but that's the point of a book like this. I enjoyed it, but it's not as good as it should have been -- it looks like it was put together for a quick buck. I'd have much preferred a book with some real design, more than one picture on most of the pages, notes and details from Cho about the pictures and how he worked on them, and just more words to make this into something more like a real book than a portfolio that just happens to be bound between boards.

No comments:

Post a Comment