Now that the new year is upon us, I had pondered how to kick off this segment as I take it into 2013. Wandering the internet and my own collection of reference materials, but at the time of my search it felt as if I was repeatedly smacking into a stone wall. It perhaps didn't help it was the holidays at the beginning of my little adventure. For some reason my hunt led me towards comic artists. A few caught my eye but the one that perked my attention the most was manga artist Shigeru Mizuki.
|GeGeGe no Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki|
Known for his horror manga GeGeGe no Kitaro, Shigeru Mizuki (1922 - ) specializes in storytelling dealing with yōkai. After loosing his arm during his time in the second World War and returning to Japan, he worked for a short period of time as a theater operator before breaking into cartooning with his first work Rocketman (1957). Since then, he has written several books and created a collection of manga which includes Akuma-kun which was later adapted into an anime series and live-action TV show. He has also received a number of awards and several deceleration of recognition, the most recent being the Person of Cultural Merit award in 2010.
With such an interesting and unique style, I wasn't too sure if I would be able to find artists who shared Shigeru Mizuki's flare to their works. It took me some time but I located 5 artists who could have possibly at least seen his works in some why. Taking notes, I sent out my question to those who I had selected:
"With your wonderful pieces, I was wondering if your style was some how influenced in some way to the manga artist Shigeru Mizuki."
|"Battles without Honor and Humanity" by Asiulus|
An illustrator located in Poland, Joanna's gallery is filled with digital works. At just a quick glance, one can see that each piece is done in subtle grey tones with sharp contrasts of bright and nearly psychodelic splashes of color. Perhaps a bit dark and twisted but each piece if visually stunning and her attention to detail is very well executed.
“"Hi! Not really a direct inspiration, but I like the mood he creates and all the motifs from classical japanese woodcuts. And the monsters, brilliant!" ~Asiulus
|"The Tragedy of the Half Moon Throne" by strayheadache|
strayheadache.deviantart.com (United States)
A digital artist living in the United States, Sloane's pieces seem to be a mix of fan art and her own imaginative thoughts. Leaning a bit more towards an urban style, each piece is filled with abstract forms and over-exaggerated human forms then inked and colored in such a way to give the most dramatic punch possible. A great example of this is in one of her older pieces Farewell to fall (2011).
"I'm familiar with his illustration work mainly and have read some of GeGeGe but I don't think I've exposed myself to him enough to say he has inspired my pieces?? Though I am extremely inspired by ukiyo-e illustrations from the Heian period which obviously is a big inspiration for him as well!
Is there a piece of mine in particular that brought him to your mind? And thanks for the message, your work is lovely!" ~strayheadache
cbernie.deviantart.com (United States)
Digital artist Courtney Bernard from the United States actually is more frequently on Tumblr then on deviantART but the works she does have on display has a bit of a retro feel to them. Though she does have some fan art posted, most of her pieces of her own imagination such as her interpretations of various fables and brainstorming ideas. Her color palette seems to be in the grey and blue area, all of the tones being rather on the cool side.
"Haha, I can't say that it was! I'm not familiar with this artist, but it's a very interesting connection to make. " ~Courtney
Unfortunately only 3 of the 5 artists I had contacted have had a chance to respond which is probably due to the fact that people are returning to school and work. So as always, I present to you the remaining artists, their work and leave it to you to decide if their style is perhaps influenced in some way by Shigeru Mizuki.
|"Final Fight" by pietro-ant|
An artist from Brazil, Pietro Antognioni focuses on digital illustrations. Much of his gallery shows a fusion of western and eastern comic styles with his own twist. With a few references to video games, most of the pieces on display are concept pieces. Dark and emotionally pulling, his work causes the viewer to really think of the various meanings in what he had created.
|"Spera Volume II: Issue Two" by aznmextofu|
aznmextofu.deviantart.com (United States)
A digital artist from the United States going by the user name of Afu Chan, his gallery is filled with illustrations from his own comic projects and various bits of class work. He also has done some pieces in traditional mediums such as Matsushima Mouko (2008).