Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art Of Gary Frank

Through the magic of the internet, I stumbled upon this image by Gary Frank, a promotional piece for a book titled GRAPHIC INK: THE DC COMICS ART OF GARY FRANK. The book is still up on the DC site despite being shelved. Here is that link: http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/graphic-ink-the-dc-comics-art-of-gary-frank

I've been a fan of Frank's art since his early work on the Peter David Supergirl site. And while not from DC, I loved his work on Supreme Power. Just gorgeous stuff there.

Looking at this image, you can see the breadth of Frank's work in DC. Obviously he had some time with Superman with Geoff Johns. But you also see the Stan Lee Imagines Shazam, the Tangent Flash, Black Canary (he was one of the first artist's on Birds of Prey), and the actual Marvel Family while on Justice League (again with Johns). And his take on the Legion was great in that Action Comics run.

This is a great piece, worthy of a poster.

But you can guess the two characters that really caught my eye.

Frank drew Supergirl in the Brainiac storyline in Action Comics. Kara was still suffering a bit in her own title but Johns made her young, a bit vulnerable, but ultimately the hero of that arc, saving the Earth from Brainiac's solar aggressor missile.

I thought she carried a certain youthful naivete with a grace. And the panels where she admits she is scared but then flies into space after the missile is just fantastic.

So it was great to see Frank draw that Supergirl again.

But really the image that gave me the biggest smile was seeing Frank draw Linda Danvers again.

I have gushed about the Peter David Supergirl run a ton on this site. I have reviewed a number of the Frank drawn issues from that run, including Supergirl #9, one of my favorites. This was the Matrix Supergirl merging with a troubled young woman and finding her way.

Seeing that classic skateboard, the full shirt S-shield, and a smiling Linda ... it just warmed by heart. I'd wear this image on a t-shirt!

I miss that version of the character. A lot.

Unfortunately, it looks like the book idea got scrapped. Frank posted this image on his twitter feed back in July 2016. Surprised I missed it back then.

It's a shame. I would have bought it!


Anonymous said...

Great art. I agree. It's a shame the book got cancelled.

I particularly like Frank has drawn both cousins standing close each other. I miss their relationship and Kara's presence in Clark's books. I also like he has included both Post-Crisis Supergirls in the same piece of art! Is this the first time someone has drawn Post-Crisis Kara and Linda in the same image?

I loved the Action Comics "Brainiac" arc. Great story, great art. In a way it meant Post Crisis Supergirl's turning point. No more angry, angsty and whiny brat, mad scientist Zor-El or ridiculous powers (Crystal protrusions? Any Silver Age Kryptonian power makes more sense and is less dumb than that. Even Super-math is less dumb and makes more sense!). Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates were about to turn Kara Zor-El into the hero she is meant to be.

Gary Frank drew Kara as a young Laura Vandervoort, which is cool and proper of course, but I almost wish he had based Kara's looks on Helen Slater since Clark's were inspired on Christopher Reeve. It would be something like this:


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Anj. And yeah, sad this got binned, I would've picked it up, just to see what the art inside looked like, but just from the cover...

And can't 2nd your comments about what Johns, et al did for Supergirl during the Braniac arc.


Anj said...

Hard to believe just how long ago that Brainiac arc was.

Time flies!

Anonymous said...

"Hard to believe just how long ago that Brainiac arc was.

Time flies!"


Can the next Superman movie feature Supergirl and Brainiac? Being a kind of adaptation of that storyline like "Superman Unbound"? Is that too much to ask? Geez, Supergirl and Brainiac were going to show up in Superman III...

Somewhat off topic, but in "Injustice 2", some of pre-match dialogues have Kara trying to reason with Kal:

"Supergirl: Kal, you need to stop!
Superman: You going to turn on me, too?
Supergirl: I'm gonna save you from yourself..."

Supergirl opposing Injustice Superman and yet wanting to save him from himself? I fully support this.