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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #170

In this episode, Bill races to finish the column before the approaching thunder destroys his internet connection! First, the usual link to the archive!

Let’s look at a brilliant artist currently working in comics who isn’t as loved as he should be.


170. Cliff Chiang


Cliff Chiang is probably over-educated for the comics medium– he graduated from Harvard– but we should all be thankful to have him. He first got his start in the business as an editor, actually, on titles like Transmetropolitan, but it’s his art that brought him to my attention.

He’s got an absolutely gorgeous style. It’s smooth and fluid, dancing on the edge between “realistic” and “cartoony.” His storytelling is top-notch and his layouts are getting stronger and stronger over time. I think he’ll be a superstar pretty soon. It’s at the point where I buy comics just because he drew them– and for a writer geek like me, that means he’s really damn good.

Cliff Chiang 1.jpgCliff Chiang 3.jpgCliff Chiang 2.jpg

I first encountered his work in the Human Target ongoing Vertigo series, which quickly became my favorite book, at the time. Cliff drew the majority of that series– there’s one trade of his work there, but to get the rest you’ll have to buy the singles. They’re definitely worth tracking down– twisting stories of identity from “Good” Peter Milligan and some fantastic art from Cliff Chiang, Javier Pulido, and Cameron Stewart.

That wasn’t the only cool series he’s drawn, of course. There’s also the Beware the Creeper mini, again for Vertigo, a recent Spectre mini-series with Will Pfeifer, and, of course, the genius Dr. Thirteen back-ups in Tales of the Unexpected, which we’ve discussed before. And yes, they’re being put in their own trade. Woohoo! He’s also done some Batman work here and there, and a few covers for DC, and a couple other odds and ends. Seek them out!

Batman Central.jpgCliff Chiang 4.jpg
Cliff Chiang 5.JPG
Cliff Chiang 6.JPG

I believe Cliff will be drawing the new Green Arrow/Black Canary series coming this Fall. I hope it grants him the wider exposure he deserves! But I hope it doesn’t take away from potential Dr. Thirteen sequels!

You can check out a lot more Cliff Chiang art and news at his website, and you can buy a ton of original Chiang art at Splash Page Art. And be sure to read this cool interview with Cliff at Newsarama!

Sorry if it’s short, but I’m suffering from power outages here– gotta hop off! Seeya tomorrow!


Chiang’s art is really great.

It’s funny to consider him over-educated.

I believe a lot of comic writers (not so many artists) didn’t even finish College: Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison.. I might be wrong though.

Excellent call on choosing Cliff Chaing. I first encountered his work on Batman: Golden Streets of Gotham and his various works he’s done on the Big Book Ofs for Paradox press.

His artwork does get better with each issue. 2 sleeper books of his that he did were 815 and 816, where he fights Zasasz. Very cool stuff…like all of his stuff.

I’ve always praised Chiang every chance I get!

He’s neat-o.

I’m hoping the “Josie Mac” backups from Detective Comics get reprinted…it’s the only work from Judd Winick’s salad days that I’ve never read.

I think the only work from Chiang that I’ve read was a Human Target tpb. At least I can think of looking at the Dr. Thirteen tpb down the line, because it’s been that praised.

Wow, that is really flattering… Everything I’ve drawn has been a labor of love, and knowing that there are people out there who appreciate it makes it all worthwhile. Thanks!

What did Cliff do on Transmet? Covers? I’ve just reread the whole series, and can’t remember what he did on it.

^He was, as Bill said, the editor.

I’ll definitely give that Dr. Thirteen trade a shot, Azarello + Chiang = Sold.

Definatly worth the money, J. Be glad you don’t have to buy the ‘not so hot’ Spectre story with it.

Dr. Thirteen = good comics. Just look at hte page above to seethe yummy art goodness. Also liked Mr. Chiang on Human Target.

Cliff Chiang, thanks for making comics good!

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