365 Reasons to Love Comics #171
It’s time for one of my all-time favorite artists to get his turn in the spotlight! You’ll be drooling over the featured art today, my friends.
The archive link cometh. And goeth. But not Goethe.
171. JosÃ© LadrÃ¶nn
If Jack Kirby and Moebius had a baby, and Geof Darrow was the wet nurse, that baby would be JosÃ© LadrÃ¶nn. A native of Veracruz, Mexico, SeÃ±or LadrÃ¶nn worked in animation and design before Marvel Comics swept him up when he happened to attend the San Diego Comicon in the mid-90’s.
As I said, his artistic style is reminiscent of Kirby, especially his earlier comics work, which shared the explosive might of Kirby’s pencils and featured many of the same design sensibilities. But then, he appears to be influenced from the European stylistics of artists like Jean “Moebius” Giraud, as well. I stumbled upon LadrÃ¶nn’s work by picking up books on impulse ten years ago– there was his Cable run with Joe Casey, and his phenomenal turn on the Spider-Boy Team-Up one-shot for the second wave of Marvel and DC’s Amalgam stunt. His linework here floored me– the energy! the dazzle! the massive attention to detail! I was hooked. He instantly became one of my favorite comic artists around.
JosÃ© had a painter’s soul, however, and brought such sensibilities to the comics page. He paints all his current work, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Infused with a sense of majesty and power, it still shows its influences, but it also lets you know that it’s the work of JosÃ© LadrÃ¶nn, accept no substitutes. You can find his beautiful paints on the covers of the Inhumans mini-series written by Carlos Pacheco and in the Hip Flask specials and novellas he’s illustrated, where he brilliantly brings a world conceived by the esteemed Richard Starkings to life (check out the hip hippo himself at the top of this post). Those are just a few examples– he’s done interiors and exteriors for DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Metal Hurlant, and more.
Currently, he can be found as a cover artist on books like the All New Atom (now if only we could get a Lady Cop cover!) and the Incredible Hulk. I believe there’s another Hip Flask project in the works as well, and I can’t wait for it to take my breath away.
If it’s more art you seek, visit this cool LadrÃ¶nn cover gallery, or check out his sadly-not-updated-in-a-few-years website, where you can learn about a “lost” Silver Surfer story from 1999. I don’t know if it was ever completed, but if it is sitting in a drawer somewhere, I would love to see it published.
JosÃ© LadrÃ¶nn’s art never ceases to astonish me, and I eagerly await each new project he chooses to do. Personally, I wish DC would team him and Grant Morrison on a New Gods project, but perhaps I’m only dreaming. It’s a nice dream, though. Don’t you think?
Also: diareses are awesome. That is all.