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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #220

Today? One of the world’s most expressive pencillers. You’ll see what I mean. (I’ve been looking so long at this archive of you that I almost believe that it’s real.)

8/8/07

220. Kevin Maguire

Maguire 1.jpg

Call it word association if you will; from Keith Giffen to J.M. DeMatteis to the original third man in their Justice League venture, Kevin Maguire, the artist of a thousand faces.

Justice League was his big break, and he completely sold the tone of the book. Maguire’s renowned for his skill at depicting facial expressions, and with a book that thrives on snappy patter, he’s golden. The characters came alive under his linework and pulled off the delivery of their lines with ease. It was Kevin Maguire who first put life and soul into those wacky characters, and made the series what it was. Thanks to his art, we felt each “Bwahaha!” He made classic moments come alive, much like Frampton.

Maguire 2.JPGMaguire 8.JPG

It’s just a damn shame that Mr. Maguire hasn’t done as much work in the industry as I wish he had. He did Justice League for a while, and moved onto other things, including a Captain America mini, Team Titans, Strikeback!, and some other works. Eventually, he returned to the Justice League along with Giffen and DeMatteis in a pair of limited series, Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League (presented in JLA Classified). And his art was still excellent, still vibrant, and still glorious. Take this sequence, for instance, which holds so much emotional power because of how well-drawn it is:

Maguire 3.JPGMaguire 4.JPGMaguire 5.JPG

Click those to enlarge. You can see every emotion on Guy and Bea’s faces, and it’s heartbreaking.

Kevin also teamed up with Mssrs. Giffen and DeMatteis on a Defenders mini for Marvel, and brought his expressive style to the world’s greatest non-team as well. I’ll let the art speak for itself:

Maguire 6.JPG

Maguire 7.JPG

I would buy endless Maguire-drawn comics if I could, even if they were all talking heads– no, especially if they were all talking heads. He’s proven himself to be so adept at the human form and face that I once proclaimed him to be the only artist capable of drawing a M*A*S*H comic, were one ever made. He would rock on such a series. You know it’s true.

Kevin Maguire draws people than anyone, and is an expert at character mannerisms. It’s great to see in a world where so many artists use the same face and position over and over again, or turn to their lightbox for help. If a picture is worth a thousand words, well, I’d say a Kevin Maguire picture is worth a few thousand extra.

Let’s go, DC; get the entire Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League run into trades! And please, persuade Kevin Maguire to draw something new for you! Some of us can’t get enough. I hope, with the few images I’ve provided in this entry, that I’ve managed to demonstrate the range of his expressive talent.

Oh, and be sure to pick up that Modern Masters volume shown at the top of the post.

21 Comments

Yeah, Maguire is awesome.

Man, JLI was so good.

He is so very damn good.

Maguire is awesome.

Maguire is my absolute favorite artist. There you go.

Those pages are beautiful. He makes the most difficult part of a comic artist’s job – conveying emotion – look absolutely effortless. Most excellent choice.

Maguire is awesome. Also awesome: Referencing the Cure’s “Pictures of You” when linking to the archives.

To sum up then: awesome.

You know–it took a little bit for me to get used to him–mostly due to the inks, but it didn’t take too long. And while some of the other artists on the JLI books did a very good job, nobody did it like Maguire.

When i think of Guy Gardner I think of him or Joe Staton, when I think of Mr Miracle I think of him or Ian Gibson, when I think of Blue & Gold or Fire & Ice–I think of Maguire.

I’d buy something that looked mildly entertaining if he drew it.

JLI was the best. The. best.

And Maguire was a huge part of that greatness.

Very good call, Maguire is an amazing artist. One of the best out there at handling facial expressions.

So who’s going to be tomorrow, Adam Hughes or Bart Sears?

“I would buy endless Maguire-drawn comics if I could, even if they were all talking heads– no, especially if they were all talking heads.”

Hmm, I don’t know how well the Talking Heads would work as a comic book.

Maguire is amazing and just like I said a few days ago in the Giffen thread, that JLI run is just begging for a trade paperback run…

One thing I particularly like about Maguire, on the whole “I wish we saw more from him” thing, is that he’s realistic about how much time it takes him to draw a comic. He doesn’t overcommit and then deliver late or rushed work, which is nice in the modern age.

I’m loving these JLI/Super Buddies-related posts. Like so many other here (it does my heart good to see that), it’s one of my all-time favorite superhero runs. And Maguire is my all-time favorite penciller, hands down.

His facial expressions on Wolverine in the “Wizard How To Draw” FCBD special made me like Wolverine for the first time ever.

As for trades, I own every issue of JLI and JLE, and I’d buy trades in a second, if only to give them as gifts to the friends I’ve been lending the series out to.

Does anyone remember his creator-owned book “Codename: Strikeback!”? Did the the second issue of ever come out?

I really enjoyed the first issue, but don’t ever recall seeing subsequent issues.

Kevin Maguire’s art is great. In the whole of JLI, it was second only to Adam Hughs’s work

I like the way his characters have the thickness of actual people.

Jack Potts : Strikeback made it to issue 4 at Image and then died but was reprinted and completed by Wildstorm about 4 years later. I might have mixed up the companies. I have both runs and it was a great series and I hope he brings it back someday.

The only person who’s better at faces is Amanda Conner and even then it’s a photo finish and the two of them finish a couple of hours before everyone else.

Wow, Keven MacGuire goodness. Definitely in my top ten reasons comics are good.

thanks, Bill

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