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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #254

“Why you no post, Bill Reed?” you may ask. Well, you would if you were a fan of Dave’s Long Box. Anyway, I would reply “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Yesterday’s post is right below Declarative Rabbit and no one’s replied to it. Shameful.” And then we would move onto today’s.

What is today’s, then? Why, I’ll be looking at one of the coolest and most unique artists in comics. (Insert archive pun here.)

9/11/07

254. Ben Templesmith

Who by Templesmith.jpg

Ben Templesmith’s distinct style has landed him in my list of favorite artists currently working in the industry. When you see a Templesmith page, you know it’s his. He crafts the entire thing himself– pencils, inks, paints, digital work, and any other artistic medium he needs to use to obtain the final effect.

I’d call his style expressionistic. Sometimes, it’s quite sketchy, but every character is defined and every emotion is perfectly readable. He’s a master of mood and atmosphere, which is why he’s pretty much the forefront comics horror artist. He’s a sort of gothic cartoonist, in a way. Maybe his art has to grow on you, or maybe it burrows in you right from the start. I love it. And the way the man draws fingers? Uncanny. They’ve got lives of their own.

Ben’s first big hit was 30 Days of Night with Steve Niles, about, as you probably know, vampires in Alaska. It was all about mood and horror, and Templesmith’s art nailed it every step of the way. From there, he went on to further 30 Days stuff, and some other projects with Steve Niles, like Cal McDonald. Recently, he’s moved onto stuff like Hatter M and Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, maintaining his wild gothic style.

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My favorite work of his, however, is Fell, with writer Warren Ellis. Fell’s about the worst town in the entire world, and the one good cop who lives and works in it. The book is filled with disturbing, deformed, and deranged characters, and also a nun in a Nixon mask. It’s another perfect vehicle for Templesmith’s art. He excels at the character interaction, from quiet dialogue scenes to explosively violent ones. Whether Detective Fell is talking to a friend, interrogating a suspect, or beating a perp’s face in, it’s all handled extremely well by Ben Templesmith. I can’t imagine anyone else drawing this. Buy the comic, if you haven’t already. You can read the entire first issue online, for free, here.

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Also pick up the just-came-out 30 Days of Night: Red Snow. Ben both writes and draws it, and it’s a magnificent comic. It follows the same kind of premise as the original 30 Days, only this one is a WWII-era story set in Russia. Check it out. And here, have a page:

Templesmith 1.JPG

His website is here; you can find more from him at his Livejournal, as well. And if you wish to view some Templesmith pages in their virgin form (and then purchase them), look at his original art available on Splash Page Art.

15 Comments

I read one issue of Hatter M, and I didn’t care much for the art, but that is one terrific Doctor/Tardis picture. I might have to give him another shot.

Ben’s art is great. A breath of fresh air. Kinda reminds me of Ashley Wood too. And Ben’s one of the few (probably only!) artists who lives in my hometwon of Perth, Western Australia. He even goes to the same LCS as me, so he must be good!

I was glad to find out about Fell, as it’s a title that actually seems worthy of Templesmith’s art.

Good, good, good, good, good, gogg, goog, goog, doog, good, goog, dood, good, good, good,;good,good. joofd, good.

Ben Templesmith is excellent.

I need to read Hatter M, though. Was it a miniseries? Ongoing?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 11, 2007 at 11:43 pm

I really do like Ben Templesmith, although I wouldn’t have called him one of the most unique artists – when I first saw his work I thought it looked like Ashely Wood’s work, who when I first saw his work thought it looked like Bill Sienkivch (or however you spell it).

I get the Ashley wood comparisons but Templesmith’s stuff is a lot tighter so I like it much more than Wood’s.

Nitpick- there is no such thing as “most unique.” Unique is an either/or thing- you’re either one of a kind or you’re not. There are no degrees.

Ashley Wood’s art looks a lot like Bill Seinkeiwicz’s, but I can’t see much resemblance between Templesmith and either of them.

All three are good though so life is sweet

Alejandro, Hatter M was a four issue mini, published by Desperado.

And, while I certainly agree that Templesmith has/had a strong Ashley Wood vibe, his figures are much rounder, and the way he renders fingers and teeth are uniquely his. (Did I use that right, Evan?)

Ah, the good half of the 30 Days of Night team.

Comics Should Be Good! » 365 Reasons to Love Comics Archive said …

What’s the deal with the archive posting on these boards?

>>Ah, the good half of the 30 Days of Night team.

[…] 1. Great creators: Really, when Warren Ellis comes to your company and decides to invent a new way to publish comics, you let him. No one thinks about comics format more than Mr. Ellis. And when Matt Fraction pops in and says “Hey, that looks awesome. Can I do one?” you let him bloody do one. With Fell and Casanova, they’re giving us two of the best comics being published. And when paired with fantastic artists like Ben Templesmith and Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, the result could be nothing but good comics. And that’s not all! Coming next year, Corey Lewis of snazzy books like Peng and Sharknife will be bringing us Pinapl, which sounds cool. More on that in this CBR interview. […]

[…] Rockabilly Style wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptRecently, he’s moved onto stuff like Hatter M and Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, maintaining his wild gothic style. Templesmith 4.jpg Templesmith 5.jpg. My favorite work of his, however, is Fell, with writer Warren Ellis. … […]

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