A Month of Art Stars – Doug Mahnke
Every day this month I’m going to feature a current comic book art “star,” someone whose work I absolutely love.
I’m mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of JH Williams, Frank Quitely and Darwyn Cooke? Here‘s the archive of the artists mentioned so far!
Here’s one of the best artists working on DC Comics superhero comics today!
Mahnke’s first mainstream work was working with John Arcudi on Dark Horse’s The Mask.
He then teamed up with Arcudi on Major Bummer, a very humorous superhero send-up at DC Comics.
The book, while good, wasn’t setting the sales charts on fire, but Mahnke got a lot of attention for the run – he was clearly a star on the rise.
After the short-lived run, Mahnke was well-established enough to quickly get a regular gig drawing Superman: Man of Steel, which felt like the first new Superman artist in years at the time.
And that run placed him into a good position to take over from Bryan Hitch on JLA, alongside Joe Kelly, where Mahnke really put on an art show…
After JLA ended, Mahnke started an impressive run on Batman, but ever since then, he has been used a bit…oddly by DC.
First off, he was one of the artists hand-picked to draw a Seven Soldiers book. Mahnke drew Frankenstein, and he did a smashing job on it.
Since then, and perhaps very well due to Mahnke’s own desire to try new things, he has done a number of lower-attention titles, such as a World War II mini-series with Chuck Dixon, a run on Stormwatch PHD with Christos Gage, then a few projects with Peter Tomasi, the man who hand-picked him on Seven Soldiers.
His latest project is the Final Crisis tie-in, Superman Beyond, and it is also gorgeous.
Here are some examples of Mahnke sequentials.
First, a page from JLA…
Next, three pages from another Final Crisis one-shot he did with Tomasi…
What an amazing artist – he really ought to get another high-profile title. At the very least, he ought to draw an issue of All Star Superman post-Quitely.