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CSBG Archive

A Month of Art Stars – Gabrielle Bell

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 melancholiest artists around!


What I love most about Gabrielle Bell’s work is that she is an autobiographical artist whose work cuts to the core of the story rather than the surface – what i mean is, her style depicts the FEELING of a particular scene, rather than some photo-realistic view of what it seems like.

And like I mention above, her work is quite melancholy.

Hehe…ew, gross.

This is not to say that her work is not detailed, as it is – it’s quite detailed, it just does not attempt to make everything look like a pretty picture.

Her storytelling skills are top-notch.

Here are five pages from her comic, Lucky.

Impressive, huh?

Here’s a quick bit by Bell…

I wish Bell had a website I could send you folks to!

Someone go create her one this instant!!


Hmmm… I daresay the art is functional for the story at hand, but I can’t see her as an art star.

I definitely see where DanCJ is coming from. I think we’re sort of approaching “Anyone Who Doesn’t Draw Like Rob Liefeld is an Art Star” terroritory.

Not, I guess, that there’s anything wrong with that.

Ya, while she won’t cause eye bleeding I really wouldn’t call her a little known star. The little comic strip at the top is good, and the one at the bottom isn’t too terrible, but the stuff in the middle is amateurish and even the good stuff doesn’t really have any dynamism.

If by “dynamism” you mean it doesn’t read like a superhero comic, then, yeah, sure. Luckily, comics ain’t all power fantasies, and not every style of narrative requires (or is even helped by) flashy, self-consciously over-rendered art.

I *really* like Gabrielle Bell, and I (mostly) get Cronin’s argument – Her strength is effective sequential narrative, pacing, and “comics time” (IE showing and excluding the right stuff) and, yeah, I do consider stuff like comic time an aspect of comic art. Her stuff is all about artist-as-storyteller, but she’s very good at what she does.

But I am gonna disagree with “melancholiest,” at least not in the way that Seth, or autobiographical Chester Brown, or any of those depressive dudes. I’d call Bell more of an off-kilter, deadpan humorist, and probably the best in comics at that role.

I disagree about the melancholy thing, but I definitely agree with the other stuff, Mark! :)

Bell is awesome.

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