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Month of Art Stars: Artist’s Choice – Mike Hawthorne

Every day this month I’m going to feature the work of a great artist, only instead of me picking the artist to feature, they will be picked by their peers, fellow professional comic book artists who are picking out artists (from the past and present) who they think deserve special attention. Do note that most artists I asked about this gave me multiple answers and I picked out one choice out of a number of suggestions, so these are not definitive answers, like “Artist X likes Artist Y and he thinks all other Artists are terrible!” Here is an archive of the artists featured so far!

Today, we begin with a pick of Mike Avon Oeming (perhaps best known for his art on Powers, and who is currently producing the series Rapture for Dark Horse Comics – check out Mike’s web site here).

Mike’s pick is Mike Hawthorne!

I first recall seeing Mike Hawthorne’s work when he worked with Antony Johnston at Oni Press on 3 Days in Europe.

His work was extremely expressive, which worked beautifully with Johnston’s character-driven writing on the book (which I just saw is in development for a film starring Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Garner! How awesome!).

He did some creator-owned stuff that helped get him noticed by other comic book companies, especially DC Comics and IDW Comics.

His creator-owned Hysteria was a lot of fun…

He did some fill-in work on The Exterminators for Vertigo…

Then an extended run on The Un-Men, where he really did some strong design work mixed in with his standard character-heavy art (the series lasted a little over a year).

More recently, for IDW, he did some Star Trek work…

But most recently, he has been drawing G.I. Joe Origins for IDW, written by Larry Hama…

See what I mean about the expressiveness? He’s a great artist when you’re doing character-heavy work, which Hama is doing with Origins (as it is setting up the GI Joe characters).

Now, here, for no thematic reason, just since I think it looks cool, it a pin-up he did of The Goon…

You can check out his blog here and his Deviant Art page (where I got most of these sample pages from, some of them came from his blog) here.

Thanks to Mike Avon Oeming for getting us off to a nice start!

12 Comments

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Awesome!! Thank you so much for the return of this feature Brian, it’s really exciting to discover some really nice artists that aren’t so well known. Especially if they are picked by great artists themselves! ^__^

IDW’s GI Joe stuff has been good. What’s weird is that Origins and Cobra have been better than the main title.

What a great idea.

I love that Hawthorne’s expressiveness is similar to Avon Oeming’s own, but that they are very different otherwise.

Damn good call.

So how do we know Avon Oeming chose this one? Just blind trust??!

Why would Brian lie about that?

I get Mike Hawthorne confused with Mike Huddleston.

They are both good.

Hawthorne’s work on G.I.Joe Origins has been outstanding. Scott, you are absolutely right, Origins and G.I.Joe Cobra are far more enjoyable than the main title, and I think a lot of it has to do with the art. Not to take away from Dixon or Adkins, but Adkins’ artwork on that book is a little too cartoony, it looks like Scott Campbell-lite, whereas the other two are more cinematic and in the case of “Cobra,” dare I say, gritty. Hawthorne’s work on Origins is just phenomenal, his camera angles and understanding of movement and positioning are top-notch. Between his art and some of the best writing of Larry Hama’s long career, I hate it when I’m done reading the issue, I can’t wait for more!! He totally deserves to be the first artist spotlighted in this column. Thanks to Oeming for the recommendation, and Mike, if you’re reading this, keep up the great work!

Why would Brian lie about that?

That WOULD be pretty darn weird.

Tomorrow, recommendations from Jack Kirby! John Buscema recommends someone on Thursday!

Awesome feature and cool to seeing Oeming/Hawthorne leading off.

My favorite Hawthorne works:

Hysteria
UMBRA
Un-Men

Would love to see even more from Mike on CBR!

Mike is an EXTREMELY talented artist and I would love to see him to a long, defining run on a series. Hopefully, he will stay on G.I. Joe a while, as his work looks awesome there.

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