Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Artists: Frank Quitely


Frank Quitely
18 January 18 1968
Glasgow, Scotland

Frank Quitely. He looks like a cross between a character from one of his pictures (is this just a thing with every comic book artist?) and kinda like a cousin of the Greenwoods from Radiohead (everyone knows who those are - right? You must know Jonny Greenwood at least - right? The guitar player? With that beautiful indie fringe of his always hanging over his head like a protective shield? No? Well - ok then). Of course as most people know Frank Quitely isn't even called Frank Quitely. Nope - that's his superhero name. When he was born he was given "Vincent Deighan" as his call-sign - but I guess that wasn't good enough for him - which is why when he started drawing comic books he decided to go with a spoonerism of Quite Frankly (""I changed my name so my mum and Dad couldn't see me writing this stuff at the time because I was scared of their reaction"). I've been a slavish fan ever since he used to work for the Judge Dredd Megazine (Missionary Man anyone?) but since then he's become better known as Grant Morrison's right hand partner in crime - collaborating with him throughout the years on all sorts of off-kilter weirdness (including (and I hope I'm not leaving anything out here?) - Flex Mentallo, JLA: Earth 2, The New X-Men, We3, All Star Superman and various issues of Batman). Will (one of our Comic Forum regulars) often complains that Frank Quitely draws "lumpy, potato head people" - and while (ok) I can see where he's coming from: I've gotta say: I'm a fan. His art always feels like it has a really good grasp on space and layout and manages to maintain a deft balance between the sweet and the sour: pop-art wide-eyed innocence on one side and dirty sexy ultra-violence thrills on the other: like a pink fluffy little bunny rabbit wielding a rusty machete covered in blood: which makes him pretty much the perfect comic artist - no? (Yes).

Links: The Den of Geek Interview, The Comics Journal Article: TCJ 300 Conversations: Dave Gibbons & Frank Quitely, Down The Tubes Interview.

Selected works: Flex Mentallo, The AuthorityJLA: Earth 2X-Men: New X-Men, We3Superman: All Star Superman, Batman: Batman and RobinBatman: Time and the Batman.

All comments welcome.


Will said...

I think I said they looked more like 'sacks of potatoes', which I'll expand to 'brightly coloured sacks of potatoes'. Still, We3 is almost totally bereft of them, so I like it the most.

Islington Comic Forum said...

Talking about sacks of potatoes (brightly coloured or otherwises) always reminds me of this:

There's an English man, Irish man and a Scotsman. And they're being chased by a policeman. They see this old warehouse so they run in. Inside there are 3 empty sacks on the floor. They each jump in a sack.

In comes the copper and see's these three bundles on the floor. He goes up to the first one and kicks it. The English man shouts out, "Woof! Woof! Woof!" and the copper thinking it's just an old dog leaves it.

So he walks over and kicks the second sack. The Scotsman inside yells out, "Me-ow! Me-ow! Me-ow!", the copper leaves this one as well thinking its just an old cat.

Finally the copper walks over to the last sack and kicks it, and inside the sack the Irish man yells out.. "Potatoes! Potatoes! Potatoes!"