FANTASTIC CREATURES BY KEVIN HONG

by Ariadna Zierold

kevin hong, illustration, illustrator, new york, anime, manga, comic, fantastic, creatures, spirits, upper playground

Kevin Hong is an Illustrator born and raised in New York. His work draws from his passion for anime, manga, comics, JRPGs, video games, woodblock prints, and the internet. He graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in 2015. With his work, Hong leads us into a magical world populated with fantastic creatures and haunting spirits, sometime reminding the poetic universe of Hayao Miyazaki.

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MYSTICAL ALIEN SOCIETIES BY LALE WESTVIND

by Ariadna Zierold

lale westvind, comic, illustration, futuristic, alien, surreal, absurd, upper playground

Lale Westvind primarily focuses on the potential madness of futuristic and alien worlds. Often depicting simultaneous perspective and motion, her characters bounce and blast their way through desolate deserts and impenetrable tangles of organic and mechanic matter. The expansive quality of her sprawling intergalactic terrain ranges from the outer limits of the cosmos to the inner-workings of the mind.

lale westvind, comic, illustration, futuristic, alien, surreal, absurd, upper playground

Her early influences are punctuated with intellectually weighty comics from the likes of R. Crumb and spastic capers on the lawless fringe of civilization like Tank Girl. She also devoured the works of Moebius and Jodorowsky, and her work is steeped in the traditions of otherwordly environments these authors operate in, often constructed to reveal deeper truths of modern life and the desire to return to the spiritual in a world saturated with technology. Westvind has a knack for seeing the potential in seemingly absurd or outlandish ideas.

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TRIPPY COMICS BY BEN MARCUS

by Ariadna Zierold

ben marcus, illustration, comic, lines, clean, trippy, manga, narrative, upper playground, chicago

Chicago-based artist, Ben Marcus makes comics that feel inspired by all things trippy, alien, and David Bowie. His favorite manga is Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. His comic has a particular clarity in the line work because he wants the reader to keep track of the plot. Clean and clear language for dramatic and poetic purposes.

ben marcus, illustration, comic, lines, clean, trippy, manga, narrative, upper playground, chicago

“The proportions of the facial features is important to me and I draw and re-draw them. Too many times. I wanted my characters to have a contemplative complexity to them. A depth of consciousness that a sense of animation is born of.  I drew everything by hand and scanned it and added the half-tones in photoshop.” Ben Marcus

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PRIMAL PORTRAITS BY IAN BERTRAM

by Ariadna Zierold

ian bertram, illustration, comic, characters, mystical, grotesque, primal, portraits, drawing, upper playground

New York-based Ian Bertram is an artist interested in uncovering the hedonistic and fatalistic nature of man vs. self. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, Bertram was chosen as the Best New Talent of 2011 by Comicbookjesus.com, and selected to the Society of Illustrators 2012 Student Scholarship Competition.

ian bertram, illustration, comic, characters, mystical, grotesque, primal, portraits, drawing, upper playground

By combining precise, meditative mark making, with visceral and sudden actions, he creates mystical, grotesque, and primal portraits of ennui and the strange by way of drawing and painterly techniques.

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INTUITIVE NARRATIVES BY TARA BOOTH

by Ariadna Zierold

tara booth, drawing, illustration, comic, narrative, characters, portland, gouache, pencil, upper playground

Portland-based Tara Booth is a comic book artist who mixes drawing and painting in detailed pieces. She gets most of her inspiration from her diary, displaying unique characters in bizarre situations.

tara booth, drawing, illustration, comic, narrative, characters, portland, gouache, pencil, upper playground

She begins her pieces with a pencil sketch, layering with textures and patterns, then fills it with color using gouache. Her entirely intuitive color choices are the key to the success of her work.

tara booth, drawing, illustration, comic, narrative, characters, portland, gouache, pencil, upper playground

“If you could do an X-ray of one of my paintings you would see layers and layers of failed color schemes and patterns. I try to work it out until it feels right.” Tara Booth

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TOMER HANUKA’S TROPICAL TOXIC

by Ariadna Zierold

tomer hanuka, tropical toxic, illustration, comic, new york, upper playground

New York-based Tomer Hanuka‘s art is incredible, influencing a whole generation of artists with his beautiful line work and distinctive color scheme. It’s in a dreamlike, almost poetic style that this Israeli-born illustrator found his passion for drawing through comic books: drawing with his twin brother on a Persian carpet. His fantastic ability to apply his comic-inspired style has enabled his work to reach all kinds of audiences.

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CHARACTER-BASED ILLUSTRATIONS BY DAN WOODGER

by Ariadna Zierold

dan woodger, illustration, cheeky, humor, colorful, bold, comic, narratives, pop culture, upper playground

London-based Dan Woodger’s colorful, cartoonish illustrations are inspired by 1980s pop culture and Saturday morning cartoons. Since graduating three years ago Dan’s oblong-eyed creations have graced the pages of numerous editorials, like ESPN and The New York Times, and have been part of campaigns for GiffGaff, The Webby Awards, and Oreos.

dan woodger, illustration, cheeky, humor, colorful, bold, comic, narratives, pop culture, upper playground

His highly stylized, comic book figures have an all-age appeal to them that’s eager to be snapped by companies large and small to give them the charming and cheeky edge they need. Woodger’s characters are expressive and manage to convey sarcasm, lust and anger all in a few lines.

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BEAUTIFUL SCI-FI BY ARTYOM TRAKHANOV

by Ariadna Zierold

artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground

Artyom Trakhanov lives and works in Novosibirsk, Russia, where he is feverishly working on his next creator-owned project. Trakhanov’s most recent work includes the moody and beautiful sci-fi epic UNDERTOW, as well as assorted cover work for Image, BOOM!, and DC Comics.

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Artyom has contributed covers and short stories to several titles while working on multiple new projects, both with writers and on his own.

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“MAGNUM” BY FILIPPO FONTANA

by Ariadna Zierold

filippo fontana, magnum, comic, new rich, humor, upper playground

Filippo Fontana is an Italian-Polish designer from Belgium, currently living in London while finishing his Master’s in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art.

filippo fontana, magnum, comic, new rich, humor, upper playground

‘Magnum’ is a comic book inspired by the contemporary figure of the “new rich” in our society -a term to describe those who have only recently gained wealth and often perceived as having money, but no taste. The project portrays the adventures of three characters who each symbolically represent an extreme aspect of human behaviour and our relationship with money. Through the different stories, full of politically incorrect and dark humour, the comic book prompts the reader to reflect critically about the ethical relations between wealth and our actions.

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PAUL PAETZEL’S TALES

by Ariadna Zierold

paul paetzel, illustration, colorful, berlin, comic, artwork, silkscreen, linocut, reprography, upper playground

Paul Paetzel lives and works in Berlin where he was also born. He likes taking the metro and observing people. He searches for the mystic in everyday life and the normal in the abnormal. Paetzel is a member of the comic collective Édition Biografiktion which he founded with Ana Albero and Till Hafenbrak in 2008.

paul paetzel, illustration, colorful, berlin, comic, artwork, silkscreen, linocut, reprography, upper playground

The first zines (Biografiktion) they published were comic stories about celebrities adding fictional elements. They decided to start a second series called Human News whose theme varies in every issue and which is more focused on Illustration. To produce their artwork they use the printing techniques which are easily at their disposal: silkscreen, linocut and reprography.

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