Thursday

February: Shawn Martinbrough

Shawn Martinbrough was inking comics for many years on comics including "Static," "Shadow Cabinet," and others. As a penciler he first made a mark when he and writer Greg Rucka took over "Detective Comics" in 2000.

He drew the Gary Phillips-written miniseries "Angeltown," "Punisher: Hot Rods of Death," "Luke Cage Noir," "Bullseye: The Perfect Game," "Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive" and a number of other miniseries or short projects.

Along the way he also wrote the textbook, How To Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling." As the subtitle suggests the book isn't about a style of drawing so much as it explores the thinking and approach behind the style to reveal more about possibilities and approaches to storytelling in a way that a lot of storytelling could benefit from even if noir isn't a style they utilize or even like.

When Robert Kirkman launched the series "Thief of Thieves" a lot of talk was about how a rotating series of writers would be working on the book, but Martinbrough has been on the series from the beginning. His masterful noir drawing style makes him a natural choice, but after twenty-something issues, it's clear that he's really defined the series in a way that I would argue no one else in the creative team has. Not that there any shortcomings on the team, but Martinbrough's style has really shaped the series as much as anything and the consistent style - and Martinbrough's skill at drawing the action scenes, the quiet interpersonal scenes, and everything in between, has made

I would really love to read a Martinbrough drawn comic that's printed in black and white. I think on "Thief of Thieves" the coloring is good, but I love his inked pages and while I certainly understand why the publisher would wnat a full color style, one of these years I would love to see how Martinbrough could utilize a black and white book. Ideally in an oversize format to show off his eye for detail a little more.

Martinbrough's other current project is "The Ren." A graphic novel coming out form First Second Books, Martinbrough is co-writing with Joseph Illidge and drawn by Grey Williamson.The book i set during the Harlem Renaissance and is about love and art and violence and young artists and it's a book I'm really looking forward to. Hopefully the first of many more books with a new take, a slightly different direction that we'll see from Martinbrough in the coming years.

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