Saturday, 31 May 2014

Yeah Dude Comics 2014 Subscription #2: Skuds McKinley's Iron Skull: Effort Matters

Attempting Style
Here is the second review of the Yeah Dude Comics 2014 Subscription. This time, we have Iron Skull by Skuds McKinley.

Over 5 miniature pages, Skuds McKinley tries to emulate the feeling of a Paul Pope book. The book itself is quite short and I didn't find it very interesting. His futuristic style didn't really do anything for me. I found the most interesting part of the book was the short descriptive essay on the process he used for the final pages. It proved key to understanding both his style and approach to his art. He mentions "I've been doing comics for four years now, and the hardest thing I've had to battle is Paul Pope". Skuds seems to channel all of his efforts at recreating Pope's aesthetic rather than developing his own style. However, one can see in his brush strokes the quiet emergence of his own style. There isn't much to go on, but you can see it start to develop slowly. The way he draws movement in the punk rocker character and in the way he draws buildings. You can see an artist emerging into his own.

Unfortunately, there is too much emphasis on the style of the book. Translucent paper may be interesting, but it is not used in a clever way apart from being there. Empty pages are also scattered throughout to little effect. In spite of those issues, what shows clearly throughout is his skill as a storyteller. The story of the punk rocker is phenomenal; he remembers the album that changed his life and channels this energy into his own music. It is only one page and yet it is engaging and entirely too short. I didn't find it to be very interesting or meaningful, but I can recognize the talent of this artist. You can also see an artist coming to terms with his own limitations and trying to move past them. Skuds seems interested in developing his skills at improv comics and seems to be looking to define his own style, through a process of absorbing his icons`styles and throwing them back on the page with a touch of personal flair. It is very interesting to see. His efforts are earnest and I look forward to his other books.

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