Comic Book Artists: Travis Charest

On this blog, I have a tendency to talk more about the writing and the story of the comic books I love. This is partially because a lot of what draws me to comic books is the writing, but also because I feel inadequate in explaining and discussing appreciation of the art styles. However, the art is still important to me. To this end, I thought I’d try to start a regular feature by posting the work of an artist I enjoy, including some links, and a few words about them. I do something similar on my Tumblelog [LINK] but that has a broader remit in my posting of daily images rather than annotation, and it feels more appropriate on this blog.

The first artist, in no particular order, is Travis Charest [(official site at www.travischarest.com is supposed to be coming soon)] [Unofficial Official Travis Charest Art Gallery].

In 2000, after seven years at Wildstorm, Charest moved to France to work on a graphic novel in the Metabarons series with writer Alexandro Jodorowsky. But the publishers, Humanoids Associes, decided to use someone else to finish it because he was taking too long. So he returned to the US, doing covers, but there has been nothing much since that news (in 2007).

But it was what he did before the Metabarons that created the love of his work. Arriving on the scene in the late 1980s on a Flash Annual, Charest was an artist of the time and more like a flashy Jim Lee clone. He continued at DC with interiors on such books as Darkstars and Green Lantern Corps before settling home at Wildstorm and his run on WildCATS with James Robinson and then Alan Moore (even though he couldn’t do it every month). His style progressed from a Lee clone into something more distinct, more detailed, but still quite beautiful.

After the series ended, he drew the WildCATS/X-Men: The Golden Age in a newer style, even more detailed and exquisite; and then returned for six issues of the new Wildcats series, providing exquisitely detailed renditions of characters and tanks and buildings that couldn’t possibly survive the monthly grind. His perfectionism was taking too long, a problem that would hinder him on the Metabarons job. It is the Catch-22 situation – allow a talented artist the time necessary to produce his best work, or remind him that he needs to actually produce the work in the first place. He might have to survive by creating covers and the occasional projected completed on his own time (like the Spacegirls series that he has had published, which was originally seen on the MSN page), much like Brian Bolland.

Whatever happens to Charest in the future, his art is a joy to behold – detailed and carefully crafted, with a precision and a design that uses white backgrounds, not because he is lazy like some artists, but because he is using negative space to emphasise the focus of the image. If only he could produce this beautiful work on a regular basis.

You can see a complete collection of Charest’s covers at the CBDB, even watch him drawing at a Comic Con on YouTube, and see the full collection of his work at the Comic Art Community gallery, where I got the images you see.

2 Comments

  • Az 25 June 2018 at 10:38 am

    Regarding Travis Charest and Flash… Is this the annual you are referring to? http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Flash_Annual_Vol_2_5

    I have that.

    Funny thing is, I really liked the Eclipso summer crossover comics. But didn’t like the ongoing series at all when it was unleashed.

    It’s interesting that Mark Waid wrote the Flash annual issue. Was the guy ever supposed to have been regarded as being a hero? He seems to criticized quite often among certain comic critics nowadays.

    Reply
    • David Norman 25 June 2018 at 10:10 pm

      I read one issue of the Eclipso crossover and that was enough for me to never come back …

      Mark Waid was the man: his run on The Flash was great, then there was Kingdom Come, Superman: Birthright, Impulse, then his great run on Fantastic Four and various other Marvel books, plus his work for many other companies. He’s at a level where he’ll get criticism for anything he does, especially as he’s not a quiet, reserved personality.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.