Saturday, December 6, 2008
Art Adams and the Giggling Grotesque
Art Adams is one of those artists whose work is as distinct as a fingerprint. It stands out on the page-extremely detailed, yet possessed of a clean, cartoon fluidity.
Also, the man loves him some monsters. Godzilla, the Gill Man, various and sundry giant monkeys. Also, semi-nude ladies. Adams draws them all with a gusto that brings them off of the page with a manic glee.
I think what really strikes me about his style is the fun inherent in it. There's a child-like sensibility to many of his images, blending the grotesque with the gleeful. Take a look at the image to the right, there.
That's a perfect 'comic-book' image right there. It perfectly captures the dizzying absurdity of the concept, but somehow lends it a firmness that gives the viewer just the smallest bit of doubt as to the joke.
Plus, hey, as I said above, half-naked lady.
It's an interesting juxtaposition, the monstrous and the amusing. Mixed signals often don't work in graphic art, but Adams manages to balance everything just so. If I were writing a comic book series, I'd be overjoyed if Adams were the cover artist for the run. He would manage to convey exactly the kind of story I'd like to write, without giving too much away or rendering the cover incomprehensible to the random glance. Eye-catching, without being seizure inducing.