Jul 29, 2013

100 Heads in 100 Days #63 - copying Travis Charest

I'm going to talk briefly about another great artist today, one of the great modern comic artists that has heavily influenced many current artists, including Leinil Francis Yu - Travis Charest.

I first discovered the art of Mr. Charest (pronounced CH-a-REY, I believe) through his work on Flash Annual #5 which I must have picked up some time in 1992. It was clearly obvious that this guy was good. He had a style somewhat similar to Jim Lee, but there was much more to it than that. You could see he was influenced by more than just comic art, there was an element of European illustration to his faces and rendering techniques.

I picked up whatever of his work I could find over the coming years, from his Darkstars work, to his move to WildC.A.T.S.
His initial output on WildC.A.T.S. was great, he did a healthy chunk of issues from #15 through #31 and the work got progressively better. But at the same time, the work got more sporadic. It got to the point that he was turning in just a couple of pages an issue toward the end of that first run, but by goodness those pages were pretty.

Then, in 1997, there came WildC.A.T.S./X-Men: The Golden Age. If you're a comic art fan, this one-shot comic is a must have item. It's in my Top 5 single issues of all time. This is Charest firing on all cylinders.

A couple of years later, Charest was the lead artist on the WildC.A.T.S relaunch, and he produced some more spectacular work on the handful of issues he did. But, again, the burden of a monthly deadline proved too much, and his name disappeared from the comic shelves once more.

This has been the great challenge for all Travis Charest fans. When he does produce work, the standard is always incredibly high, but you DO have to wait for it. It brings up the question: Would you rather he produced 7/10 work on a regular basis? Or is it better to hold out for the 10/10 stuff? I'm of the mind that the 10/10 work is worth the wait.

100 Heads in 100 Days #63 / 31 Day Drawing Challenge #29
The bad guy...?
Today's Galway Pub Scrawl 31 Day Drawing Challenge topic is a Master Copy, so I thought it fitting to copy one of Mr. Charest's heads from his awesome Spacegirl strip. If you'd like to compare it to the original, I took it from strip #45.

Me Fact #63
I've never gotten around to getting a manual license, I can only drive an automatic.

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