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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Extreme Style

Research Task

Basil Wolverton

Working my way down the list of artist names, I was feeling a little unmotivated to carry out further research. I admire the illustrations from each, however it just doesn't hold my interest where comics are concerned. Seeing that the majority are American comic artists that worked for either DC or Marvel just doesn't excite me. My eye often struggles to see the difference in styles when it comes to this type of comics, so to research one I feel I've researched them all. That said, Basil Wolverton seemed the exception in this list. His art style was very different to the others yet also felt familiar, not in a way that I knew his work, but actually I feel as though I could see works of today that would definitely be inspired by his work. For example, Jim Phillips came to mind when thinking of the iconic Santa Cruz skateboards. The heavy lines, deep wrinkled foreheads and bulging eyes feeling similar.

I came across the works Wolverton created based on the Biblical Apocalypse. Said to be done at the height of his incredible style in art, the series of illustrations are superbly detailed and a great depiction of the grotesque technique of that Wolverton is most known for. Of course the idea of the Biblical Apocalypse can't be imagined as anything other than dark and vile, yet Wolverton's style pushes those to extreme making his style to be the perfect match to best capture the gruesome reality of the end of the world.

"What remains is the power of an artist who understood and shared the human fears of his time, and just happened to have a unique gift for depicting the unsettling."

Lena the Hyena

Image from

Frank Miller

I chose to go with Frank Miller as the second artist as I was drawn to the black negative space used to create dramatic lighting around his subjects. The picture of Wolverine being a great example of this, uses large blocks of black creating a harsh light and contrast. I personally find it difficult to create art in this way, knowing where to stop being a big reason for this, or not going far enough with it. I do admire this style and love the effect it creates.

"The Sin City books have garnered numerous awards, including two Harvey awards for Best Graphic Album of Original Work in 1998 and Best Continuing Series in 1996; and six Eisner Awards, including those for Best Writer/Artist, Best Graphic Novel Reprint, Best Cartoonist, Best Cover Artist, Best Limited Series and Best Short Story." -

Frank Miller's use of black and white in his illustrations become the major player in the acclaimed Sin City, famous for its heavily stylised artwork known as Neo Noir.


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