Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sergio Toppi: Blues

Sergio Toppi is an Italian illustrator known mostly for his beautifully created comics. While he sometimes works in color (such as in La Légende de Potosi), what personally draws me to Toppi is his exceptional pen and ink work, and Blues is a perfect comic to highlight that. Blues is actually a collection of two stories written nearly two decades apart. The first in the book is titled "The Heir" and was written in 2007. The second is title "Blues" and was written in 1990. Both stories are iconic Toppi, dark, exquisite pen control, patterns and textures galore, and really clever panel layouts.

What's interesting is the difference in the amount of control between the two stories. While Toppi is considered a loose hand, "Blues" shows a more rigorous dedication to details, pattern, and proportion. "The Heir", meanwhile, shows a freer gesture; less commitment to exact proportions and more to exaggerated meaningful proportions. On some pages, you can tell that Toppi has not even erased some of the pencil marks, which creates a great sketch-y gritty quality. 

The Heir


I really love the way Toppi treated the eyes of this particular character.

Pros: This is a well bound, sturdy book with lovely print quality. Sergio Toppi is a masterful artist, and is certainly worth adding to any collection. This is also a prime example of his color work. It is a quick read with a lot to enjoy and learn from!

Cons: It's currently only available in french, so you may need a translator. On the other hand, it is still perfectly enjoyable without being able to read it. What makes Toppi more incredible is how legible the comic is even without the text.

How to Buy: This book is readily available... in the UK. To get this book will require importing it through a site like Amazon UK, or finding it through another party like Stuart Ng

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