Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sergio Toppi: La Légende de Potosi

Sergio Toppi is an Italian illustrator known mostly for his beautifully created comics. While most of his comic work is strictly pen and ink (as is seen in the other comic Blues), La Légende de Potosi exhibits some exemplary watercolor on top. Written in french for Mosquito Publishing, the 50 page one-shot comic is a wonderful example of Toppi's work. He can be easily recognized for his methodical silhouettes, loose patterned interiors, seamless character/background integration, and clever, conscientious page layout.  

This is one of my favorite pages. The high contrast, and the conflicting imagery of climbing a mountain while descending in the panels. From being allowed the whole page to rome, to being confined more and more tightly in a tiny frame surrounded by darkness. This creates a powerful feeling of doom and foreshadowing. 

The contrasting pages of red and green, interior and exterior, help differentiate the scenes. 

Sorry for the blurry resolution, but I love the texture of the root on the image to the right.

This guy is my favorite character of the comic. I am particularly fond of how the sleeves are articulated in large loose strokes that accentuate the fullness of the garb. Also, this is a great image to examine Toppi's control of contrast, loose versus tight. Despite the number of lines placed in the face, we are given space to recognize the face in the nose, lips, and eyes. How tightly controlled the face is, to how loose and bold the clothes are. 

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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