DC 30 Day Meme Day 8: Favourite Artist

Posted: 07/31/2010 in Uncategorized


As kickass as the ladies she draws. Less than three.

This was a hard one, because I would have loved to talk about J.H. Williams III and his amazing design sense in panel layouts, mercurial style, and the amazing things he said about designing Kate and her wardrobe. At the same time though, I own far more of Amanda’s work and I absolutely love the sense of attitude and fun that she brings to her work. J.H. Williams III isn’t really a cartoonist, he’s more of a traditional fine artist with the versatility to work well within comics. Amanda Conner draws like she lives and breathes the medium. Obviously a large part of why I love Amanda Conner as an artist is how she interprets the female figure. Her women are gorgeous to be sure, but they’re constructed from an intelligent abstraction of human anatomy. Working in the industry and on the subjects that she does, she draws her women with an eye to male gaze, but in a way that preserves the dignity of the character. Instead of posing the characters like pouting porn stars, Amanda uses her sly wit to convey a playful, non exploitative sexuality.

The other great thing about Amanda’s art is the expressiveness of her characters and her amazing knack for visual storytelling. You can’t just peruse anything she draws because there’s always at least one or two other visual sequences going on in any given series of panels beyond whatever the main action is. Pictured above is one of the less subtle ones, a stare down between Dr. Midnite’s owl and one of his lab rats. Critics frequently talk about world building in writing, but Conner does a great deal of it with her pencils alone, filling in an entire world around the action in stark contrast to many prominent comic book artists who minimize the depiction of anything that isn’t explicitly stated in the script. The only artist who comes to mind immediately as being as good at embedding secondary and tertiary action into their art (and I’m sure there are more) as Conner is Frank Quitely, most notably in All Star Superman.

If it hadn’t been for Conner drawing Geoff Johns’ mega selling JSA Classified arc about Power Girl, I never would have given that character a chance, say nothing about her going on to become my second favourite superhero ever. I was well aware of Power Girl’s existence, but the typical portrayal of her with gigantic breasts, a diminutive waist, and an attitude clearly devised by feminist bashing male writers always disgusted me. Until JSA: Classified I was never able to separate the character from that particular portrayal but that melted away within seconds thanks to Johns’ refreshing if angsty portrayal and the pure unfiltered magic that is Amanda Conner with a pencil. Not only did I go on to devour as much of Power Girl’s appearances as I could based solely on that one miniseries and become an astounding nuisance at my LCS asking if her ongoing series had been solicited yet, but I’m currently planning a half sleeve tattoo devoted to Karen and of course Kate. Conner is one of those rare artists who has shaped my understanding and appreciation for the DC to the same magnitude as veteran writers like Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, and Chuck Dixon. She’s also the only artist who inspired me to buy a bust (her Women of the DCU Batgirl) because of who designed it as opposed to who it depicted (until I get my Dustin Nguyen Ame Comi Wonder Woman).

  1. ULLA says:

    i like the way that the rodent is drawn too 🙂

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