I’ve not written about comic books in awhile so here’s a quick look at one my favourite pencillers Chris Bachalo.
My very first encounter with Mr. Bachalo’s artwork occurred quite early in my teenaged obsession with comic books and I found myself picking up Generation X #1 as a follow-up to Marvel’s Phalanx Covenant X-Event. I followed the series for quite awhile before abandoning it (budget constraints and a waning interest in comics played a big part in it). At that point in time I’ll have to admit that Mr. Bachalo’s artwork wasn’t that great and my later purchases in college confirmed it (I picked up a trade of Vertigo’s Death) but I followed Generation X religiously due to its connection to the X-books. Bachalo’s style gets a whole lot more exciting and stylised sometime in the late 90’s I think cos’ I remember the art in Generation X evolving a year or two later and the cartoony detailed style that I’ve come to love suddenly burst onto its pages. Just compare the chromium cover from Issue 1 of Generation X to the one below and you’ll see what I mean.
What I love most about Chris’ artwork is the fact that there’s so much detail in every panel and he’s got a unique style that’s super stylised. It’s cartoony but there’s enough realism in it to make characters, facial expressions and other detail stand out. The best part about poring through a comic book by Bachalo is the fact that there are a lot of little things that he draws into the background that’s a hoot to pick out. You’ll find cute little frogs in the midst of a fight scene, or little bits of candy lying around… there’s just so much in one panel. It’d be great to own a piece of original Chris Bachalo artwork; heh… I’d frame it somewhere.
Anyways, I’m always on the look out for Chris Bachalo stuff and so far I own quite a few books that feature him either as the permanent penciller or as a guest. Here’s a run down of what I have that you might wanna pick up should you wanna give him a go (hopefully I don’t miss out on anything, I actually had to go through my bookshelf to put this list together):
- Generation X #1-#26 (Bachalo’s art evolved into an early state of what it is now somewhere during his run on this series)
- Generation Next #1 – #4
- X-Men: The New Age of Apocalypse
- X-Men: Supernovas
- X-Men: Messiah Complex
- Ultimate War #1=#4
- Ultimate X-Men #18 & #19
- Curse of the Mutants: Storm & Gambit
- X-Men #7-#10 (the current on-going series)
- New Avengers: Search for the Sorceror Supreme (more Billy Tan than Bachalo tho’… sigh)
- Steampunk: Catechism
- Steampunk #1-#12
- The Witching Hour: Book One
- Death: The High Cost of Living
I’m looking forward to his upcoming run on the Avengers. CBR has some unlettered preview art and it all looks good. Check it out here.