Black & White Images:
Second Annual Collection
(Images from the Vadeboncoeur Collection) #2

by Jim Vadeboncoeur,
various artists & writers
(JVJ, 2004)

"A century ago," claims author Jim Vadeboncoeur of Black & White Images, "artists were the media super-stars." This statement from his magnificent collection of black and white drawings is true.

Wait! Isn't this section limited to comic book collection and graphic novel reviews?

Yes. But these drawings influenced the comic strip and book pencillers and inkers, and that is why Black & White Images is being lauded here.

Inside this oversized collection are 300 magazine and book illustrations by over 60 amazing artists. The art is reprinted from "the golden era of pen and ink illustration: 1889-1922." Before photographs were easily reproduced and the use of color in print publications was affordable, publishers were hungry for art to satisfy the demand for images, and "stylistic experimentation exploded."

The human form was the dominant subject, but nature and architecture were important as well, as was an eye for meticulous detail missing from most of today's print illustrations.

You may not recognize names like Charles Dana Gibson, Edwin Austin Abbey or N.C. Wyeth, but comics professionals like Jim Steranko, Alex Toth and Neil Gaiman, who also laud this collection, know them well. Why? The reason these influential illustrators were superstars is their art is stunning, and wise cartoonists seek out the best to emulate.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 4 September 2004