Comic art is more than just pretty pictures. Though its job is to keep our eyes glued to the page with dynamic figures and double-page spreads of dazzling action, the art’s most elemental function is to tell a cohesive story. You may find yourself marveling over what you read in a particular comic rather than what you saw. And while comics are a visual medium, art can be silently overshadowed by the volume of words that dominate our focus as we read. Comic book reviewers, too, tend to place more focus on writing and plots, as pointed out by Declan Shalvey, artist on the upcoming reboot of Marvel’s Moon Knight with incendiary writer Warren Ellis.
From his early work on the blood-spattered pages of 28 Days Later to the loping action of his runs on Deadpool and Venom, Declan has always put his artistic focus squarely on storytelling. “The most challenging, and rewarding, part of drawing a comic is taking those words on a page and making them images,” he said. “It’s really frustrating sometimes, and you’re banging your head against a wall to make it work. Those are the bits that keep artists awake at night but also make them want to get up in the morning and figure it out.”