Comic books as an art form have always been incredibly overlooked in comparison to other forms of the visual medium, and even when comics themselves are actually celebrated as a bona-fide entry into the long history of fine art, the kudos oft goes to the (admittedly terrifically talented) writers, with the artists and inkers routinely sidelined in deference to the authors. It’s true, of course, that no amount of vivacious visuals will really matter if the writing sucks (case in point: Frank Miller and Jim Lee collaboration – All Star Batman and Robin) but the same can be said for the reversal of this point.
Comic-book series live and die off of a mutual synergy between all included creators, this also includes the almost always forgotten aforementioned inkers and letterers, though what originally enraptured me, way back when, as a six year old newbie to comics, was the dazzling and dynamic drawings of these sundry artistic auteurs, and over the many years that I’ve been enjoying comics as a true form of art, very few have bedazzled me as much as the astonishing visual virtuoso that is – Jenny Frison.
Jenny Frison is an American comic-book artist who first became beguiled by the medium after discovering the astonishing Amazon – Wonder Woman, as a young girl. She was an art student at the Northern Illinois University, where she majored in illustration before enrolling at the prestigious Kubert School Of Art. During this tenure, she decided to focus her inordinate artistic talents towards comic covers, an incredibly important art form in the wonderful world that is comics, for it is often the cover image itself that will ultimately sell the content within the pages, and draw in potential purchasers.
It was thanks to writer Tim Seeley that Jenny was given her inaugural start in comic-books after he approached her to draw a cover for Image Comics’ horror series – Hack/Slash, they went on to become good friends and continue to share a workspace at Four Star Studios in Chicago.
Jenny’s personal artistic process begins with a pencilled illustration before moving on to a tonal version of the sketch on grey paper. This image is then in turn digitally coloured using Photoshop. Jenny has a very distinct and instantly recognisable style that helps her stand out from a sea of artists working in the comic-book medium, and because of her focus on single imagery in the form of covers, the resulting illustrations are always incredibly rendered and detailed, with spectacular colours that radiate warmth and depth.
For me personally it was her tenacious tenure as cover artist for the Wonder Woman Rebirth arc that sold me on her astounding artistic aesthetic, where she was tasked with representing the amazing Amazon from issue #9 right through to issue #61, with each and every image a magnificent masterpiece, with most of her outstanding output oeuvre on the Themysciran Titan being some of my absolute favourite visual representations of Diana, ever!
Jenny has been nominated twice in the Harvey Awards for best comic cover artist and continues to pour her prodigious talent into sumptuous cover classics for DC Comics and also friendly rivals – IDW, Dynamite Comics, Dark Horse and Marvel.