With the success of critically acclaimed adaptations of graphic novels like The Dark Knight & The Walking Dead, the cult-like popularity of self-described fanboy filmmakers like Joss Whedon & J.J. Abrams, and the growing influence of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, comic book culture has become a widely embraced artform. While the films, t.v. shows, directors, and fans associated with the comic coup d’etat have become fixtures in pop culture, the original visual artists of the genre have yet to reap the advantages of this invasion into mainstream America. But there may be one Toronto-based illustrator who can lead the power play of comic book artists into the popular consciousness.
Experiencing W. Scott Forbes’s vision of the world is like taking a trip into some psychedelic dimension that’s full of bright colors and dark themes. This P-D realm is occupied by film noir femme fatales, Rock & Roll gods, and emo egotists posing as heroes- what some may call comic book heaven. It’s no surprise that Forbes has become one the most sought after freelance artists in the comic scene.
Forbes began his professional career as an illustrator for the miniseries Forgetless from Shadowline/Image Comics. The 5-part collection about 2 models-turned-assassins and their main target – a young hipster who gets caught up in the shady world of Internet porn – featured three covers and several interiors drawn by Forbes.
In fact, Forgetless creator Nick Spencer (Iron Man 2.0, Ultimate Comics: X-Men) had Forbes in mind from the outset when formulating the concept for the graphic novel. Spencer is quoted telling Comic Book Resources, “There are certain things [Forbes] loves to draw – very fashionable and beautiful women, for one. Big cities, parties, this stuff is his forte, so I literally built the main story for him from the ground up.”
After his success with “Fearless”, Forbes moved on to work on Charles Soule’s 27 (Image Comics). The comic book homage to the many talented rock legends who passed away the year before reaching their 28th birthday pushed Forbes out of his comfort zone. For the first issue’s cover, Forbes adopted a painted style that he had yet to tap into prior to taking on the task of putting a face to Soule’s characters. His new turn was heralded as brilliant, earning him the #25 spot on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Covers of 2010.
Earlier this year Forbes expanded beyond just being known for his amazing comic illustrations by releasing his first short film, A Good Wife. The four and half minute clip, set to the musical composition of Cyrille Marchesseau, was Forbes’s final graduation film at Sheridan College. After uploading the clip to Vimeo in January, A Good Wife garnered over 100,000 views, and was subsequentially selected to screen at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.
Even after all of his early accomplishments as an illustrator and filmmaker, Forbes isn’t done expanding his empire. He recently announced on his blog that he has a new project in the works, and this time he won’t just be responsible for the images. Forbes will also be co-writing the upcoming Sycophants with independent storywriter Jeremy Holt. It only took Forbes a few years to go from mild mannered pin up artist to bonafide comic book star on the rise. Give him a few mores years and the likelihood his name is known in every household around the country may be inevitable.
For more info about W. Scott Forbes click it.
To connect with Forbes follow him @ScottForbes
Check out Forbes’s short film A Good Wife:
All photos courtesy of wscottforbes.com