It was thanks to “B.P.R.D.” that I was introduced to Guy Davis’s work. And to be honest, I didn’t immediately appreciate it. If you look at my other selections for Artist August, you’ll see his work very different from my usual kind of stuff, and yet he’s my favorite living comics artist. I vividly remember the moment he won me over. It was in “B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs” #4, a relatively plain sequence of Abe exploring a house. This was following a big action sequence with glowing green skeletons and flames everywhere in a graveyard, yet the shift in tone wasn’t jarring in the slightest. Quite the opposite; it was elegant.
That’s how Guy Davis got my attention, with the story telling of his art. He went on to further impress me in the very next issue with Abe witnessing his own past life as Langdon Caul in a largely wordless sequence that’s utterly mesmerizing.
Given that monsters tend to make the occasional appearance in “B.P.R.D.,” I soon discovered his sense of design as well. And then I was introduced to “The Marquis” which goes so much further down that particular rabbit hole. The demons of Venisalle are spectacular and hideous to behold. Speaking of Venisalle, Guy Davis also happens to create immersive and detailed environments. The library in “B.P.R.D.: The Universal Machine” especially blew me away. He has a way of creating locations that aren’t realistic, but feel real, even tactile. He manages to make grand scale moments look effortless.
But it’s the smaller, intimate stuff I love the most about his work. He always finds a way to make conversations interesting. He gets that expression isn’t something that’s just worn on a character’s face, but rather something that permeates their entire being. It’s why he’s so great at drawing Johann, because that guy is all body language. I actually find myself forgetting he doesn’t have a face. I love the way he draws exhausted characters. He’s found so many different ways to express that one particular emotion.
In short, Guy Davis does everything well that makes comics great, which is why so many of the pieces below are going to be full pages, rather than isolated panels or pin-ups. To really appreciate his work, you need to see his sequential art.
If you want to see more of his work, you can check out his tumblr (lots of “Pacific Rim” concept art there), or you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He also had a blog for his creator owned comic “The Marquis.” His webpage can be found here, but sadly the galleries are currently under construction at the moment.
“B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame” #4, pages 2-3. This pair are my favorite “B.P.R.D.” pages.
“B.P.R.D.: The Universal Machine” #1, page 21. I love this page.
From “B.P.R.D.: King of Fear” #4. These ones are hanging on my wall.