Nicholas Goodchild

Historic and Pared Down

Fables Covers by James Jean

27 December 2010 by Nicholas in Comics

James Jean is amongst my favourite contemporary artists. Certainly amongst the least realistic of the artists I like, he tends to imbue his work with an ethereal yet expressive quality and has a great sense of design and composition. He came to my attention working on the covers to Fables, which is a monthly comic published by DC’s Vertigo imprint and written by Bill Willingham and illustrated by a variety of artists, most notably Mark Buckingham.

The book of James Jean’s Fables covers, which seems to me to cover his entire work on the series and various spin offs, is handsomely presented and shows the process involved in each cover as well as brilliantly presenting the final piece. It also serves as a showcase for the evolution of Jean as an artist: how he constantly changes his process depending on the piece but also how his finishing and underlying structure subtly evolved through the course of the work. It also features one of my favourite comic covers of all time: The Tulip Girl.

So, aside from a lack of insightful commentary, this is a comprehensive tome that excels in presentation and content.