I came into the comics industry a little late (and by that, I merely mean I found 2 years ago that comics had chicks with guns and a definite need to showcase bad ass action scenes and teenage angst). But it didn’t take me long to find – and fall in love with – Joshua Middleton’s work.
The Pennsylvania-born artist has worked with several publishing companies, including CrossGen, Marvel, and more recently, DC. He is the cover artist for Vertigo’s American Virgin, and has been doing greatly depicted Supergirl covers. With his creator-owned series, Sky Between Branches, an exclusive contract with DC Comics, and a 2004 Eisner nomination under his belt, Middleton is the type of guy you want to take to dinner and prod him for details about his ingenious work (not, of course, that you’d want to prod him with anything).
NYX, the Marvel limited series (2003-2005), was the first time I glimpsed his work. With a penchant for bending the rules of American mainstream comics, Middleton does most of the art process himself (rather than splitting it up between artists, as most comic endeavors do), and makes very clever work of it.
Those who are familiar with his work would describe it as European and Japanese-inspired, with very little weight-variation (aka, the lines in which the characters are drawn are balanced, and not biased), and his colors are usually flat, with little gradients and painted effects (except on backgrounds). His palette usually consists of neutral, soft colors with an affinity for a blue that’s pushed almost to grey.
His work is perfect for titles such as Fables, Street Fighter (where the color is more engrossing), Serenity (see above cover for one of the main characters, River, holding a gun), NYX, and also titles such as Supergirl, Vixen, First Thunder (Superman/Shazam), and American Virgin.
Another reason to be a fan of Middleton’s is that on his blog, he tells his readers some of his tips and tricks, letting them in on the secret. On the blog, he also publishes new covers and gives his opinions on them.
Make sure you
ALL ARTWORK © 2009 JOSHUA MIDDLETON – ALL CHARACTERS © THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS