Monday, September 29, 2008

Cover Up: The Nocturnals: Black Planet #1

It's been a long, busy day, so let's just say I'm a big fan of Daniel Brereton, creator of the creepy-crawly noir series The Nocturnals. His watercolor painting style is gorgeous to look at, and is especially well-suited to the characters and storylines that are a mash-up of 50s horror, sci-fi and crime movies.

Brereton does have a habit of giving every man he draws a serious case of five o'clock shadow — which was distracting on that Worlds Finest mini he did — but it works perfectly in a series where every guy is tough as nails and ready to prove it. And of course, he portrays women that would make a priest kick out a stained glass window and are just as tough (if not tougher) than the mooks around them.

I especially like Brereton's use of light in this cover to The Nocturnals: Black Planet #1; coming from the bottom it looks like fire or candlelight, while at the left it could be the glare of oncoming headlights (emphasized by Polychrome's pull-back stance). But at the top of the cover you can also see the highlights from that swollen full moon that almost seems to be acting as a character in itself. Taken all together, the artist is playing with the shadows and colors to great effect.

Brereton's style is beautifully lush and bigger than life, and I think this cover shows it's at its best when put to work on his creator-owned Nocturnals.

What do you think?

2 comments:

Scott said...

I actually am a big fan of Dan Brereton, even though I've got almost none of his comics. I think I discovered him because he did some artwork for a Rob Zombie CD back in the day, and by then, none of the Nocturnals TPBs were in print. I got the Mutants and Masterminds Nocturnals RPG, and the recent "City of Beasts" comic. And it's definitely got me wishing his work were easier to pick up...

Maxo said...

I know people who bought the Nocturnals RPG with no intention of playing it — they just wanted more Nocturnals (and I don't blame them, because it works great as a Nocturnals companion).

Wasn't there a hardcover a year ago or so? What I'd like to see is a nice, affordable omnibus.