Thanks to Sean Dodson at The Northern Light for his post introducing me to the work of Gez Fry, a Tokyo-based illustrator/artist who has produced covers for Marvel Comics, ads for the Olympics, for Adidas, and for Evisu Genes among numerous others.
His work is gorgeous, reminding me at once of the styles we’ve been seeing recently in certain Marvel comics such as Runaways and NYX (I’d be curious to find out just what Fry has done for Marvel), and in so many anime of recent years, gorgeous beyond belief and incredibly enticing (though I have no idea how many have good plot, characters, etc. Just that they’re pretty).
I’m having trouble picking just one image to top this post with – his works are so varied, and no one of them can adequately represent his style. This is also largely due to the fact that, gorgeous though his works may be, none seem particularly unique or revolutionary. I’ve seen it all before.
“Causeway Bay” looks just like the style of half the covers of Marvel’s “Runaways” comic. A beautiful style, with deep colors, manga/anime-influenced style, and the illusion (Fry says he pretty much only works on Photoshop, not with physical pens or paints) of Western-style painting; it’s easy to imagine you can see the brushstrokes. The work reminds me of a relaxed night in Tokyo, the kind of ultra-urban Tokyo life I imagine but don’t feel I’ve ever really experienced – this man is a part of the city, fitting in and perfectly comfortable there, perhaps a foreigner, but not a tourist, relaxing and soaking in being in the city. We can easily imagine he has a life in Tokyo, a job, friends, apartment, obligations, problems, that he is integrated into the city, which is more than most of us can say, and that he has things on his mind. I love it.
“Sundown” looks like a scene from Paranoia Agent, or some other anime of that bent, and reminds me very much of the style of Marvel’s NYX comic. There is something very bizarre going on here – two worlds merging, a girl who exists between worlds, or who perhaps is a ghost. The same style and atmosphere is seen in another piece by the same title (multiple pieces of an animated short film?). As with so many anime out there these days, with such gorgeous art, that very particular style of shading, it makes me want to see more, makes me want to know what the story is.
Check out Gez Fry’s official page at GezFry.com.
Working on this post has also had me discover PingMag, what appears upon cursory examination to be an excellent blog/net-magazine on Japanese illustration, animation, contemporary art and design, including interviews with tons of interesting artists and designers. Read their interview with Gez Fry.