Graphic novels that are painted, not drawn.
January 8, 2021 2:47 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend some graphic novels that are painted, not drawn. Watercolors, oils, acrylics--all good. Just not the traditional pencil, ink and color. I'm familiar with Alex Ross, but that's it.
posted by zanni to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This Daredevil GN has some stunningly beautiful images in it (and some really ugly creepy ones as well).

It has been a while, but I'm pretty sure this Dr. Strange GN also includes painted images.
posted by sardonyx at 2:56 PM on January 8

Moonshadow is a classic. Check out anything by Jon J. Muth.

Kabuki by David Mack is a combination of different styles, some painted.
posted by Dmenet at 3:11 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]

Bill Sienkiewicz. The first book that comes to mind for painterly interior pages for me is Elektra: Assassin. A lot of his other interior work (like in New Mutants or Moon Knight) might technically fall under "pencil, ink and color" but his style is absolutely unlike anyone else's.
posted by bcwinters at 3:38 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]

Descender (which is a Sci-Fi part 1) and Ascender (which is like a Fantasy part 2) by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen. The art is waterlcolour on pencil I think. Dustin Nguyen also used a similar technique for the Batman: Li'l Gotham series.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:51 PM on January 8

Stephanie Hans' art on the book DIE (writer: Kieron Gillen) is painted and it's incredible.
posted by sleeping bear at 3:58 PM on January 8

Michael Zulli has done some, although I think his issues in The Sandman: The Wake were a hybrid and maybe not fully painted.

Blood: A Tale is mostly watercolors by Kent Williams.

John Bolton (no, not that one) adapted Neil Gaiman's Harlequin Valentine (although some of that might also be digital painting).

Much of Charles Vess' work is watercolor, including the prequel to Bone, Rose.

Dave McKean's pre-Mr. Punch work -- Violent Cases, Signal to Noise, Black Orchid -- are mostly painted.

Scott Hampton has also done some painted comics.

Annie Goetzinger often used watercolors in her work. Girl in Dior, The Procacative Collette & Marie Antoinette, Phantom Queen have been translated into English but I don't know if they're still in print.

Grace Wilson's Saving Grace I believe is colored with markers but still worth mentioning.

It's generally easier to find individual painted issues of comics than complete graphic novels (although not impossible, of course).
posted by edencosmic at 3:58 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]

Arkham Asylum was illustrated by Dave McKean (the guy who did all the covers for the Sandman comics) using a variety of media. Also by Dave McKean you could check out Mr. Punch.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:59 PM on January 8

Zulli's art in The Wake was pencil only (no inks). The softer lines gave it a painted look but they weren't painted. It is really beautiful though.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:04 PM on January 8

I don't know if this counts, but Cruddy by Lynda Barry is 100% hand-painted and handwritten.
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:18 PM on January 8

Seconding Bill Sienkiewicz, and in particular Stray Toasters.
posted by Lokheed at 5:01 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]

Christopher Moeller specializes in this. If you like Wonder Woman, his JLA: A League of One is fabulous.
posted by icebergs at 7:35 PM on January 8

Song of the Sky Pacers (步天歌) is an ongoing xianxia comic series that is in full color in a luscious water-color type style by artist XiaDa (夏达). I love her other stuff as well, but this is the only one in full color. She has probably become my favorite current manga artist...
posted by wooh at 4:18 AM on January 9

Oh another chinese fantasy comic I've been following with pretty interesting art is Heaven's Official Blessing, 天官赐福.
posted by wooh at 4:20 AM on January 9

Alex Alice, "Castle in the Stars"
posted by bfields at 7:00 AM on January 9

Kabuki by David Mack! The artwork is fantastic.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:09 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]

The Arrival by Shaun Tan is excellent.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:13 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]

Enki Bilal uses a mishmash of pencil, pastel, paint, and whatever comes in handy. If that counts as "painting".
posted by farlukar at 7:44 AM on January 9

Brecht Evens does the most visually stunning comics I’ve ever seen, all in watercolour. Here’s a preview. Panther is my favourite book of his.
posted by ripley_ at 8:28 AM on January 9

Sarah Glidden's comics are watercolor painted. Hey books are, "How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less" and "Rolling Blackouts." Both are superb.
posted by quince at 9:47 AM on January 9

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