Week 45: Emma Rios
Island #2 Cover (2015)
You might know Spanish comic artist Emma Rios through her work on Pretty Deadly, Mirror (where she is the author, not the artist), or I.D. She also co-curates the magazine Island. I personally found her through Pretty Deadly and fell madly in love with her mixture of Western and manga. (I highly recommend the series, as the writing of Kelly Sue Deconnick mixed with Rios’ writing and Jordie Bellaire’s coloring is to die for.)
What becomes apparent quickly of Rios is that she is extremely adept at the small details that make a piece so great. Whether it’s the many intricate lines of a great snarl of branches or the wings of a vulture, Rios’s time in each piece is inspirational to say the least.
Many of her pieces (especially the two below, from Pretty Deadly) invoke a feeling of perspective and a world much bigger and deeper than a typical front-and-center-posing piece of art. These can make the piece surreal (as in the first piece below) or all the more realistic and encapsulated (as in the second).
Beyond that, Rios is clearly a master of the comic form. Her characters are each unique, interesting, and full of emotion. Her page layout, clever segmenting and blurring of panels, and pace of action and storytelling movement are a joy to take in. Somehow, still, however, she manages in Pretty Deadly to merge this clarity with the smoky wisps of a world that is supernatural, fast-moving, and not entirely corporeal.
Above all, however, Rios is innovative. She’s clever and creative and this eye shines in her work, no matter the medium. She has a way of captivating me. Here’s to much more of that (especially in Pretty Deadly)!