These last few days, the good burghers of the Essential Sequential agency have been posting sketch after sketch by Italy’s Matteo Scalera to their Instagram account. Scalera might not be the biggest name in their stable of artists (which includes Dave Johnson, Andrew Robinson and Dan Panosian), but he’s producing stylish work, redolent of another couple of Essential Sequential artists, Eric Canete and Sean Gordon Murphy. I’d throw Declan Shalvey and Robbi Rodriguez in as another couple of touchstones, too. A little further digging reveals Scalera’s blog and his DeviantArt page are the places to find better-quality, less ruthlessly cropped, versions of these illustrations. His DeviantArt account reveals him to be an absolute sketch machine — he’s numbering them, and has reached 533.
Though I passed on his run on Marvel’s Secret Avengers with Rick Remender at the time, I’ll be picking up their Black Science when Image publish the first issue in November. I’m a member of the school of thought that reckons Fear Agent was the best thing Remender ever wrote, and this is quoted as being its “spiritual sequel”. It doesn’t hurt that every preview page previewed online so far has been amazing: crazy Warren magazine-styled nightmares, rendered in neon hues by Dean White over Scalera’s ink washes.