Last week Dark Horse announced that work-horse comics artist Francesco Francavilla was joining the all-star line-up of creators contributing to the revived Dark Horse Presents anthology with a story he’s writing and drawing. Based around a pulp-noir character Francavilla created called the Black Beetle, and definitely looks exciting–and also positions Francavilla as perhaps the next big artist to segue into a writer/artist.
In recent years, artists turned writer/artists have been in vogue, especially at DC with artists like J.H. Williams 3, Francis Manapul and David Finch. Marvel has gotten in the act as well with Oz artist Skottie Young branching out to write the X-Men mini Magneto: Not A Hero. Seeing Francavilla being able to do that on a big stage is heartening, for his talent but also his work ethic.
In 2010 and 2011, Francavilla balanced drawing issues of Detective Comics, Black Panther: Man Without Fear and currently doing Captain America & Bucky while also being a frequent cover artist for Dynamite’s licensed titles. I’m excited to see Francavilla get this chance, and for us readers to get this chance to see more of him — just don’t be surprised if Marvel or DC snaps him up into an exclusive any day now.