Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Yildiray Cinar, and the issue is Batman/Superman #3, which was published by DC and is cover dated October 2013. Enjoy!
As I noted yesterday, Cinar is working on comics that I’m not really interested in, so until recently, the only other Cinar DC book I bought was the first issue of Fury of Firestorm, as I bought every single one of the #1 DCnU books in September 2011. I liked his art in that book and was going to feature it today, but while I was looking at what else he drew, I noticed he drew part of Batman/Superman #3, and it looked pretty keen. So this very day (17 March, not the day you’re reading this, which is 8 April), I went to my comic book store and purchased said comic, just so I could feature it in this series of posts. I ask you – is that not commitment? Are you not entertained? (It also has recent Jae Lee art, so when I get to him, I can use it too. Serendipity!)
So in this issue, DCnU Superman meets a Superman from another dimension (or his future?), who then reminisces about meeting Bruce Wayne when they were both kids? Is that right? Anyway, Lee draws the stuff in the present, while Cinar does the stuff in the past, and it’s a pretty interesting contrast, unsurprisingly. Cinar is inking himself here, and I’m pretty sure he’s being colored by John Kalisz (Kalisz, June Chung, and Matt Yackey are credited, but Chung had been coloring the book all along with Lee, so I’m going to assume Kalisz was brought in just for these pages). This is much more nuanced than we’ve seen from Cinar in his previous work, and it’s very nice. He uses different tones in the inks so we get the darker, sleeker black on the limousine with the lighter shadows of the leaves on the trunk of the car, on the fence, and on Clark. In Panel 2, he uses some nice shading on Bruce’s face to show what Pak spells out for us – that Bruce is sad. Again we get some nice inks on the frame of the windows, where the deep blacks fade into gray a bit. Cinar has never been the most detailed artist when it comes to faces (which is perfectly fine), and we see this work well for him in Panel 2, when Bruce’s thin eyes and slightly downturned mouth make him look far sadder than a bigger frown would. Kalisz uses blues very well, adding highlights to the limo, turning the inside of the car a bit more depressing, and linking Clark to Bruce through his blue shirt. Despite the nice colors, the uncolored page is tremendous (I found it on Cinar’s web site, which features some cool art).
Clark asks Bruce if he wants to play baseball, and Bruce is wildly inept at it. Cinar contrasts them very well in Panel 1. Bruce is still sad, and his mouth has shrunk even further, making his entire face look pinched, as if he’s unhappy to be alive, much less playing baseball. His eyes are narrow and mistrusting, and Cinar makes sure that his hair is very nicely combed. Meanwhile, Clark’s face is far more open – his eyes are wider, his mouth is bigger, and the baseball cap and open shirt make him look rustic, and in American fiction, rural folk are much more trustworthy than city folk, something Cinar plays to the hilt (even if he’s unaware of it, which he might be). He draws the sequence with Bruce missing the baseball three times really well, too. Bruce is obviously athletic – he has good form in the first panel – but he’s still awkward when it comes to playing games, as his stance in the third panel shows. Cinar inks him completely so that there’s no border between his pants, socks, and shoes, making him even more of a funereal presence, and he does a very nice job with his face, as he goes from disgusted to perplexed to determined even as Clark’s third pitch sails by his chin. Just a little changes in the way his eyebrows curve and his mouth moves is enough.
Bruce gets grumpy and challenges Clark to a fight, which Clark, naturally, thinks he will win easily. Bruce shows him a thing or two, and Cinar does a wonderful job with the moment. He narrows Clark’s eyes in Panel 1 and uses light inked lines to show him moving forward quickly, and then Bruce gets a hold of him and flips him, using his momentum against him. Cinar leads our eye well from the top of the panel, where we find Clark’s right foot, in an arc over Bruce and down toward Panel 3. Once again, we see the nice contrast between the two boys – Clark is wearing sneakers (Kalisz – or Chung or Yackey – colors Clark’s shoes red and his shirt blue, notice), rolled up jeans, and a T-shirt, while Bruce wears a tie and suspenders, black dress socks, and uncomfortable-looking shoes. Cinar shows how well he understands anatomy, as both boys are drawn fluidly, with Bruce’s right foot turned inward to brace himself. Cinar also draws Clark’s hair a bit wildly, again contrasting it with Bruce’s more tamed cut. Bruce doesn’t change his expression much – he’s still humorless – and Cinar uses a light brush on his face, darkening it as Clark passes over him, which is a nice metaphor even though it’s “realistic.” Cinar uses broader strokes in the background, spinning everything around Bruce’s fulcrum, leading to Panel 3, where Clark hits the ground hard. His look of surprise remains – he can’t believe what just happened to him – and Cinar once again uses all blacks on Bruce in the foreground. This is a really nice page.
Clark, being the good-natured fellow that he is, isn’t mad at Bruce, but he does want to know how Bruce did that, so Bruce, lightening up a little, teaches him. Panel 1 is a gorgeous long shot of the two boys, as Clark figures out how to throw Bruce. Cinar uses mostly blacks, with some nice touches of blue in there against the orange background, so there’s a good complement in the scene. In Panel 2, we again see the dappling effect Cinar uses on Alfred and Jonathan as they wartch the boys, and Kalisz colors the limo a bit more “realistically,” easing on the blue, perhaps symbolically showing the thawing of Bruce’s sadness.
Bruce bonds with Clark by whacking him in the head with the stick, although it’s because Bruce, being the smarty-pants that he is, has figured out that Clark is really strong. Cinar does a nice job with the emotions of young boys – in Panel 1, Clark is surprised and a little angry, and Cinar shows that he wasn’t expecting his new friend to, you know, hit him with a stick. His right eye instinctively closes and he opens his mouth wide, and his left eye looking toward Bruce leads us back along the stick and down to Panel 2. Bruce gives him a wry look in Panel 2, and Cinar is still showing the differences between the two boys, as even though Bruce has opened up a little, his eyebrows and eyes are still thin and his mouth is still small, while Clark’s eyebrows are thicker, his eyes wider, and his mouth slightly bigger. Cinar links the two boys in Panel 3, as Clark’s fear is linked to Bruce’s sadness earlier in the story – Cinar manages to draw their brows and eyes similarly, even though he keeps them unique. It’s an interesting way to show the kindred of the boys, even though it appears they can’t be more different.
Cinar continues to work on DC books that I have no interest in reading, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like his artwork! Maybe someday he’ll work on a comic that I do want to read, and then life will be good. In the meantime, he’s getting better, it seems, every time I see his art, which is pretty cool.
I’m in a Turkish artist kind of mood, so I think I’ll move onto another Turkish artist for the next group of posts. You won’t find any Turkish artists in the archives (well, except for Cinar), but you’ll find a lot of other cool stuff. Come back tomorrow for more artistic goodness!