365 Reasons to Love Comics #220

Today? One of the world's most expressive pencillers. You'll see what I mean. (I've been looking so long at this archive of you that I almost believe that it's real.)


220. Kevin Maguire

Call it word association if you will; from Keith Giffen to J.M. DeMatteis to the original third man in their Justice League venture, Kevin Maguire, the artist of a thousand faces.

Justice League was his big break, and he completely sold the tone of the book. Maguire's renowned for his skill at depicting facial expressions, and with a book that thrives on snappy patter, he's golden. The characters came alive under his linework and pulled off the delivery of their lines with ease. It was Kevin Maguire who first put life and soul into those wacky characters, and made the series what it was. Thanks to his art, we felt each "Bwahaha!" He made classic moments come alive, much like Frampton.

It's just a damn shame that Mr. Maguire hasn't done as much work in the industry as I wish he had. He did Justice League for a while, and moved onto other things, including a Captain America mini, Team Titans, Strikeback!, and some other works. Eventually, he returned to the Justice League along with Giffen and DeMatteis in a pair of limited series, Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League (presented in JLA Classified). And his art was still excellent, still vibrant, and still glorious. Take this sequence, for instance, which holds so much emotional power because of how well-drawn it is:

Click those to enlarge. You can see every emotion on Guy and Bea's faces, and it's heartbreaking.

Kevin also teamed up with Mssrs. Giffen and DeMatteis on a Defenders mini for Marvel, and brought his expressive style to the world's greatest non-team as well. I'll let the art speak for itself:

I would buy endless Maguire-drawn comics if I could, even if they were all talking heads-- no, especially if they were all talking heads. He's proven himself to be so adept at the human form and face that I once proclaimed him to be the only artist capable of drawing a M*A*S*H comic, were one ever made. He would rock on such a series. You know it's true.

Kevin Maguire draws people than anyone, and is an expert at character mannerisms. It's great to see in a world where so many artists use the same face and position over and over again, or turn to their lightbox for help. If a picture is worth a thousand words, well, I'd say a Kevin Maguire picture is worth a few thousand extra.

Let's go, DC; get the entire Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League run into trades! And please, persuade Kevin Maguire to draw something new for you! Some of us can't get enough. I hope, with the few images I've provided in this entry, that I've managed to demonstrate the range of his expressive talent.

Oh, and be sure to pick up that Modern Masters volume shown at the top of the post.

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