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From Russia with comics love: a look at artist Artyom Trakhanov

New artists come along in comics seemingly ever week, but among the newest crop one has stood out for me: Russian illustrator Artyom Trakhanov. I discovered Trakhanov from his U.S. debut, the Image miniseries Undertow, but the more I've seen about him the more I've liked his work.

Since the completion of Undertow (which he describes as "Star Wars underwater"), Trakhanov has been churning out a number of one-off covers, short stories and concept art that have circulated online. Although more issues of Undertow are a possibility, the artist has been working on concept art for a number of other projects, including an enticing-sounding book with Brian Funk titled Enforcer, about gang wars in a city filled with magic. Artyom also has his long-running webcomic Madblade, which he hopes to resume and at some point translate into English.

Trakhanov's unique background seems to temper his artwork. Living in Russia, you don't get to see the same comics you would growing up in the United States, Japan or elsewhere. Artyom admits he didn't learn about Jack Kirby, Moebius or others until late in life, as when he was young the comics in Russia was a hodge-podge of American, Japanese and the rare Russian publication. Trakhanov was born in the late 1980s, and came of age reading comics like Joe Madureira's Battle Chasers, Kouta Hirano's Hellsing and the Russian Thursday's Folks.

Of course you can see Artyom Trakhanov's work in Undertow, but here's a selection of his recent cover work, sketches and commissions.

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