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Monday, March 25, 2013

THE ART BY ED BENES! [FEATURING JUSTICE LEAGUE, BIRDS OF PREY AND OTHERS!]

This article features artwork by the legendary Ed Benes. He was born in 1972 in Brazil - a land filled with exotic beauty. And Ed's art is definitely filled with beauty, since he is an expert at female anatomy [as shown by the Powergirl and Supergirl pic on the left]. Plus his Superman renditions are also outstanding. Ed has worked for DC Comics, Marvel and even other smaller comic companies in the past. Once you understand Ed's style, you will always recognize his works, which is distinct from many of the other Brazilian artists that draw ladies with similar traits. A lot of artists have been influenced by Ed's work for over 20 years [he started drawing comics  back in the mid-90s]. And I also have learned a great deal from him, just by carefully watching his anatomical layout and trademark style.

Ed Benes is known for his popular splash pages that feature iconic characters like the Justice League, since he is an expert at incorporating multiple characters into a single poster. One of his breakout works was done for Wildstorm Comics [founded by Jim Lee], and the title was Gen13, a series about a group of superhero teenagers. 

Ed did a lot of work on the Birds of Prey series for D Comics, from 2003 - 2005; that comic book featured an all-female cast and it gave him a chance to create some astonishing artwork, which made the fanboys drool. He later returned to that series back in 2010, for a short 4-part run. And fans were able to note that he'd certainly gotten better over the years. Check out the comparisons below, which show his early work with the logo on the left, and his latter works on the right.

 

Several harsh critics consider some of his art to be overly erotic [since a lot of horny fans have commissioned him to draft suggestive pics over the years], while other observers view his sexy presentations are merely a ploy to sell more comics. I don't have time to give you a long list of all the projects that Ed has worked on in the past, but you can easily search for graphic novel collections of his works at Amazon.com.


     
It is wise for an aspiring artist to have more than one mentor, even if you have a sole mentor that you like more than all the others, in terms of their style. A while back, several young artists at the DA website started presenting Influence Maps, posters that were composed by software like Photoshop that showcased all of their artistic influences, who have inspired them and how they draw. I've never done one of those Influence Map posters, but if I ever do it, Ed Benes will be one of the guys that I give credit to, along with Terry Dodson, Jim Lee and even the late Michael Turner. Below, we have the classic Justice League, the female Teen Titans [Raven, Starfire and Wondergirl] and the Huntress:


 
According to Ed's facebook page, this year he is retiring from comics - but only temporarily. Ed has opened a studio in Brazil in which he works on his creator-owned IPs and he also teaches young artists, mentoring them in his style so that they can do work for him, in order to push his Intellectual Properties. I think that's a smart move on his part and I wish him the best of luck.

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