Monday, October 27, 2014

NOW THAT'S A SPLASH PAGE: Jim Balent's 'It's Catwoman!'

Splash pages, you gotta love 'em. A blank canvas where the artist can hit you with a large dose of illustrated 'wow'. This week, one of those character/artist combo's that you almost wish were inseparable, Catwoman and Jim Balent.

Jim mastered quite a few things with Selina Kyle during his run. The eyes had that cat-like stare effect, she always looked feisty and the hair never seemed 'tacked' on to her head but apart of it - as opposed to many of his competitors. 

His biggest claim to fame though, is that he made his mark as a bad girl artist, in an age of 'hardly-any-costume 'bad girls'', by drawing a fully-clothed woman.

I always respected that DC didn't have Selina go all 'Elektra-ish' just to grab a few more 90's dollars. They trusted Jim's skills with line and body language. And just look at the result.

What do you think? For more great splash pages, click here.

6 comments:

  1. by far the best splash page you've posted so far this year! I still have this Jim Balent Cat Woman door poster from back in the day tucked away somewhere. damn that guy really knows how to draw women from head to toe.

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  2. I totally loved Balents work on Catwoman, and see him as her definitive artist - she had outrageous sexy style and he piushed the envelope as far as he possibly could, giving DCs restrictions at the time.
    You could actually feel Selina's claws and watch her acrobatics as his 60 or so issue run went on and on, even when his backgrounds became increasingly de-cluttered, but his own small-time creations such as the Cyber-Cat and the severed-head killer cop were masterpiece creations that enhanced the book no end.
    Pity that after he left Selina became noticeably less sexy and became just another generic character, but I then followed Jim Balent to his own designer creation Tarot Witch of the Black Rose which is quite stunning!

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  3. Thanks guys - glad you liked the choice! Tarot is pretty crazy isn't it Karl. Jim's really taken his skills to another level there.

    I think you are both right on about how Jim's take was a popularity high for Selina. Later, Ed Brubaker's turn was greatas a writer, but artisticaly Balent was never beaten.

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  4. -Despite the criticism the guy get for his......perverseness... Jim Balent has MAD penciling skills. Truth.

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  5. Right on both counts King. This weekend I've really re-read a lot of 90's comics and there was soo much great stuff there. I don't think the era deserves the stick it gets.

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    1. Dude, welcome to MY LIFE! It's all 90's, all the time!!! CCCOOOOOOMMMIIICCCSSSSSS!!!

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