“A lot has been made of the race of the new Ultimate Spider-Man, for good or ill. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the woman that will actually be drawing the new Spider-Man. Italian artist Sara Pichelli has been around the US comics scene since 2007, and made the jump to Marvel with 2008′s NYX: No Way Home, written by Marjorie Liu. Pichelli has had a brief run on Ultimate Spider-Man already, but as of September’s Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1, she’s the official ongoing artist for one of Marvel’s most significant comics.
If you aren’t familiar with her work, I’m going to show you why she’s a great artist for the new book, and the tiny details in everything from fight sequences to hair that make her art come to life.There are three things I particularly enjoy about Pichelli’s art: the way she draws hair, facial expressions, and body language. The first two add a lot to the atmosphere of the comics she draws, and the third cranks her storytelling up to another level.
It may sound obvious, but every comics panel is made up of tiny parts that have to work in concert. The backgrounds must be properly lit, characters must be in proportion, there must be space for word balloons, and the moment that panel captures must be fluid enough to flow into the next panel without being awkward.
Adding tiny details adds verisimilitude to a panel, and allows the fake to becomes real. If you draw a stick figure and say it’s of your friend Natalie, it could really be anyone. If you add Natalie’s signature purse, hipster glasses, and specific haircut, then your friends can look at it and go, “Hey, that’s Natalie!” Those additions make the picture more recognizable, even though it’s still just a crude representation of Natalie. When characters are given accessories or little features, they become more believable. You accept them as having lives outside of the panels because they resemble something that you know in real life…”