Week 32: Kevin Wada
“The Wicked + The Divine #23 variant cover”
I didn’t know the name of Kevin Wada until I heard about his Scarlet Witch redesign, a stunning combination of art, comics, and fashion that, well, stunned me. It was so graceful, ethereal, beautiful, and somehow still so traditional when being new. It was the first time I can recall seeing that kind of elegance in a superhero costume. Wonder Woman had grace and strength and poise, sure, as did many others. But this was fucking couture, and I’m not even one for fashion!
Since then, he has been on my radar here and there with his wonderful costume design and watercolor/pen mixes. Just as he is incredible at costume design, so is he adept at dynamic posing and his characters always just come off looking like otherworldly ethereal power beings. Which is a good look for superheroes, as well as the many celebrities and idols he often draws.
There is an element to his art remniscint of classic fashion art dress up dolls, the colors often simple blocks and shapes that are less the traditional bright obnoxious superhero colors (which are great in their own way!) and more contemporary. Kevin Wada’s superheroes are modern, idols of the world they occupy (which is why I can’t wait for his Wicked + Divine run!). They’re real people, but also unattainable models at the same time, which is so refreshing and interesting. His covers are the kind of thing I’d frame in a second.
Of course, his skill for characters as beautiful model-types isn’t limited at all to women. Gender doesn’t restrict his subjects from being fashionable and glamorous.
The regal seductiveness that his art is drawn with makes me swoon, and his characters always seem to have their shit together in such an aloof and pretty way. If ever a person needed to learn about the resting model face in art, as well as how to design flawless costuming, Kevin Wada is the person to study. Though I would never say normal comics are not art, maybe he can be the bridge between the general public and accepting comics as real art. (Though, honestly, do we really need those people?)