SPX Spotlight: David Rubin

It's another entry in Panel Patter's SPX SPOTLIGHT series! If you want to track our personal recommendations of creators who'll be attending one of the best small-press shows in America, make sure you follow along. It's a great way to create your own personal guide for the show on September 17th and 18th, 2016, in Bethesda, Maryland. Don't miss it! You can find all our SPX SPOTLIGHT posts here.

One of the creators you'll be sure to want to meet at SPX is David Rubin. Rubin is an accomplished, internationally respected artist; I first became aware of his work a few years ago when he was announced as the artist for the Battling Boy prequels chronicling the adventures of Aurora West and her father Haggard West (our review here). Rubin had a tough act to follow in Paul Pope (whose illustration in Battling Boy is superb), but Rubin meets that challenge with incredible skill and visual wit and humor. As seen in the examples below, Rubin has just as fluid of a line as Pope, and a very organic, lived-in feel.

These stories are a real showcase for Rubin's skill in conveying emotion through lovely, exaggerated-but-precise facial acting.  In the above and below panels, Aurora's eyes tell a whole story from panel to panel.  They're also a showcase for his ability to convey dynamic action and motion.  As seen in the below page, when Aurora and her father take a leap, I really feel like Rubin has captured a real sense of movement as the characters are leaping through the air. Rubin also does some great effects and hand-lettering to convey the real stakes involved in this action scene.

Another example of Rubin's versatile skill is the Dark Horse miniseries The Fiction, from Rubin, writer Curt Pires and colorist Michael Garland. The Fiction makes a nice contrast to the grayscale Battling Boy prequels, as it's fascinating to see Rubin's work paired with Garland's lush coloring.  The Fiction is a story of literature and lost worlds and imagination, and Rubin and Garland collaborate terrifically here, as Garland's bold, atmospheric colors complement Rubin's dynamic, emotional line work. 
While you're meeting Rubin, you should also be sure to pick up a copy of his original graphic novel The Hero (volumes 1 and 2), a modern retelling of the myth of Heracles.  I haven't read this yet but I look forward to doing so.  Seriously, just look at this art:

Lastly, let me mention that Dark Horse has also recently announced that Rubin and Matt Kindt (another of my favorite people in comics) will be collaborating in a new series about the intersection of science and magic called Ether.  I'm calling it "something I need to buy".  

Rubin is doing exciting, dynamic comics work and has for a while now.  I strongly encourage you to meet him this weekend and pick up some gorgeous comics.

David Rubin can be found on Twitter at @davidrubin.