Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


February 24, 2010

Comic book art on display

Ceredo-based artist provides pieces from his collection for HMA exhibit

CEREDO, W.Va. — Ceredo resident Beau Smith remembers a playground discussion from his childhood.

“One kid said, ‘When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut.’ I said, ‘When I grow up, I want to write comic books.’ Even my fellow third-graders looked at me like I was looney,” he said.

But Smith was far from looney.

Now, he is a successful comic book writer with at least 22 years of experience who has written for big-name companies, including DC Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Dreamwave Studios and Dark Horse Comics.

This month, a portion of his collection of comic book illustrations will be on exhibit at the Huntington Museum of Art.

The 33-piece show will be open Feb. 27 to May 30.

Smith said he selected 90 pieces and worked with the museum to whittle down the exhibit further.

“I wanted to show people the difference variations for creating art for comic books,” he said, adding the exhibit will contain thumbnail, which are loose drawings of figures; blue lines, which are sketches made in blue pencil that won’t show up when copied or printed; and splash pages, which are layouts that convey a major event in the story. Many of the pieces reveal how artists and writers work when creating a comic book.

“Even the most die-hard comic book fans don’t get to see this,” he said.

On April 11, Smith will lead a gallery walk, during which time he’ll explain to viewers the significance of various pieces and what role those pieces played in the creation of a comic book, as well as relate anecdotes about the artwork.

“I’ve been very fortunate that most of the artists I’ve worked with I’ve gotten to know real well,” he said. “Some of them are really good friends, even though we’re spread all over the world.”

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