Thursday, 15 January 2015

Ron Wimberly re-imagines Wonder Woman mythos for dynamic and stylish OOSA print


I follow the Out Of Step Arts -or OOSA- collective on Tumblr largely for the incredible art, but also to keep abreast of what the artists involved are doing. The group, set up by Neil Bramlette, consists of a number of excellent artists, some of whom clearly share aesthetic sensibilities (and ones that appeal to me): Nathan Fox, Toby Cypress, Paul Maybury, Chris Visions, Ming Doyle, Andrew Maclean, Logan Faerber, Alexis Ziritt, Greg Ruth, and Liz Suburbia. In addition to selling the resident artists original work and exclusive prints, OOSA also bring in guest artists each month, signing them up to design and produce a print which is then available for a limited amount of time. And January's guest artist is none other than the superb Ronald Wimberly, and as ever with Wimberly he's stepped up to the plate in signature style, with a re-imagining of Wonder-Woman, Diana, and her mythos: 

'About WARP-D: Bondage Justice Gaiden: Diana is the princess of the Amazons, a technologically advanced, matriarchal utopia that broke off from the rest of mankind around 400 BC. Amazonia, their home, is nearly impossible to find or to escape; it’s protected by an elite force of soldiers called the C.L.A.Y. Rangers. Every generation a single great woman is picked from the elite C.L.A.Y. training program and sent to be an ambassador to the rest of the world. She is known as the Amazon Ranger. When Diana decides to run away from her kush princess life she secretly joins the C.L.A.Y. program and is selected to be the next Amazon Ranger, but when her mother,  finds out she’s left she enlists the best of the legendary C.L.A.Y. Rangers to find and return her to Amazonia. Now Diana is on the run in our world, and if fighting the C.LA.Y. elite weren’t enough, for the first time in her life she faces a world that needs feminism. Will her dexterity and cunning be enough to escape the bondage facing her at home and abroad?' 

What with Wimberley's take on Blade, and Cloak and Dagger, and now Wonder-Woman, it'd be cool to see him take on some of these characters, but cooler still to see him making his own comics once more; Wimberly's got such an individual and distinctive approach and style that I'm always happy to see more of. The print itself is a typically dynamic affair: Diana posed in the center, ready to take on all comers, in her famous hands on hips stance, with the top and bottom sections of the images split by an outline that smartly mirrors her crown and the WW symbol. The four inset panels in each corner offer both close-up details of her helmet, face and also full body shots as she changes into her fighting gear/costume, and hark back to the comic medium. I really love the colours here, which are unexpected but fresh- the pink and blue and then that pale, greeny yellow. It works to emphasise the new direction in breaking away from the colours she's traditionally associated with, whilst there being enough design elements to recognise the character. The print is giclee on 13 x 19 inches on 265 gsm 100% cotton paper printed with Ultrachrome inks, and you can buy it here. OOSA have a great line-up of guest starts for the coming year, which includes Heather Mahler, Conor Nolan, Tony Millionaire, Sail, Phil Noto, Brandon Graham, Tula Lotay, and Aaron Conley- definitely interested in seeing what tony Millionaire, Lotay, and Graham come up with.