Sergio Toppi Eats His Own Space off

These are all from Sergio Toppi.  The first one from one of the Collector stories.  The last two from Sharaz-De which is available in English in a beautiful hardcover edition from Archaia–who will also be putting out the Collector stuff at some point as well.

A lot of Toppi’s stuff works off of this diagonal and the tension between the hatching and the negative space it creates

In Shiraz De he keeps the diagonal but moves away from using panels much—because with his style there is really no need for panels.  He can dictate the time of the page just with his rendering techniques moving characters in and out of foregrounds—changing their sizes.

As you see here.  The diagonal isn’t quite as pronounced—but I mean you can see it.  There’s actually a few diagonals working there.  But you can also see how at this point of his career he is accomplishing the same storytelling magic of say crepax with his abundance of panels—without any.  The panels are implied, because they are in the end just time markers—and Toppi is denoting time solely through composition and his approach to hatching(also note that directionally because of the diagonals, he creates extra tension in these images by the degrees in which his hatching goes with or against that diagonal flow–if I knew anything about Jazz I’d compare it to Jazz).

I find the tension between these two approaches in my own layouts.  But it’s really not a tension is it?  These aren’t opposites.  In both cases you’re just talking about the artist’s ability to convey time—and what is the most dynamic way for them to accomplish that.

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