by David Harper
To know Massimo Carnevale is to love Massimo Carnevale. If I made a shortlist of most flat out gifted artists that work in comics, Carnevale would be right near the top of the list, and his painted work has notably graced the covers of renowned series like “Y the Last Man” and “Northlanders”, helping make those great series all the better in the process.
Lately, he hasn’t done as much comic work (he has never really done much in terms of interiors, anyways), but his work on his site Sketchesnatched where he creates interpretations of movies and TV shows with his art underlines the magic in his art. With those pieces, he manages to boil down the essence and feel of entire films or shows into a singular image. His gift for doing that shows what many artists know, and that’s that this man is absolutely, undeniably brilliant at instilling power, weight and meaning into even the simplest images.
We’d seen that before from him, though. Take his cover to the final issue of “Northlanders.” Could anything have been a better coda to the series than his final cover? The end of an era, singular image of the viking helmet with the seabird resting upon, achieves so many layers of meaning it’s a story within a painting. The old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words, but with Carnevale, those aren’t just any words. They’re carefully crafted and selected words put together with an eye for lyrical beauty. Carnevale is like any great artist from any medium. He’s transcendent. He’s timeless. He’s my choice to kick off our month of art features in Artist August. I hope you enjoy his work below, and please, check out his site for more.