The X-Files Art Gallery #1: Review

For X-Files fans who just can’t get enough, IDW offers a brief reprieve from its regularly scheduled programming to offer a sweet little one-shot featuring artwork from creators who love the show just as much as you do.

Here’s the official word from IDW:

The artwork featured in this book was curated by IDW Limited. Each piece was commissioned for one of our rare, original art offerings and featured artists chosen for their talent and love of The X-Files. The original sketch cards ultimately found homes with some very happy collectors. We are excited to share some of our favorite pieces with you before they end up as “classified information.”

While art gallery issues are generally always beautiful to look at, they rarely resonate unless you already love the subject matter that’sXfiles-ArtGallery-pr-1-2a9f6 being explored. Why? Because in many ways it’s like entering an intimate conversation mid-stream — the images are generally shorthand for larger narratives, the jokes are hidden, and the artist’s talent is not measured by what new images they can invent, but how well they recast what’s already been done. And if this is what you’re looking for — essentially 32 pages of gorgeous memes — then The X-Files Art Gallery #1 totally delivers.

This issue features nine artists total, giving each a few pages to offer their own version of iconic poses and monster profiles, as well as some enjoyable mini-interviews in which an unnamed curator asks questions like “Did you prefer ‘Monster of the Week’ or Mytharc episodes?” The answers are occasionally serious, but often humorous as the artists lean back and just enjoy themselves. Of those artists that particularly stood out for me were Mark McHaley and Dan Harding. Put side-by-side these artists have very different approaches — McHaley’s work is angular and bright, while Harding opts for dark and round — but together they generate some of the most compelling images of this issue. Some of the work presented by Sean Pence (whose art I normally dig) gets a little lost here — maybe it’s the pencils that he uses, but the white highlights make his characters look stiff and off.

Overall, The X-Files Art Gallery #1 is a must-have for any diehard fan. And an issue to skip for those just discovering the series.

+Great Art - For Diehard Fans Only

S#!T Talking Central