So I wanted to start a series of articles about some of the guys in Comics that have inspired me in some way. There are alot of guys, but for me, I HAVE to start with Chris Bachalo. I remember, very vividly, checking out the comic rack in the Books-A-Million within walking distance of my house, and seeing the Preview Comic for the Generation-X series from marvel that was about to launch. This was way back in 1995 when I was 14 years old, and Generation-X were the teenage next generation of X-Men. I was their target audience and I was sucked in from the very second I saw that bad ass Bachalo wrap-around cover! Inside the preview comic were alternate covers, character designs, and interviews with Chris Bachalo and Scott Lobdell about the creation of the characters. The first four issues, and the four issues of the Age of Apocalypse story that followed right behind it, were some of the greatest art and story to me at the time. They still hold great significance to me today because they were able to create a feel for the characters through the dialogue and art that really made it’s presence known.
Bachalo was really able to take the success and style he’d developed working on Death (From Vertigo), and make it work in this new story. Not too long after he began Generation-X, Bach started to become inspired by the more stylized art from Manga comics that had been making their way from Asia into the U.S. It was easy to tell that his art was changing from the darker style he had developed early on. He found himself working on Captain America for a brief stint, during which his style was starting to become a hybrid of the two. It was able to take serious tones, and show detail in action still, but developed the stylized features and proportions of Manga. His following of loyal fans was peaking and crying out for more Bachalo!
After working on Gen-X, Captain America, and even the flagship X-Men titles, Bach gave his attempt at creator owned work. The group from Image were doing well and changing the world of comics, and Cliffhanger was trying to build upon that movement. Teaming up with writer Joe Kelly, the two created Steampunk, a book probing into the chaotic and wild minds of the creative team. It followed a man named Cole, who’s heart had literally been replaced by a furnace, who woke up after years asleep. He awoke in a world of industrial-esque technology, and a mad man ruling the world. The story was incredible intriguing, and it allowed Bachalo to take liberties with his page layouts and style that Marvel wouldn’t have permitted. The results were two fold, resulting in some pages and panels that were difficult to read and follow, but the characters were incredible and there were some pages that just blew your mind. The series ended with promises of someday returning to finish the story. Promises still unfulfilled.
After Steampunk, Bach did some cover’s and some guest appearance stuff, but seemed to kinda fall off the radar. An occasional cover here or there. After a while he came back to X-Men in several short stints with some really dynamic stuff. There was a run in Uncanny X-Men that really brought Rachel Grey into the spotlight and provided some really amazing art from Bachalo, proving he was still a force in comics! On the anniversary of the Age of Apocalypse, Marvel ran a six issue limited series delving back into the alternate universe, and look at where it was at today. The six piece cover spread is pretty awesome, I always love connecting covers!
Then He did a short run on Spider-Man for the first time, and again his art had evolved. It was cleaner in some ways, a far cry from his Steampunk work, but there were still controlled elements of his chaotic and busy panels woven in. During Dark Reign, Back tackled the Sinister Spider-Man series following Mac Gargan as Venom, who was posing as Spider-Man and really basking in the glory Peter Parker never would. The Spider-Man arc, ‘Shed’, was one of the ones I enjoyed most. It’s a really different and cool look at the Lizard! He’s also done tons of covers, worked on Avengers, and launched the Wolverine and the X-Men book most recently.
He’s still one of the most dynamic forces in comics today, able to bring a unique feel to any comic that you just won’t be able to get with any other artist. It’s crazy to look at where he was when I first saw his art to today. It really shows how an artist’s style is his to own, and evolve as he sees fit. To end this gallery de Bachalo I thought it’d be cool and best show his evolution to look at three pics of Death all at different parts of his career. Chris Bachalo, to me, is a prime example of how the world is ours to make! Thanks Mr. Chris!