On Monday Sidebar Nation released a podcast on renowned Italian illustrator Sergio Toppi. I thought it would be a good excuse to re-visit the legend, and post some more Toppi illustrations.
Toppi’s work, at a casual glance looks like simple compositions of layered of images. Anything more than a casual glance though, shows the incredible skill that is needed to produce those compositions.
If you listen to the podcast there’s a long Toppi quote about his work. There was so much in the quote to wrap my head around I felt the need to read it rather than just listen. So here’s the Toppi quote from the podcast.
“The fundamental idea behind my approach is to give the entire composition of a page or a double page a stronger visual impact than is allowed by using a strictly realistic technique. So thanks to photographic references, I can include within one single composition several plastic forms or planes, like a mind-game. I was immediately fascinated by the notion of construction through combination. Since then, I get immense pleasure from how I design an illustration or a comics page. I am constantly guided in my research by the need to break certain limiting shackles specific to comics. Breaking the linearity of the sequence or the classic conception of the layout of planes and proportions is necessary if we want to advance the comics medium.”
If you want to get a good art book of his work I would recommend Sharez-de: Tales from the Arabian Night.