[Visions of Horror] Riley Rossmo

green wake 5

Farah Al-Hakkak (ShadowJayd) and Lonnie Nadler (Lonmonster) are back to showcase more first-rate horror artwork from the finest artists the comics industry has to offer. This week, the Visions of Horror spotlight will be shining on Ghastly Award winner Riley Rossmo, and his critically acclaimed work on Kurtis J. Wiebe’s “Green Wake”. Specifically, Bloody-Disgusting will look at his wicked cover art for issue #2, as well as a particularly powerful page from issue #5. So, without further ado, kindly hit the jump to check his pieces out.

In 2006, Canadian artist Riley Rossmo broke into the comic book industry through AIT/Planet Lar, thanks to his collaborative work with Alex Grecian on “Seven Sons”. Together, they went on to create an ongoing series called “Proof”, which was published by Image Comics the following year. His subsequent — and notable — work with the aforementioned publishing company quickly helped him establish a name for himself, and even garnered Hollywood attention from Disney and Universal Studios. The latter is set to bring Rossmo and A.J. Lieberman’s “Cowboy Ninja Viking” series to life in a film adaptation directed by World War Z’s Marc Forster. How rad is that?

In 2011, Rossmo and Kurtis J. Wiebe’s psychological horror series “Green Wake” was released. Though the book flew under the radar, it received high critical praise, and the book — along with its creative team — received a number of well-deserved nominations and awards for their exceptional work. Wiebe was named Outstanding Comic Book Writer by the Joe Shuster Awards, and “Green Wake” won a 2011 Ghastly Award for ‘Best New Series’ alongside Rossmo, who was named ‘Best Artist’.

For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s a remarkable murder mystery story of loss and horror, set in the forgotten town of Green Wake. The residents deal with confusing memory lapses and can never leave; and it’s rife with insanely messed up — though incredibly significant — imagery involving grisly murders and gross monsters that just drip through Rossmo’s pencils and colours. Fitting the dark tone of the series perfectly, his surreal artwork is moody, gritty, dramatically evocative and strikingly atmospheric. His manically unique style is so distinguishably his that Rossmo’s confidence in his art shines through his frenetically loose presentation on paper. His jagged, unclean lines, while chaotic in nature, are purposefully illustrated and fit exceptionally well with Wiebe’s world.

The “Green Wake” #2 cover:

The splash page from issue #5 (below) is one of the most memorable from the series, revealing all of the traumatic events of protagonist Morley Mack’s past in just two pages. “Green Wake” is one of those books that feels so intimate yet so vast at the same time, and this piece is testament to the amount of work, care, and creativity put into the series by both Rossmo and Wiebe.

The page depicts Morley’s dark history with his lover, from wedding to death, in a stunning arrangement. Rossmo guides the reader’s eye across an array of images, evoking feelings of dread, sorrow, and pleasure simultaneously. He seamlessly brings all these elements together with his signature sketchy line work and vibrant colors, making for one of the most memorable splash pages of the series. It’s a shame the book was cut short, as we only got a glimpse of the expansive nightmarish world that was Green Wake.

The “Green Wake” #5 splash page:

Rossmo donated this fantastic Batwoman & Swamp Thing piece to the Fourth Annual San Diego Comic-Con Autograph Card CBLDF/TFAW Auction. It’s not related to “Green Wake”, but we love it. So look at it.

The Batwoman / Swamp Thing piece:

Next up from Riley Rossmo is his book “Drumhellar”. The first issue drops in November 6th, 2013.

If you want Bloody Disgusting to cover one of your favourite horror artists, or a fantastic piece of horror-related comic book art, head down to the comment section, or hit up Farah or Lonnie on Twitter.