Sequential art storytelling or comic book creation is an art form, a type of communication, often a cathartic process for the creators and of course, a way to entertain people. Comic book creators often forget that sequential art can and when it is at its best should be all of the above. Really good comic books are all of these things. Great sequential art is all of these things and something more, something sublime. Now, I won’t go so far as to say that Eliza Frye’s Regalia is “perfect” in that grandiose way – it’s not there yet but she is certainly headed in that direction.
A story from Frye’s Regalia has been nominated for an Eisner award so obviously it’s not just this indie comics champion that thinks has some incredible talent. Frye does have talent and she’s one of those mutant (because I’m jealous) creatures that can create both as a writer and a visual artist. Frye writes dialogue with an elegant simplicity and her story arcs are deceptively nothing new – what makes them exceptional is her ability to bring those details to the story that only she can deliver.
It is in her art in Regalia where Frye shows that not only has she studied the masters – no, I don’t mean Jack Kirby – but she has also had a strong education in form, function of line and motion. She studied at the California Institute of the Arts where my own wife has studied and taught for several years – I know a thing or two about their character animation program, I have seen many beautiful films come out of there and I can honestly say that they teach sequential art at an incredibly high level. And this is again something that Frye brings to comics that few others can/do – Frye brings Art, yeah with a capital A, and education from outside the comic book industry and all of this is readily apparent in her work. I look forward to anything and everything that Frye goes on to produce.