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Beauology 101: Underrated, But Not Under The Beau Radar

[caption id="attachment_34432" align="alignleft" width="333"]Art by Amanda Conner Art by Amanda Conner[/caption]

Beau Smith discusses three creators he feels are underrated: Terry Moore, Amanda Conner, and Mike Deodato.

Beau Smith: Underrated, But Never Over Powered.
Beau Smith: Underrated, But Never Over Powered.

by Beau Smith

Terry Moore: "Hey Beau, Is your fly unzipped or is this like that scene from Alien? Please tell me it's unzipped....Naw, that's creepy too."
Terry Moore: “Hey Beau, Is your fly unzipped or is this like that scene from Alien? Please tell me it’s unzipped….Naw, that’s creepy too.”

Terry Moore is creepy.

Without a doubt, in my never humble opinion, Terry Moore is the most underrated psychological horror writer in comic books today. When you think of horror in comic books, the usual press release suspects’ always come up, but rarely does the name of Terry Moore. That needs to change.

His current comic book from Abstract Studios, RACHEL RISING, is a true “turn the imagination’s nite-light on” kinda read. Every month I get RACHEL RISING and every month I turn the pages like some kid that’s alone in a dark basement and there’s one more door to open. I’m always afraid of what Terry Moore may have jump out on me.

Rachel Rising #13
Rachel Rising #13

RACHEL RISING started out at a very subtle pace and then slowly, but surely, turned into the creepiest comic book I have ever read. I mean that in the best way. RACHEL RISING is masterfully written. With Terry also doing the art on the book, he is able to lead you down that scary path and insert you into some very frightening thoughts. This is not your zombie-sight kind of horror, this is Stephen King at his best horror. It’s smart and disturbing without being demented….well, okay, sometimes it is demented, but again, in a good way.

RACHEL RISING screams to be a TV series or film. Right now, I rather see it as a TV series, because it would be able to slowly pull you into Terry’s dark matter world of brain fright.

I’m not usually the one to enjoy scary stuff, not books, TV or films, but this is an addictive pull with vice-like grips I can’t escape. I think if you give it a try from the beginning, you’ll be trapped in this creepy coffin with me.

Give it a shot and tell “Terror” Moore that Beau sent you.

Don’t ever try and hold Amanda Conner’s hand.

Now I’m not saying that because her man, Jimmy Palmiotti, might get all Italian-Style on you (he could). I’m saying it because if you did then she wouldn’t be able to draw. Even with all her success and resume, Amanda Conner is still one of the most underrated artists in comics.

Art by Amanda Conner
Art by Amanda Conner

When I was writing Guy Gardner for DC Comics, I begged for her to be named the new artist after Mitch Byrd left the book. At the time she was drawing Gargoyles, which was based on the TV animated series. DC wouldn’t grant me my wish at that time (I will have my revenge yet), but I know that one day I’ll get to work with Amanda. My suggestion to you is this, if you ever get to see Amanda’s pencils, please jump on that opportunity. Her pencils are simply amazing. Granted, her work looks great inked, but in pencil form, you will get a wonderful treat for the eyeballs.

Mike Deodato is not human.

He can’t be and draw like he does. I was lucky enough to work with Mike once on a Boba Fett story for Dark Horse Comics (Star Wars Tales). I remember when the pencils for the story were faxed over to me I was slack jawed, and that’s considering it came in on a thermal paper fax. It was amazing to me to see my story and words transformed into near living things with Mike’s pencils.

His work at Marvel Comics in the last few years has been nothing short of super-human. Mike does fine art in the form of comic book superheroes. As I mentioned above with Amanda, you HAVE to see Mike’s pencils to truly appreciate what a master he is. Yes, I realize he does high profile Marvel Comic books, but he is still underrated by the general comic book reading public. His name should be used as a verb!

Mike Deodato. Like I said, the guy ain't human.
Mike Deodato. Like I said, the guy ain’t human.

To top it all off, Mike, like Amanda and Terry, is a wonderful person. Even if he couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler, he would still be one of the best people you could ever know. Sign up for his upcoming work in Avengers #13. You’ll be glad to put your name on the Deodato line.

As always, I’d love for you to share your thought with me and all of your fellow Beauology 101 classmates here at the Westfield Comics. Just tell me who you think is underrated in comics right now. We’d all love to help shove that spotlight on some of your unsung favorites. Don’t be shy, post up your comments right here. I’ll be waiting………

Your never shy amigo,

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch


By Roger

Roger Ash was born. Some years passed and he got older. Round about seventh grade he found copies of "Howard the Duck" and "Hanna-Barbera's Laff-A-Lympics" at a local Stop 'N' Go store. Thus began his love of comics. Roger is a fan of all things pop culture – comics, music, movies, TV, etc. He enjoys ska and 80s new wave, animation of all kinds, sitcoms, Monty Python, and "Usagi Yojimbo." He likes many more things than that, but he needs to keep this short. He holds bachelor degrees in English with a creative writing emphasis and Theatre. Sometimes he sets them down.
Roger was one of the original Westfield customers and started working for them in 1988. He still loves comics after all this time.
Some random facts about Roger:
He is a third degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.
He has been a Chicago Cubs fan for as long as he can remember.
He is a freelance writer. You can find his work in various issues of TwoMorrow's "Back Issue." He also conducted the interviews for "Modern Masters: Walter Simonson" and "Modern Masters: Mike Ploog."
He finds writing about himself in the third person to be very confusing.

3 replies on “Beauology 101: Underrated, But Not Under The Beau Radar”

Joe Bennett doesn’t get enough credit for his amazing pencils. I’m disappointed that DC, of late, has pushed him from one unsuccessful title to the next without giving him enough of a spotlight. I was disappointed with the latest Deathstroke and Hawkman series, two of my favorite DC characters, but the truth is, I was only reading the books because of this man’s amazing artwork.


Joe is under-rated and is deserving of more spotlight, for sure. I’ve seen Joe’s pencils and they are great.



Joe Bennett penciled my first professional comic story, Green Hornet at NOW Comics, and his pencils were absolutely fantastic. He is vastly underused.

Amanda Connor lived next door to me when we attended the Kubert School (she was a year ahead of me). She is an incredibly talented and kind person. She is finally getting the recognition she deserves; her tongue-in-cheek cheesecake art is slyly clever and always fun. She is the definitive Power Girl artist in my opinion: sexily powerful and self-confident without going over the female bodybuilder line (Jimenez always draws PG as misshapen and with a man’s face).

And Deodato’s art on Dark Avengers completely blew me away. My God, the overall creepiness and realism was practically tangible. His use of solid blacks is phenomenal. That title was the top of my reading stack every month while he was on it.

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