Considering it had been a while since I had had a proper delve through this great guy’s portfolio, revisiting his site was a refreshing reminder of just how talented Gwendal Le Bec really is. Sometimes people can be frowned upon for aping or mimicking a style from someone else but in Gwendal’s case it’s different as he successfully takes elements from all the most infamous illustrators of times gone by and adds them to his own style.
There’s whiffs of Quentin Blake’s confidence, hints of Parisian sign-painters, illustrations that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a vintage copy of Playboy and, most importantly…humour! One of the things that Gwendal’s friend and fellow illustrator Jean Jullien said recently of current illustration is that it’s lacking wit, fun and play. What Gwendal serves up isn’t a bunch of brash, visual puns – it’s timeless humour that is most present in his incredible cover for The Parisianer which, personally, I think is one of the best things I’ve seen all year.