iFanboy Upstarts: Ricken

There’s a famous saying that the cream always rises to the top. It’s original interpretation referred to the process of homogenizing milk, but it’s become an idiom to explain how the good elements in any sea of things always tends to succeed.In comics that’s also true, from creators who toil away and hone their craft to break out like writer Cullen Bunn, but also to talents that seem to show up — fully formed — and ready to take comics by storm. This week’s iFanboy Upstart is someone who’s only done two published covers in her career and was just roped for a plum assignment at DC Comics.

Little is known about Japanese artist Ricken; she’s done a cover for both Glory and Hell Yeah over at Image, and she was just announced as joining those series’ writer Joe Keatinge over at DC to do an arc of DC Universe Presents focused on Arsenal. This, in what will be Ricken’s real debut in America, is quite a quick trajectory for someone only a year ago was doing fan-art online. But when you see the caliber of her work, you’ll understand the breakneck pace.

Below is samples of Ricken’s work. You’ll notice that with two exceptions they’re strictly pin-ups and one-off illustrations. As I said before, Ricken won’t make her professional interior comics debut until February 2013 with DC Universe Presents #17, so the true test for her remains to be seen. Tell us what you think of Ricken and how she could fit into the world of comics.



  1. It’s always cool when someone you’ve been following and respecting on DeviantArt starts to take off. Especially when that someone seems to love the original Young Justice as much as you do. I’m not a massive manga or anime fan but her figure work is so good and so emotive that I can totally overlook my usual reservations. Really hope she blows up in a big way.

    • Agreed – anyone with affection for Young Justice is good in my book. I’ll have to remember to check out the DCU Presents arc.

      Who’s the girl with the bass guitar?

    • Looks like Kim Pine from Scott Pilgrim holding Scott’s Rickenbacker bass. And with a fox tail for some inscrutable reason.

      I really miss the Tim, Bart, Kon trinity. I know they still sort of exist but they lack the shared history (or any sort of character or fashion sense) in New 52 Teen Titans.

    • Squirrel Girl?

  2. The pieces with the non anime looks would fit a book with young heroes/heroines.

  3. Look like Gambit has a bit of a chubby while rubbing up against Jubilee…

  4. LOVE it. All of it. I”m sold. Produce things for me to spend copious amounts of money on, kthnxbai.

  5. wow, she is an awesome artist! Thank you for displaying Wolverine’s actual height, not many artists do that.

  6. Whoa. Just whoa. Excellent art!

  7. Definitely a fan of her style and will give her a shot with that DCU Presents issue she’s doing.