Do you mean that there is extreme type of lighting. Alot of comics simplyfy the light source, but make it and use black to make an interesting extreme?
Most underpainters will have that sort of thing, and also alot of the old masters, such as Carvaggio,rembrant, Odd Nerdrum. It because what it means is that they would apply the values first, so that way they could play with the light source and concentrate on adding color through glazing (or ratio of more water then paint medium, kind of like your water coloring the valued canvas).
I also remeber there is a forumal that is called 30, 60, 90 lighting rule, which creates that dynamic too. I think its kind of a formula that says like 30% light, 60% dark, and 90% medium. I can't remeber where its from.
If you want the opposite example of Frank/Mike's hard B&W style, check out Zhanglu's portraits: [link]
He accomplishes incredible depth through really subtle value control, with a range of like 60% between his lightest and darkest grays. You can learn a lot from studying the relative values of those portraits. Many people overblow the value range required to show depth, but keeping it subtle lends a certain realism to it.