Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Classic Artists

Here is something I have been too ashamed to say since I was a kid.

I do not like the art of a lot of the classic comic artists.  Not saying I can do better. There are just so many artists including some contemporaries of a few of the "masters" that personally I think are better.

Jack Kirby for instance, he revolutionized what comic art can be and I am eternally grateful for that.  Without him comics just wouldn't be as dynamic.  However if you compare the quality of his work to a modern artist the art just isn't as good to me.

If you say that around a collector you get treated like a freak.

Next Frank Miller's the Dark Knight Returns.  I LOVE that book.  LOVE IT! Unfortunately the art is terrible.  Besides the iconic splash pages I find the art distractingly bad.
Not until Sin City did I personally think that FM's art was worth looking at.

That goes for a lot of Frank Miller and Alan Moore's work.  While I love the writing they are almost always partnered with an artist that is sub par.
Dave Gibbons comes to mind.  The art in Watchmen is decent not as bad as TDKR but still not as good as it could have been.
Batman Year One is another example.  I can't stand the art in that book.  To the point i don't own it.  I bought it read it and gave it away.

Tim Sale is a rare case for me.  I love his style and his work is technically sound but it doesn't seem as clean as a McFarlane, Lee, Rocafort, or Silvestri.
Still when i see a Tim Sale comic I buy it cuz I know i am going to enjoy the story.  Usually due to Loeb's story not that he exclusively works with him.

Rick Leonardi is another artist who's art I started out really not liking but thanks to his work on Spiderman2099 I grew to dig. I was so involved in the story that Peter David was telling that I looked past the art I didn't care for.

one thing I hate is the bait and switch.  You see a new comic on the shelf at the store.  maybe its a new book or just a new storyline in an old favorite.  You buy the book because of the amazing cover and when you open it up the art is just abismal.

This happened to me in the 90's with Star Wars: Dark Empire from Dark Horse.  The covers are beautiful paintings and At the time DH had put out several fully painted books so I had no reason to think that inside this book would be a totally different artist. One that was unfathomably different than the cover artist.
I couldn't keep the characters straight because they all looked alike.

I know art is subjective and I am cool if you like someone I don't but just leave the people who disagree alone.  We don't all have to like Kirby.

Thanks for reading

Alan

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