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  1. #151
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    The only critique I need is if I like reading it or not. I'm not hung up on the history of characters. If it's not a good read, it's not good. I don't care if it's the first appearance of Robin or a Golden Age Human Torch story.

    I can't say there's a whole lot I like before the late 60's, and even then it's mostly mags like I stated above.
    Last edited by dupont2005; 11-23-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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  2. #152
    Cute.5 Aaron King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    I just don't see it, there are stylistic standards that change through time and it's often important to keep that in mind when evaluating a work, this is especially true in comic books. Just ook at the introduction of Robin and you see very little in the way of actual characterization in terms of what we expect a new character to have as a modern audience, but that isn't an actual fault of the book, it's simply the way comics were written then. So, with that in mind, if you were to compare that issue to a modern comic you wouldn't list that lack of characterization as a mark against it.
    In my case, at least, I wouldn't compare it to a modern comic. I'd compare it to good comics. Just like good books and movies come from all sorts of times, so do good comics. Some of my favorite comics were produced in the '40s: Police Comics/Plastic Man, the Spirit, Captain Marvel. At their best, all of these comics do things that make them into great comics, and I think there are comics produced at all times from all walks of the market that meet these standards.
    All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo

  3. #153
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    I see a big difference between great comics from the 30's and 40's and the great comics of today. Some of the elements that make Hellboy so great in my mind are the depth of characterization that Mike brings to the table, the complex emotions that both his art and text elicit from me and the way he utilizes his panels in pacing the book. Seriously he does the beat panel better than just about anyone I know. And yet these are elements that are often found to be lacking in many of the comics that I find to be great in the years of yore, but that still doesn't make them bad comics for not meeting those standards.

    Though not as technically refined as comics like Hellboy, I think the early issues of Batman, Superman and the Sandman are still every bit as good. They're a tad simplistic, and the characterization is a little bland but there is an energy and freedom about them that is unmatched by just about anything else put out since then. It's a completely different metric, and that's necessary because back then so much was different about the medium and I feel you have to take that into account when viewing them under a critical eye.

  4. #154
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Well if you find something you like about them that makes up for the things you don't that's fine. Not many comics out there I'd say are perfect. I tend to think the comics I like are good, but it's rare to read something and think "It just doesn't get better than this."

    So there is some give and take. Some comics have one thing going for them and some have another. But I still judge all the comics I read with pretty much the same scale.
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  5. #155
    world of yesterday benday-dot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    I see a big difference between great comics from the 30's and 40's and the great comics of today.
    I can't argue with this. There is certainly a considerable change from the pioneer period and the modern period of comics.

    It's a completely different metric, and that's necessary because back then so much was different about the medium and I feel you have to take that into account when viewing them under a critical eye.
    I disagree. Despite, the change in comics over the years, the metric should not change. The critical eye can still divide the good from the bad. Some of the Siegel Shuster comics remain much better comics than those produced by subsequent Superman creators. It's a superiority some would maintain continues to the present day. There are folks on this board who think Superman's first years remain his best years. A depth of characterization may be absent, but perhaps this is a strength not a weakness. The basic four colour palette may be not be the height of sophistication, but it may be perfect for the comic at hand.

    In the end all the layers of change are irrelevant to the only metric that matters. Is it a good or bad comic. No amount of sophistication or simplicity can alter that judgement, because simplicity and sophistication are not inherent virtues in themselves. They may not be what a particular reader looks for, but they are not objective criteria.

  6. #156
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    What I disliked about a lot of the Image books I tried in the 1990s was the same problem that haunted me as I read Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown: these weren't characters. They didn't have lives. They were powers-plus-costumes, without family, career, hobbies, interests, fears, secrets, or motivations beyond stopping-the-bad-guys. (I'm just saying this for the ones I picked up and tried, mind you; this may not have been the case for every Image book.)
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  7. #157
    world of yesterday benday-dot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
    What I disliked about a lot of the Image books I tried in the 1990s was the same problem that haunted me as I read Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown: these weren't characters. They didn't have lives. They were powers-plus-costumes, without family, career, hobbies, interests, fears, secrets, or motivations beyond stopping-the-bad-guys. (I'm just saying this for the ones I picked up and tried, mind you; this may not have been the case for every Image book.)
    This wasn't just the case with Challengers, but the dominant modus operandi of of Golden and many Silver Age books (I was going to say pre-Marvel, but that would be a disservice to other publishers who were starting to introduce character depth). Plot,or gimmick if you will, coupled with action and pageantry were the drivers of a comic book world targeted to a great degree at a much more juvenile audience. I'm actually fine with this and think it can work very well indeed. CotU stories were uneven, but some were a lot of fun indeed. Rather than deep character revelations you simply got "Types"; not terribly developed, but for all that purported to be they measure up quite well. Don't get me wrong. I also like reading stories of characters with "real" motivations and lives, but I think that for everything there is a season.

  8. #158
    "filthy n'wah" pakehafulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benday-dot View Post
    I enjoyed your passionate post pakehafulla. I do take a little issue with the above quoted sentence. Commercial comics are made for an audience. That audience has every right to either love or loathe what it finds in those comics. A creator doing what he or she wants, without interference, does not guarantee positive results. It is therefore not in the least "fucked up" to turn up ones nose on the output of a comic creator, be that creator independent in involved in work for hire, or be he or she pioneer or mere imitator, if that output ultimately fails to please. Good or bad work is inherent in neither approach. And nor should any comic work get a free pass despite its point of origin. Good money is ever being thrown at bad product. And the act of throwing never really influences the merit of the product itself.
    Yes the audience does have the right to love or loathe, absolutely. And they did for years. Spawn was Top 10 for how long? 8...9 years??? Not all of what they tried was successful...or good, but where WE (as fans of the medium) fail is by laying EVERY misery of the mid 90's on their shoulders(Image style etc).
    I think they should also be lauded with trying to give the consumer a diet of more than just super-heroes, and after 20 years theyre one of the best sources for other genres. Thanks Image for Walking Dead and Chew if you never publish any other books.
    kalorama :Take your reason and logic and begone! We don't cotton to your like 'round here!

  9. #159
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    I tend to look at the artist era of Image in the same light as I do those loud and obnoxious CGI-filled summer movies that Hollywood belches out every year. At best, they were fluff to spend an afternoon with. They were cotton candy comics. I was just at that age when they came out, where I wanted to try them all because it was new and exciting, but I dropped every damn one of them within those first two years in favor of comics that had an actual story to tell, and weren't just knock offs of the X-Men, Spider-man or Batman, but with more spikes and pouches on their costumes.

  10. #160

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    LOL. Come to think of it, I'd be surprised if Image never released a book called Pouch.

  11. #161
    Senior Member LEADER DESSLOK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    ...For your next trick, please explain to us why McDonald's is really as good as, or actually infinitely better than, any other food on earth.
    "Over 246 BILLION served in 2012" Let's see Phillip K. Dick top that!

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    Who said Campbell was a writer? I said he was a good storyteller--in comics, this is defined as being able to "tell" a story without the need for dialogue or captions; instead, the artist communicates through the use of body language, settings and character inter-action--those things--and based on this definition, even though he was mostly a cover artist, Frank Frazetta was indeed a very good storyteller.
    Last edited by LEADER DESSLOK; 11-26-2012 at 09:06 AM.
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  12. #162
    Senior Member LEADER DESSLOK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benday-dot View Post
    This wasn't just the case with Challengers, but the dominant modus operandi of of Golden and many Silver Age books (I was going to say pre-Marvel, but that would be a disservice to other publishers who were starting to introduce character depth). Plot,or gimmick if you will, coupled with action and pageantry were the drivers of a comic book world targeted to a great degree at a much more juvenile audience. I'm actually fine with this and think it can work very well indeed. CotU stories were uneven, but some were a lot of fun indeed. Rather than deep character revelations you simply got "Types"; not terribly developed, but for all that purported to be they measure up quite well. Don't get me wrong. I also like reading stories of characters with "real" motivations and lives, but I think that for everything there is a season.
    I'm not denying that some of the early Image comics left a LOT to be desired but I am objecting to to blanket statement that "They all sucked" which is definitely NOT the case. Some of those cartoonits\artists who couldn't write their way out of a paper-bag were smart enough to hire writers who they could learn from. Larsen mostly wrote his own stuff prior to Image so for him, it was a matter of writing, writing, writing until he got better, and I would say the same about McFarlane and Valentino.

    As for the artists, there was just a lot of talent in that company--some were great with action but weak on storytelling--but again, there were still those who could do both: Like Campbell, Capullo, McFarlane, Larsen, Jae Lee, and yes, Sam Kieth!

    And I cannot let this go by: Image was the single most entity responsible for the great paper and printing we have in comics now. Sure, companies like Eclipse TRIED to up the ante in the '80s but they went out of business because, despite producing top quality projects, deadline issues involving some of the books or lack of fan-interest in certain concepts led them to close up shop. Yes, most of the early Image concepts were knock-offs of established series--but they gathered enough fans to keep the company going long enough for top quality products to start reaching the shelves! Don't forget, at one time Image brought us GROO, A DISTANT SOIL, STRANGERS IN PARADISE and Bendis' graphic novels GOLDFISH and TORSO.

    Whether you liked the early Image books or you hated them, you have to admit they had an impact!
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  13. #163
    Bronze Age Fan AZBarbarian's Avatar
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    I hated that era and it actually made me stop collecting comics for quite a while. Why?

    1. The story got lost in the art. Comics emphasized splash pages and art and story was sacrificed.
    2. Leaving the big two and establishing your own company - gutsy. Ripping off established characters with minor tweaks and calling them original - super lame.
    3. Art with very poor anatomy. Showing full glutes and full breasts at the same time as the character turns their head 180 degrees - makes me want to puke.
    4. Rob Liefeld - the worst artist ever IMO. I never understood and still don't understand his popularity.

  14. #164
    Senior Member LEADER DESSLOK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZBarbarian View Post
    I hated that era and it actually made me stop collecting comics for quite a while. Why?

    ...4. Rob Liefeld - the worst artist ever IMO. I never understood and still don't understand his popularity.
    He just has a fun style that's very exciting. If you compare the work he's doing now with his "pidgeon-chested" Captain America of 20 years ago, you will find he has made progress. I saw a drawing he did of Moses that was simply awesome! However, I think he needs to work on the basics of storytelling and Co-plotting. He's a guy who DEFINITELY needs a writer! Also, I wish he would put away his Byrne and Kirby super-hero comics and spend about FIFTY BUCKS on the YOUNG ROMANCE compilation that was put out by Fantagraphics--it was in THAT series where Kirby honed his now legendary storytelling skills!
    FAV Comics: Lil' ABNER, DICK TRACY, BATMAN, UNCLE SCROOGE, KAMUI, TOMB OF DRACULA, THE MIGHTY THOR by LEE\KIRBY, WONDER WOMAN by PEREZ\KAREN BERGER, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1-206 and EC COMICS!

  15. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZBarbarian View Post
    3. Art with very poor anatomy. Showing full glutes and full breasts at the same time as the character turns their head 180 degrees - makes me want to puke.
    Abysmal, indeed. Check out Jim Lee's wraparound X-Men cover in the Covers thread in this same forum and you'll see who Liefeld started emulating right off the bat. One stationary female figure (whose stance is in direct contrast to the rest of the X-characters who are addressing a "threat") really stands out, and not in a good way.


    Quote Originally Posted by LEADER DESSLOK View Post
    [Liefeld] just has a fun style that's very exciting. If you compare the work he's doing now with his "pidgeon-chested" Captain America of 20 years ago, you will find he has made progress.
    No, his style has remained pretty consistent. The funny Cap pin-up is simply an example of him at his worst, i.e. most excessive in terms of anatomical exaggeration. His overrendered chickenscratch style is pretty much a cue from Jim Lee, who I'm also not a fan of, but (Rob's) stuff is really offensive. His recent work on Deathstroke was nothing special. I know, just my opinion. The dude's still making money. Whatever.

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