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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron King View Post
    I think a good number of the posters here read all sorts of modern comics. I know dan does, at least, and I'm pretty sure jezebel does, too. Other Aaron, our former moderator, still reads monthlies. I'm a pretty omnivorous comic reader myself, and I love a number of current Image series: Prophet, Orc Stain, Chew, Saga, and so on.



    Man, I hate the term "graphic novel." It's like "literary fiction." It means too many different things to different people.

    As for clashes and soap opera, I go to books like Claremont's X-Men/New Mutants, Lee/Ditko Spider-Man, Dan Slott's Spider-Man, the Hellboy/BPRD universe, and many more for that fix. I like these a lot more than the Image founder stuff, and I think they're a lot less "stupid."



    For berk, here are the founders:
    Whilce Portacio
    Jim Valentino
    Marc Silvestri
    Rob Liefeld
    Erik Larsen
    Todd McFarlane
    Jim Lee

    I like Larsen well enough and I think McFarlane is okay, but I could live without the rest. This isn't to say that they shouldn't be making money doing what they do. They obviously have a fan base. They're just not my style.

    On the other hand, I'm a big fan of the aforementioned Maxx by Sam Keith. I also really liked what the Wildstorm imprint eventually became after DC bought it.
    I have a lot of respect for Erik Larsen in particular, just for the way he conducts himself (from what I've seen on-line) and his long-standing commitment to creators' rights. I've never read any of his comics, though. I've just never felt the urge to give Savage Dragon a try, for whatever reason.

    And, again speaking for myself - though I'd be surprised if this wasn't true of a lot of the posters here who might sound as much like "haters" as I'm sure I often do - I read modern comics. In fact I probably read more modern comics than I do "classics", though I probably buy more of the latter. The only classic I read over the last year was a Tintin album. During that same year, the only other comics I read were:

    Preacher
    The Unwritten
    Quai d'Orsay
    The Boys
    Fatima
    Anna Mercury
    Nikolai Dante
    Love and Rockets (this year's)
    Bulletproof Coffin
    Happy!

    I suppose some people would call Preacher or Nikolai Dante classics since they started over 10 years ago, but I consider them modern or at least recent comics.

    So to repeat what should be obvious, you can dislike the Image style as exemplified (to me) by artists like Silvestri or Valentino while enjoying (some) modern comics ans supporting the Image founders' efforts to change the rules, escape from the work-for-hire trap, and make it possible for creators to own their creations.


    Quote Originally Posted by dupont2005 View Post
    I agree. And as far as the "Image artists", I think the negative stuff is aimed at the 1992 roster, and not so much what's come since, although they had that style well into the mid-90's, they also published other stuff.
    I've been reading Godland from the beginning and still buy each new issue as it comes out, though I've fallen so far behind in the reading that I decided to wait until the series ends, as I think it's supposed to after not many more issues, before trying to catch up.

  2. #77
    Ex-Cheeks Reptisaurus!'s Avatar
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    Some general thoughts:

    1) I haven't read much of the early Image stuff, and wasn't reading comics when they were hot. I read the first few issues of Spawn - They were Okay.

    2) Aesthetically, however, I'm with the Image guys I'm (slightly) more of an art guy than a writing guy. Actually, I don't understand writing-over-art guys. Isn't the acting PLUS the cinematography PLUS the set design PLUS (in most cases) the lion's share of the directing more important to a move than the script?

    Or to put it another way: Hey, guess what! Spider-man will almost be defeated by the Gryphon, but then he will come back and win! Spoilers to every single comic mainstream comic ever. There's far more variance in factory system-produced art than writing. I'd rather have good writing and good art - And, better still, good writing that compliments good art. But the best writing in comics ain't gonna be Shakespeare, but the best art can be the best comic art, y'know?

    3) Kirby's stuff doesn't look a damn thing like Ditko's stuff. At all. That is a silly thing to say. I think the Buscema brothers did define the Marvel "house style" in the '70s, though.


    4) Oh yeah, I did read most of the Maxx, and quite liked it. But Sam Keith's work reminds me a little bit both Kirby (big panels, big characters) and Ditko. (emphasis on reflecting the character's psychology through their appearance, spotting blacks.)

    5) Alan Moore DID write for Image - But 'bout half of what he wrote was terrible. Has anyone read the VOODOO mini? Peee U. You won't believe he could write something so bad. I don't think Gaiman's stuff was that great, either. And, on the whole, I considerably prefer Warren Ellis work for Marvel, DC and Avatar to his Image period.

    6) I haven't read any of his Youngblood or New Mutants stuff, but I'm quite fond of the Rob Leifeld's Captain America - The "deactivated" soldier living a false normal life is a better set-up than the ridiculous "frozen in ice" set-up - Which I've heard rumored that Stan Lee tried to blame on Jack Kirby and Jack Kirby tried to blame on Stan Lee. I get a palpable sense of "I'm having fun with this" from Leifeld's stuff, which makes it more attractive to me than something perfectly rendered and sterile. Based purely on their figure drawing, I'd rather look at Leifeld's stuff than George Perez's, ferinstance.

    7) Bill Sienkiewicz is my favorite Marvel artist since Everett and Maneely in the '50s, but I still have to look up how to spell his name. I really need to read that Daredevil story - And his Moby Dick adaptation. I never heard the abusive father story, either.

    8) I buy new comics! And Image really is doing great stuff right now - King City and Chew, in particular, would rank in my top 20 comic series of all time. Is it even worth saying that I like them more than Marvel and DC right now? I do. And, shockingly, I also like eating a nice slice of pie more than getting kicked in the yabos.

    9) Berk - What did you think of Happy?

    10) I really like Jim Lee when he's not drawing like Jim Lee. The flashback scenes in HUSH and his Vertigo work were all quite good. Basically any time he doesn't put stupid little lines all over everything to make it look "gritty" I'm a fan.

    11) Image published BONE for quite a few years, staring fairly early on in their history. It was seen as a relatively "safe" place to publish creator owned material.

    12) I covered the Todd Macfarlane panel for CBR at one of the WizardWorld's a few years back - And left saying "I should go buy Spawn! That actually sounded really good!"

    13) I never did.

    14) Let me know if any of the early Image stuff other than the Maxx was worth reading. I'm fairly curious about it, but I've never been curious enough to hold my nose and dive into the quarter boxes.
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  3. #78
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptisaurus! View Post
    Or to put it another way: Hey, guess what! Spider-man will almost be defeated by the Gryphon, but then he will come back and win! Spoilers to every single comic mainstream comic ever. There's far more variance in factory system-produced art than writing.
    Which is why the guys who prefer a good story often avoid the "factory system produced" comics like the plague.
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  4. #79
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupont2005 View Post
    Which is why the guys who prefer a good story often avoid the "factory system produced" comics like the plague.
    Yep. The best stories tend to have a beginning and an ending, but DC and Marvel have a vested interest in telling stories that never really end.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  5. #80
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    Yep. The best stories tend to have a beginning and an ending, but DC and Marvel have a vested interest in telling stories that never really end.
    Just like the art, the stories in their OGN's can be unexpectedly good compared to their monthlies. But nobody buys them because they aren't the monthlies!
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  6. #81

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    I use the the three cons as my chief criteria for judging comic art: continuity, consistency, and economy.

    Sure, in art, it's good to know anatomy, perspective, and lighting--even if you ignore them, because it's good to know what you're ignoring. Some of the best comic artists ignore anatomy, perspective, and lighting--but they stay true to continuity, consistency, and economy.

    If a comic artist doesn't pay attention to continuity--how the art is laid out, panel progression, pacing, narrative flow--the art has no meaning relevant to the story. It might be pretty pictures, but that's all it is. It isn't sequential art, it isn't comic art.

    If a comic artist isn't consistent--if the style changes from one panel to the next, if some panels are great works of art while others are shabby, if there's no dependable vision and integrity to the work--then the artist isn't in control of his craft. A comic book story can be good if it's done with stick figures, so long as the stick figures are drawn with consistency. But a comic book story consisting of disjointed images, as if it was drawn by a collective of artists (or swiped from a file of different artists) instead of one auteur with vision, has no authority.

    If the comic artist isn't economical--if it takes a hundred images and crowded panels to communicate the content--the art might be overwhelming but it's not concise in its intent. Economy means being efficient and effective. Selecting the right image for the right scene. I prefer to see one good line instead of ten random lines, but if it's part of the artist's style to use lots of lines and that's a consistent thing with that artist, so long as it's effective I can live with that.

    A comic that is just a bunch of one page and two page splash pages where the artist shows off--that's not comic art. It may be good art, but some of the best artists are not good comic artists. Comic art takes a certain amount of instinct and understanding and not every graduate of a fine arts program can pull it off. At the same time some of the most naive artists can be great comic book artists, because they know how to tell a story with images.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptisaurus! View Post

    2) Aesthetically, however, I'm with the Image guys I'm (slightly) more of an art guy than a writing guy. Actually, I don't understand writing-over-art guys. Isn't the acting PLUS the cinematography PLUS the set design PLUS (in most cases) the lion's share of the directing more important to a move than the script?

    Or to put it another way: Hey, guess what! Spider-man will almost be defeated by the Gryphon, but then he will come back and win! Spoilers to every single comic mainstream comic ever. There's far more variance in factory system-produced art than writing. I'd rather have good writing and good art - And, better still, good writing that compliments good art. But the best writing in comics ain't gonna be Shakespeare, but the best art can be the best comic art, y'know?
    I think of myself as a writing-before-art guy, but then I have bought lots of comics mostly or even only for the artwork. And lots of comics with average or worse art because of the writer. So I suppose I<d say it all works together but if one element is sufficiently outstanding I will sometimes overlook the other.

    3) Kirby's stuff doesn't look a damn thing like Ditko's stuff. At all. That is a silly thing to say. I think the Buscema brothers did define the Marvel "house style" in the '70s, though.
    Agreed.

    9) Berk - What did you think of Happy?
    I like it, but with two issues in it's already at the half-way point and I wonder if it'll end up feeling a bit slight to me. I had a similar reaction to Gilbert Hernandez's Fatima mini, so perhaps the 4-issue length is just too short for a stand-alone story, to my taste, at least. The 3-issue Seaguy stories OTOH work fine, perhaps because they each feel like part of a larger story. But regardless, it's certainly worth a look.

  8. #83
    world of yesterday benday-dot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakehafulla View Post

    I also seem to recall these forums decrying Marvel and DC for the shoddy way they have treated the likes of Jack Kirby, Joe Simon and Jerry Schuster, or Bob Kane etc not to mention the hundreds who have ridden their coattails(cloaktails) over the decades. Yet a group of creators assert their right to create what they want, people throw money at them for it, and we crucify them for it... How fucked up is that? (excuse my language).
    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.

  9. #84
    Mark Brodersen hondobrode's Avatar
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    This is by far my favorite comic board. I love it ! So much good stuff to talk about and everyone here knows what they're talking about. You guys are great and I learn stuff from you all the time.

    I love comix, comic books, and comic strips. I just do. I haven't gotten into web comics, though I've read a few digital comics on my iPad when traveling.

    DC, Marvel, or everyone else (indies - which is a HUGE spectrum of stuff).

    I can't afford to buy all the comics I'd like, but I'm mostly a DC guy and am buying 90% of the DCnU and thoroughly enjoying it.

    Marvel NOW is going to have me trying some of their stuff for the first time in a long time.

    I'm loving all the Valiants and pick up miscellaneous stuff here and there like Dark Horse Presents, the Shadow, the Kirbyverse stuff, etc.

    Yesterday I picked up a huge stack of alternative / indie stuff including





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  10. #85
    Mark Brodersen hondobrode's Avatar
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    I am what I am and that's all what I am

  11. #86
    Mark Brodersen hondobrode's Avatar
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    and



    I hope you guys have a Half Price Books close to you. This is where I got these all on crazy good prices.

    My son tonight was saying he's going to run a 4'x8' color print of whatever I want and get it framed and matted for me for Christmas. What image would I like ? I told him I'm going to learn how to use Element 10 and make a beautiful big collage with a huge variety of stuff I like, lots of which is indie/alternative /whatever, and throw in the classic Marvel/DC characters along with undergrounds and strips too.

    I don't apologize for liking my mainstream newer stuff, but I love my indies too.
    I am what I am and that's all what I am

  12. #87
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    Not gonna lie, Im glad my first thread starting post created 6 pages worth of comments................just sayin

  13. #88
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    I was trying to think why Marvel's characters became so jacked up in late 80s early 90s - all i can think of though is massive popularity of WWF, rise of swarzenegger and stallone et al, and the common use of steroids. Often those guys would be bigger than actual super heroes when the hero was supposed to be the uber-man and so you drift into a cycle of making everything bigger and bigger.
    "...so Hitler sends Iron Jaw's son to America to get revenge on Crimebuster." S.H.

  14. #89
    Senior Member Bad Wolf's Avatar
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    Most of the earlier Image titles didn't attract me but I thought The Maxx was brilliant and still do.

    I did buy Spawn for a short while, beginning with the Gaiman/Sim/Miller/Moore batch early on. I did like MacFarlane's art at the time, but now I can't stand to look at it at all.

    Jim Lee and Mark Silvestri have both gotten a lot better over the years.

  15. #90
    Mark Brodersen hondobrode's Avatar
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    I've always enjoyed Jim Lee's work. Silvestri has really improved over the years.

    Over the years I've come to really respect and admire Erik Larsen. I read the Savage Dragon mini, and want to eventually get the entire Dragon series. He can probably pass Dave Sim's Cerebus for longevity. The most current issue is # 185 I believe.



    The fact that Larsen owns the character, is clearly having fun, and takes huge positions with the characters and things actually happen, I'm going to go back and get the entire collection in trade.
    I am what I am and that's all what I am

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