never let it be said that i am a senseless hater, there is a total of 7 artist that i actively dislike and all but one of them i can still acknowledge some ok or good work they have done.
1.) Rob liefeld (nothing nada)
2.) Steve Dillon (only dislike him punisher max onward, his preacher, hellblazer judge dredd work was good)
3.) Hamberto Ramos (his hobgoblins can look cool)
4.) Greg Land (the 4 issues of uncanny x-men that tied into fear itself had some good in them, mostly the possesed juggernaut)
5.) Walter Simonson (dislike his MODERN WORK ONLY, like in the last 3 years, his 80s thor work was a masterpiece)
6.) JRJR (...... back and fourth on him, world war hulk looked good, his newest cap stuff was good)
7.) Ron Garney (his tendancy to stare up noses in his art drives me crazy, his ultimate cap and wolverine weapon x stuff was good, and his coming thor work looks better than i feared)
Forgive me if sound like a complete noob but when it comes to Realism Vs Cartooning, generally I prefer..ya know..."regular" art lol. Best example is can offer is to check out Walter Geovani's work on Red Sonja, and enigma artist/future Mrs. aguynamedjames Aneke, she has done most of the work for the Damsels Title. However, there are artist with with more minimalist styles I really like. Huebert Khan Micheal's work on Vampirella for example. I think his art is perfect, or perhaps its just his style and grasp of story telling. Its not flashing but it does a great job of pulling you in, conveying motion and guiding you to the next panel.
Another artist I find interesting, if somewhat out of my normal range is the work penciler Tan Eng Huat does for Simon Spurrier's X-men Legacy. To me his style borders every so flirtatiously on the dividing line between cartooning and caricature. However I don't honestly know how I would feel about his style with anything except Spurrier's balls to the wall awesome story telling.
She was cold and perfect, like moonlit steel.
I didn't bring up Turner out of the blue, just stated that his work looks exactly like Liefeld's. And I don't hate Liefeld. I think a lot of popular 90's superhero artists work looks nearly identical to his. I'm not a fan of any of it, but my life doesn't revolve around it either. Someone else brought up Turner, I said I'm not a fan. You flipped your shit and started dragging Romita and Ramos through the mud, and then started rambling about how artists deserve respect.
I'll try to check out his Ghost rider work, just a sampling.
She was cold and perfect, like moonlit steel.
I think I understand what PsychoGoatee is talking about, as I do see it. I guess it depends on what the story content is, because I can appreciate realistic art as much as the more cartoonish ones.
For instance, I thought J.G. Jones' Marvel Boy is one of the most beautifully illustrated comics ever, but it also relies on very realistic looking characters. I think one of the best examples of art veering towards realistic leading to less desirable product (for me, anyways) is Bryan Hitch.
With Hitch, I became a fan of his art due to the Authority. There's no doubt about the fact that he was transitioning to an artist that would rely heavily on reference, but he also maintained his comic book-y style art. He definitely took things from movies, TV, pictures (take a look at issue 5 Wildcats with Scott Lobdell, I believe, where Zealot standing is a direct copy of Trinity's stance from one of the first Matrix posters), but you could also see that if he didn't reference a real-life image, he could still draw a character in any shape or position and it would look great.
I personally thought he hit his artistic peak with JLA: Heaven's Ladder. IMO, that is the best his art looked. Some will argue that his best work is the Ultimates, but for me...a guy who likes a certain amount of cartoon-y feel in his comic book art, it was the best work of his career. Every character looked great, the widescreen was perfect...and the vivid coloring by Laura Martin (then Depuy) just magnified the art to perfection. These days, I don't get as excited by Hitch's art. It's still really good, but he lost something. He over-renders, IMO.
I've noticed that I've become more appreciative of art, as time goes by, that veers more towards cartoony than realistic. I love the works of artists like Olivier Coipel, Kev Walker, Adam Warren, Frank Cho. It just looks better to me.
Olivier Coipel - The best damned artist on the planet!
Shout out to Kev Walker! You're doing a hell of a job!
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The "nice" answer to the OP's question about "why":
People who like realism prosper when trends turn toward realism; eventually the tide will turn the other way.
The "nasty" answer:
A lot of fans are embarassed by anything suggestive of fantasy, including expressionism & stylization.