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Lit Discussion/Critique of the art within Marvel comics

Discussion in 'Literature' started by jamminjedi23, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    I think it might be time to give the topic about the art within Marvel's comics a thread of its own. Some people on here are just as passionate about the art within an issue as they are the actual story and if the two topics are combined within one thread it can become difficult to have a conversation about both.
     
  2. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    You have no idea of the monster you've just created.
     
  3. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 28, 2016
    As someone who has started flame wars over this topic several times now I could not agree more :p
     
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  4. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Lol. Maybe so. But since I am someone who considers the dialogue and story as being far more important than how good the actual art is I probably won't take part in this thread much. So you guys can go to town over the issue right here and I seldom will probably even bother to look at it.
     
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  5. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Oh, don't get me wrong Jammin, it's a good idea - I just couldn't resist a bit of playing around.
     
  6. redxavier

    redxavier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2003
    I've felt bad about continuously harping on about the art in the specific story arc threads, so thanks for this. An outlet for my continuing despair!

    Though to be fair, there's not much value to continued discussion. Some like it (I think?), some think it's adequate/not worth the bother and some dislike it. Marvel are the ones that may or may not take action. As I mentioned on the Marvel thread, I think it's less to do with speed and the schedule and more that TPTB like what Larroca brings to the table. Sales are still strong (I assume), so what do I know?

    For discussion though, in my view there are 4 aspects to art in comics (in many ways these are consistent with qualities that you'd find in films):

    • Does it look pretty/nice to look? (pretty self-explanatory, the most subjective quality, eye of the beholder etc.)
    • Is the style internally consistent? (no matter what the art style, ideally it should be consistent throughout, unless there's a narrative function to it like a memory/flashback/dream)
    • Can I tell what's happening? (self-explanatory, if you can't see what something is supposed to be, it defeats the purpose of something that is visual, without even touching on the picture=thousand words potential, confusion is the last thing that you want your audience to experience)
    • Is there continuity from one panel to the next? (positioning of characters and background geography, but more importantly, does the story or action flow?)

    I think Larroca fails on all of these. The last 2 are the most important ones, as it's pretty hard to read a story while being confused because you can't tell what's happening (beyond the general gist). As it stands, I'd a thousand times rather just read Gillen's script than this comic. I imagine that he's got a great story here, Aphra proves it, but I can barely get through these issues.

    It's easy to fall into the trap of saying 'they should just get X to do everything' without an awareness of the challenges involved (scheduling, fees etc.). I'm not going to make unreasonable demands; that Larroca should be 'fired' for instance. That's silly. I'll just repeat what I said in the Jedha arc thread, spread the talent more evenly and rotate artists more frequently, as was done for the first 25 issues of the ongoing. Fortunately, Marvel are publishing plenty of other SW series at the moment and these have been mostly excellent (yeah, I liked Chewbacca and Leia too) so what they do with the main series is less important.

    *on the topic of just reading Gillen's script, I might have a crack at writing that, an all-prose version. Would love to have this in a radioplay format too.
     
  7. SpecForce Trooper

    SpecForce Trooper Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Yo, this looks like a real stormtrooper's helmet.
    [​IMG]
    Yo, I can clearly tell what's going on in this panel.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. redxavier

    redxavier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Bottom image is too small. Which one is that from?
     
  9. Jedi Jessy

    Jedi Jessy Force Ghost star 5

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    Feb 28, 2016
  10. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    That's pretty lazy. I like artists who use the same image over and over again to prove a point; like Gerards and King are doing right now in Mister MIracle
    [​IMG]
    THAT is how you repeat a panel
    or to use King again but with Janin
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. SpecForce Trooper

    SpecForce Trooper Jedi Knight star 4

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    Jun 19, 2016
  12. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    I'm kind of bothered by the title. It's not "the art within Marvel comics" generically that's the problem - it's Larocca and his borderline photocomic tracing.
     
  13. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    I just created it so when people specifically want to talk about the art then they can do so within its own thread. It seems that when we try to combine talk about the art and the story within the same thread one conversation tends to drown out the other.
     
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  14. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    Yeah and this topic can get into other artists as well. Part of people's annoyance with Larroca's flaws is that we have other artists people like more.
     
  15. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    My only criticism would of the way a good few discussions in this area have gone is that they go to the symptom and not the disease.

    Larroca cutting corners every which way he can to produce art to the timetable he's been set is a symptom, but the disease is the scheduling from and expectations of management.
     
  16. redxavier

    redxavier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Well, you know my feelings on that; Larroca's on Star Wars because someone likes what he does or because he's cheaper than everyone else. I can't see how the timetable has anything to do with it. I go back to the first 25 issues of the main series, we had 7 artists working on it. Regular rotations, new teams coming in regularly. It's quite rare for an artist to do about 40 comics back to back without any breaks.

    I hope he is cheaper and saving Marvel overheads, because someone somewhere needs to have had benefit from all of this... I'm genuinely curious about what Gillen thinks.
     
  17. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Well, I mean, this is clearly true to some extent - my point was more just that the title made it sound like people keep complaining about the art in all Marvel comics regardless of artist, which just is not true except maybe with a few insignificant outliers.
     
  18. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    In my opinion, the art in the Star Wars comics by Marvel ranges from "jaw-dropping gorgeous" to "how did this get accepted for publishing?!?" and everything in between. Here are some of my favourite artists from the new Marvel run that I hope we see their work in SW comics for a long time to come (in no particular order): Marco Checchetto, Luke Ross, Phil Noto, Stuart Immonen, Pepe Larraz, Marc Lamming, Leinil Yu, Mark Brooks, Kev Walker, Emilio Laiso. I love their art and I can enjoy their comics just by looking at them. So, when it comes to these artists, they can keep doing what they're doing as far as I'm concerned.


    As with most others posters here, my biggest issue is with Larroca. Since I've stated my opinion many times before, I'll just quote some of my older posts on this matter:




    In a nutshell, that's how I feel on this. On the other hand, I even liked some of his art, although a small portion unfortunately. Here's something recent:

    I can't say that I've read every Gillen interview on the Star Wars comics, but here's something from a few months back:

    (the link to the interview in question was originally posted by Darth_Voider: https://news.marvel.com/comics/70697/kieron-gillen-salvador-larocca-unleash-new-story-star-wars/)

     
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  19. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    I think the thread needs to widen its remit.

    The artist who does the pencils is seen as the lead, as the rest of the team builds on that, but inker, letterer and colourer each can add or detract from the final piece by the nature of their contributions.
     
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  20. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Agreed. The colorists and inkers receive very little credit, and that is unfair.
     
  21. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 28, 2016
    I know this will be controversial cause it goes back to the pricing issue, but I feel Marvel should lessen its page count back to 22 or so and either keep or drop the higher price. That could easy the schedule a bit

    That needs to change. Like the letterer for Phasma was fantastic
     
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  22. SpecForce Trooper

    SpecForce Trooper Jedi Knight star 4

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    Jun 19, 2016
    It's downright sinful to not mention Mike Mayhew.
     
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  23. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Aside from things that can clearly be attributed to speed - like the tracing, too much use of photo reference without adapting which gave us Wars' first Klingon Imperial - the point I see coming up, across the board, is with this new colouring style Marvel trying.

    The logic is simple enough, if people want photo realistic art then it follows they want the colouring to match and tech now allows that. The problems I see with that are: First, digital colouring is a skill like any other but a SW comic is a very high-profile stage to experiment. Second, it's not being done across an issue consistently, which gives a weird, off-kilter tone.

    While I can see the thinking, I'm not convinced by it - I think instead people want clear, effective art - and they're not that fussy about the how. I'd love to see Hitch on SW, he does superbly detailed work - but it takes time. Go to the other end of the spectrum and you have someone like Samnee, who's very economical with his lines, but every single one is in the right place. Comic art is all about telling the story well, do that and the job's done.

    The other blind alley Marvel seem to be going down is not allowing their artists to deviate from the film appearance of Luke, Han, Leia. Now I know why, but so long as you can tell Luke is Luke, Leia is Leia and Han is Han, what's the problem? Even a great artist like Al Williamson didn't render a perfect version of the trio, but you still easily know who is who:

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2013

    Agreed. I think of the "Star Wars" DH series by Brian Wood (which was oft-criticized for its story, but I never had any problems with the art, at least). You could always recognize Luke, Han, and Leia, but that didn't mean they looked like literal tracings of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Wow, did Leia get to fire that gun without terrible injury or was it recoil-less? Cable'd approve of it! [face_laugh]
     
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