Friday, March 16, 2012

So, About This Bad Art Thing...

Doug: Last Monday's introductory post on the Frank Miller/David Mazzuchelli classic "Batman: Year One" brought about some discussion on line art and coloring, and to be honest it got a wee bit contentious. We've had these sorts of art/artist discussions in the past during various post-commenting, but what the heck -- let's have it again! Maybe some of you have updated thoughts, or just want the opportunity to put all of your opinions regarding comic book art down in one place. Certainly we hope to have some newcomers participate in the conversation. Overall, you know this may branch off in some tangential direction, and isn't that the beauty of a bunch of pals sitting around talking four-color shop?

Doug: There's no doubt that once the cover of your favorite mag is peeled back you're going to be faced with what some of us consider a better-than-50% element of the story, and that's the pictures. As I've remarked many times, the art is slightly more important to me than the writing. I've said that I can still look at and admire the pretty pictures, even if I don't want to read the story again. A great case would be the first issue of Neal Adams' recent effort Batman: Odyssey. After reading the premiere, I didn't care if I saw issue #2 or not -- Adams' writing was off-putting to me, and I did not at all care for the graphic violence. But there are panels and pages in that book that are wonderful!

Doug: Many of you sing the praises of Gil Kane; you also like John Buscema and Jack Kirby. These masters' work, laid side-by-side, couldn't be more different. Yes, there are similarities in terms of cinematic storytelling, but the detail of the figurework is what separates them. All quality, but all recognizable in their uniqueness. But there are others of you who dig Kane yet don't like Ross Andru. For me, there are definite similarities!

Doug: So today we want you to lay it all out -- what do you like and not like? How important is coloring? Who can surpass any inker's line, and who needs some help? Do certain artists excel at creating moodiness, or do others suffer in that regard? Why is Sal Buscema "steady" and many of us denigrate Al Milgrom? Today is "put your money where your mouth is" day on the BAB.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

i know it's heresy on this blog, but i have NEVER enjoyed a Neal Adams comic book. His storytelling and panel compositions are very weak. Command of anatomy means nothing if you can't direct the reader properly, or don't know what camera angle to choose. To me Neal Adams is all flash, no substance.

--Matt alias anonymous

Doug said...

But Matt, that's what today is all about -- telling us why you feel a certain way. While I like Adams art, your comments have me eager to get home to read some of his work again. My first impression is that I disagree with you, but I'm going to try to see it through your lens.

Doug

david_b said...

When you enter the comics universe at a particular age, whether it's DC or Marvel, your heroes are shaped by their banter and artistic style. It just says 'that character' to you. It feels right. For some, Spidey's best was Ditko, mine was Romita (thanks to Marvel Tales and his last work in ASM..), some are Sal Buscema.

I never warmed to Sal on Spidey (although I liked his early MTU work..), just like some never warmed to Neal Adams doing Avengers. Spectacular, just beautiful work, but it doesn't hit you or agree with you.. Picasso could be drawing Wolverine, but it.. just doesn't hit'cha.

For some weak artists, the story art doesn't seem to 'crescendo' the story to it's conclusion (an observation about later-Shield art by Steranko..), all fighting scenes look alike (LSH and GL/GA by Grell..), all faces look alike (an early Byrne complaint of mine..). And as someone mentioned about Adams doing Avengers 93, it was mentioned that our team just didn't look 'right' in their uniforms. Case in point.

Certain artists just excel at certain features.. Adams does GREAT facial close-ups and muscles, but like Matt mentioned, he lacks substance.

Milgrom and Hall art just seemed mundane. Generally in what I've read, all panels look the same, a lot of mid-range character poses, nothing to really generate excitement or maintain interest.

And as what's been echoed here multiple times, the fading of such once-greats as Kane and Heck were painful in the Bronze Age.

A lot of folks liked Infantino on Star Wars, but I never followed the series.

Doug said...

For the most part, you can have the comic book art of the 1980's. There are some exceptions -- Arthur Adams, Alan Davis, Buscema/Palmer, come to mind. But there were a lot of, as David says, mundane artists.

With some "likes" here and there, I really don't care for John Byrne's art on his second FF run (sans Joe Sinnott). I just felt his characters had more strength, were more rounded-out, earlier (FF, Avengers, and X-Men all included). That changed when he took over Superman. But his FF could look awfully spindly (for lack of a better term) at times.

Doug

Anonymous said...

The latest Neal Adams offering, which you mention was...ok. The writing though was awful! Don't you think that his art, since it became rendered in a looser fashion and with a thicker line, seems to have lost something? He's no Joe Kubert and by inking his work in that (what seems rushed) style just deadens it...Still, who can ever forget Triton coming ashore in Avengers #95. My faves? Big John and BWS.

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt – you’re right. It is heresy. Please report to the barbeque pit.

Hi Doug – you’re also right, there are similarities between Kane and Andru, but Andru really only worked for me on Spidey, where those strange body positionings suited his powers, and to a large extent Andru was saved by Mike Esposito (at Marvel) and Dick Giordano (at the other place). Kane’s composition and flow put him in a different class to Andru. I also don’t really agree that Kane faded in the Bronze Age. I mean, Marvel used him so exclusively for cover work that he never got the chance to develop anything, I guess, but I can’t say I ever noticed a decline in his style.

I am always surprised by how little difference I can notice between colourists. Whereas art is crucial, and inking can either rescue bad art or destroy good art, colouring never seems to make much difference. There was a period when every time I actually noticed the colouring, I would flip to the front and find it was Glynis Oliver who was the colourist. That happened enough times for me to remember it 30 years later, but I really couldn’t tell you why.


Regarding good and bad art, I’ve always regarded Sal Buscema as the water line for art. He’s acceptable. Anyone worse is really going impair my enjoyment of the story.

So, more or less around the line, with Sal, would be people like Jim Mooney & Bill Everett.

Above them you have Buckler, Cockrum, Michael Golden, Kirby, Ploog, JR SR, P Craig Russell, Sienkiewicz & Tuska.

Up in the stratosphere, gazing down from elysian fields of artistic joy would be Adams, Kane, Colan, Miller, Brunner, John Buscema, Byrne, Steranko, Perez, Starlin, Gulacy, Smith and maybe Art Adams.

Just below the line, spoiling my enjoyment to one extent or another would be the likes of Heck, Andru, Larry Lieber, Fred Kida, Don Perlin, Paul Reinman, JRJR, Frank Springer, Bob Hall, Alan Kupperberg, Trimpe, Infantino, Tom Sutton, Ron Wilson and, of course, our buddy Al Milgrom.

And then, a thousand miles below, staked out on the floor of the eighth circle of Hell, is Frank Robbins.

Richard

Anonymous said...

Richard,
I would agree with all your dislikes BUT Trimpe's Hulk had a certain...je ne sais quoi, which more recent, better artists have not been able to emulate.

Doug said...

Richard --

I'd been wondering where you'd gotten yourself away to lately. You have returned with all the splendor you left with!

I like you above/below list. I never really put those artists into a formal hierarchy, but seeing your list makes me think that it's pretty close to the way I feel. Time does affect my enjoyment for certain artists (see my comments on Byrne above).

Someone please talk to me about Gil Kane. His storytelling is without reproach. But his figure work has elements of the afore-bashed Frank Robbins, in my eyes. While I can appreciate a Gil Kane story, there is not a single one that was not inked by JR SR that I really like.

I'm really hot/cold with Barry Smith. The Kirby-clone stuff you can have (toss Rich Buckler in that can as well). The evolution of his Conan was amazing to behold. Has anyone improved that much in such a short period of time? Weapon X was very good, but some of his later stuff -- I didn't care for it. The faces all looked really drawn; weird.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug – nice to be back. Regarding Gil Kane, your comparison to Robbins is a good one, there is commonality in the angular and unusually- shaped compositions, it’s just that Kane is the epitome of that style done well, whereas Robbins is a talentless oaf with nine thumbs. On each hand. Where Robbins arms & legs are contorted and twisted like bendy toys, Kane’s are manipulated and exaggerated, but still within an understanding of underlying anatomy and an eye for consistent (if exaggerated) perspective. He learnt all the rules properly before he starting breaking them. Kane draws in that style well and he does it because it best expresses the kind of storytelling he wants to do. Robbins draws in that style badly, mostly by accident, because he can’t do any better.
Can’t say I remember Romita inking Kane. I guess you’re talking about Spidey and cover art? I prefer Adkins inking on Kane. I would say to anyone, read Captain Marvel #17 – 22. If you don’t like Kane’s art there, you’re never going to. Although Janson was good on Kane too.

Richard

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous – I totally agree about Trimpe’s Hulk, except je sais absolutement quoi. C’est tres facile et il s’appelle John Severin ! Look at Trimpe Hulks inked by Severin and then compare to, for example, Jack Abel. No comparison.

Richard

Garett said...

Wide open field today! Smith's art gets more sophisticated and gentle into the '80s, but I can't read it as it's lost the early gusto. Many artists I like as they're transitioning from a big influence into their own style. Sienkiewicz on Moon Knight, I enjoyed from the early Adams-clone style to his later experiments--but after that, New Mutants, Stray Toasters, etc--it's too far away from his Adams roots.

I'm back into Perez now, and Teen Titans is to me his transition from Marvel/Kirby action to his more "fine" style on Wonder Woman. I like Titans best, as it's got the best elements of both.

I can't think of any Spiderman comics I really love. He's always been a great guest-star, and I loved the cartoon, but the rest I'm neutral about.

Richard, I used to hate Frank Robbins as well, but recently checked out his Invaders again, and he's got a jaunty energy that raises him up again in my book. Of your list, Perlin is the one I dreaded the most.

Doug, reading this site has made me appreciate Byrne again, X-Men especially. I don't like his FF--Kirby was good, the Perez issues were very fun, and even (gasp) the recent issues by Greg Land, who has caused much controversy over his over-use of photos.

Yes to Glynis Wein/Oliver's coloring. She should teach a class for all new colorists! Some good ones: Frank D'Armata on El Cazador, and Val Staples on Criminal. If the pencils and inks are good, the coloring in a comic adds the delicious icing on the cake. Poor coloring doesn't ruin it, but it's a lost opportunity.

Kane is great to study, but I don't feel caught up in his stories. Adams is flashy, but he has a rigour and inventiveness to compliment the flash--I like him. Burne Hogarth is a guy that doesn't get mentioned much--his Tarzan is excellent.

Another topic could be artists as they age. While nearly all of them say they've improved, have they really? Kubert has stayed up on top with his art, and expanded his writing, right into his 80s--great to see.

No time, too big a topic!! Adams' new Batman--good art, shame about the writing, as even a medium level story could make this a super comic.

Anonymous said...

The fading of Kane in the Bronze Age? I'm scratching my head over that one. Kane just kept getting better and better (or at least, he maintained his quality consistently). Check out the Star Hawks strip, or the Sword of The Atom. Even the work right before his death still had that vibrancy to it. There, that's the word to describe Kane. Vibrant.

I have to agree with Richard's assessment of Kane over Robbins, and extend it to Andru as well. Kane did learn the rules before breaking them. He also exuded a feeling of grace to all his figures that made them work. Robbins and Andru did not possess Kanes' vibrancy or grace, and their work just looked awkward as a result.

James Chatterton

david_b said...

Doug, finally realized the development in Barry Smith.. Finally picked up Avengers 99 and his art was very much different than his Kirby/Steranko-ish style a few years before, which I still enjoy.

Much more similar to his Conan art I've seen here.

Edo Bosnar said...

I was going to sit this one out, as the topic seemed too broad, but I have to chime in on the Kane criticism. Basically, I agree with James: I think he kept getting better and better. In fact, I much prefer his Bronze Age (and post-Bronze Age) work to his earlier "classic" stuff at DC in the 1960s. Therefore, I cannot comprehend mentioning him in the same context as Frank Robbins - whatever liberties Kane took with the human anatomy it was nothing like Robbins' often tortured and contorted poses. They were simply classes apart from each other (and please don't anyone take this as Robbins bashing - I did actually like him in the Invaders).

Anonymous said...

I liked Robbins on the Invaders too. Their was a kinetic energy in the pacing of Thomas' stories that Robbins' art actually enhanced. It wasn't great art, but it worked. I'll say this about Vince Colletta. His inking improved Robbins' pencils.

I didn't like Robbins (inked by himself, I believe) on Batman or Capt. America. And I have yet to find anyone who did.

James Chatterton

Inkstained Wretch said...

Let me second Edo's comments and the Gil Kane love generally. Kane's 60's stuff was excellent, but rather nondescript to my eye. He was a very good storyteller but seemed to lack many obvious stylistic quirks that made you say, "Ah, Gil Kane."

That changed in the 70s. His style got more detailed and more fluid and he began to specialize in scenes drawn from atypical angles and perspectives. His brilliance was that he always seemed to make it work, especially in Spider-Man, where it showed off the character's acrobatic nature. Somehow Kane always knew where to drawn the line so that it looked like that was where the character was supposed to be.

By the 80s, his style evolved more where the lines got bolder and thicker without losing their earlier qualities. I'm told that he switched from a pencil to a fountain tip pen (!) in this period. Whatever he did, I LOVE his work from this era. Sword of the Atom is his masterpiece, in my opinion.

Doug, I sort of understand your comparison of him to Frank Robbins in that both played around with perspective by putting characters in unusual positions, but man, oh, man, did Robbins lack Kane's innate ability to know where to put the lines. The result was his characters always looked like they were performing some kind of extreme yoga.

Robbins should not have worked in superhero comics but in humor comics to which I think his skills were more suited.

Garett said...

Sword of the Atom was a Kane story I did get into--very good. Thanks for the reminder. Blackmark looked like it had potential, but I couldn't get into the square word boxes.

david_b said...

Inkstained.. What makes me wonder abou Robbins, is how they could have put such an unproven talent on a then-top title like CA&F...!?! Just very odd..

Redartz said...

Inkstained- I'm with you and Edo regarding Gil Kane. At first I didn't much care for his work, but it definitely grew on me. You mentioned Sword of the Atom; I also liked his work on Supeman in Action Comics. Although I thought some of his Marvel covers seemed a bit rushed, his Spiderman covers inked by Romita Sr. are real pleasers.

May I put in a word in Al Milgrom's defence? His Gaurdians of the Galaxy stories in Marvel Presents looked pretty good, granted Terry Austin's inks never hurt. Guess I have a soft spot for Al; he did a nice sketch for me years ago and was quite gracious to this fan...

Any other Doug Wildey fans out there? Not sure if he did any actual superhero work, but his western/adventure art is beautiful. Very dramatic, with heavy use of blacks. Of course, perhaps his best known work is on Jonny Quest, both in animation and on the comic page. I'd say he's largely responsible for the exciting, realistic settings for that classic show.

Edo Bosnar said...

Redartz, I agree with you about Milgrom's work in Guardians, but I think Austin's inks were key there. Although I'm not at all a fan of his art, I don't like to criticize Milgrom too much, because I have a great deal of respect for him as an editor, and I kind of have a soft-spot for Marvel Fanfare, which was basically his baby (speaking of which, I enjoyed his art in those humorous one-page "Editori-Als").

humanbelly said...

I'm always ready to chime in on a discussion of Al Milgrom's deficiencies as a penciler-- but Edo & Redartz are absolutely right in their overall support of him. I've said before that, when you read a broad number of Marvel's books from the years when he was one of their key guys, you really do get a sense that his co-workers liked the heck out of him. Not so much as an "inspirational leader"-type, but as a funny, enjoyable guy to have on the team.

And as you guys pointed out, he's a first-rate editor (loved Marvel Fanfare, me, BTW-!), an adequate writer when called upon, and I've actually always thought he was a pretty good inker for the most part. It's just, bless his heart, he always seemed to yearn to make his mark in the "glamor" job of being a penciller-- and that simply wasn't his strength. It's like being a stocky, short-legged little athlete who dreams of being an Olympic high-jumper--- nature just didn't manage to provide adequate tools.

Technically, he put his figures together okay, but he was never really able to get rid of a Perlin-like stiffness, and bring them to life on the page. And I can't really bring to mind any of his Avengers sequences where I was struck by any particularly good visual storytelling. His eye, in fact, may not have been able to rise to the level that his hand could-- if that makes any sense.

HB

Redartz said...

Well said, HB! And like you and Edo, I too enjoyed Marvel Fanfare.

In my earlier post I seem to have missed the point of the column, so here's an addendum:

Not much of a Don Heck fan; his later work particularly. Some of those Batman Family stories are, shall we say, a bit rough. Did like some of his earlier art on Avengers, though.

Speaking of Avengers artists, one thing that always bothered me: the way George Tuska always gave the villains bad teeth, while the heroes had flawless smiles. Perhaps the villains lacked dental coverage in their group insurance policy!

cease ill said...

I really loved Jim Starlin on WARLOCK! Audacious!

I rather liked Ron Frenz on Amazing Spider-Man; with Joe Rubenstein, they made a nice comparison to Steve Ditko's work re-printed at about the same time! Some of Andru's faces needed...softening? But let me chime in for the zillionth time about his New York!

Oh, don't forget Marshall Rogers, either. I realize his body of work's relatively small, but inimitable.

Norm Breyfogle had a very iconic Batman for his day...

J.H. Williams III is the closest thing to that Starlin Warlock intensity; my argument centers aroudn his unconventional work in PROMETHEA.

Our Pal Sal really shined on DEFENDERS; hey, you got his Hulk there, too, all ably inked by Klaus Janson, usually. I would've liked more than the six stock faces, sure, but he kept the story going! That said, I think I loved him best on ROM! Especially with Akin & Garvey!

I'm up on Sienkiewicz through MOON KNIGHT #10; GREAT street-level super hero stuff, and the praise, I hear, is reserved most for the later run and about a years' worth of NEW MUTANTS.

Gil Kane w/ JR Sr.? LOVE. TRUE LOVE!

Colan had this crazy, powerful Iron Man, but Dracula's where he made his name, to me.

While he's probably my favorite AVENGERS artist, John Buscema always looked most at home with Conan's world!

I couldn't get into the Perez/ Busiek run to save my life :-( May have been overload after consuming all the Shooter and Stern issues so soon before, and Englehart just two months before. Too bad, I rather liked his 1970's stuff a lot. Have I waited too late in life to really enjoy Teen Titans?

Nuts, who was that Perez "clone" I enjoyed so much on INVISIBLES? Phil Jiminez! And if you didn't catch it? Nicola Scott on SECRET SIX was one of the best action/intrigue artists this side of Gulacy!

Jack Kirby on THOR...man...but look, I loved him on MACHINE MAN, too! Too bad Joe Sinnott wasn't available more for that Thor run; on FF those two made the best-looking Silver Age epics, while on Spidey, really, it's ALL about John Romita, Sr., and those groovy gals!
Miller's Daredevil, from what I've seen, is just breath-taking story telling; one day I'll have them all!

Could do this another half an hour! Please carry on.

humanbelly said...

Forgot to mention, as an aside, that the airport scene you excerpted the Pete/MJ panel from is one of the sweetest, most honestly touching sequences in all of superhero comics, as far as I'm concerned. In a way, it took a tremendous amount of editorial courage to plonk such a heartfelt, well-though-out, "romantic" relationship scene down in the middle of a regular ol' Spidey comic at that time.

HB

Anonymous said...

i for one would rather read a comic book drawn by frank robbins than one by neal adams. i am guessing most commenters here are basing their preferences on who draws pretty "realistic" pictures. frank robbins was a very accomplished artist as well as writer. check his comic strip work. his style was from a previous era when comics weren't expected to "look real." his drawings are dynamic and full of energy; when i look at neal adams'drawings i see mannequins standing still, same with alex ross, perhaps due ti overreliance on models.

--matt alias anonymous

Edo Bosnar said...

Since Anonymous Matt brought him up, count me among those who don't really like Alex Ross at all. His covers are all right, but I cannot stand his interior art: I used to have the tpb of that Uncle Sam Vertigo book he did with Steve Darnall. The story was great but it was marred by the art, and I've never been able to pick it up again.
By the way, while I don't necessarily agree with Matt on Robbins vs. Adams, but I have seen some examples of Robbins' earlier work on strips and comics from the 1950s. It is actually very nice...

Frank C. said...

A comment on colouring (that's not a typo--I'm Canadian!) . . .

To me, the ink line is SUPREME. Nothing should interfere with what the inker has rendered. Good colouring never clashes with or overpowers the inks. Sadly, this is not the case in so many of the comics produced in the last 20 years. I absolutely adore the flat, simple, bright colouring of yore!

Redartz said...

Excellent point, Frank! I don't need every panel to look like a painting, or a computer generated image, or a movie frame. Let the linear quality of the art come through. Color should enhance the movement and style of the line work, not cover it up to the point of obliteration.

Doug said...

It never ceases to amaze me how subjective any discussion of comic book art is.

I love Alex Ross. Granted, his figurework is powerful, no doubt -- lithe, acrobatic -- not his forte. But Marvels, Kingdom Come, his covers... all of that is just beautiful to me.

Frank Robbins was a star of the Golden Age and interim period, I get that. The suggestion that he would have been best served as a humor artist was a great one. Yes, his quirky (ugly to me, honestly) style may have been appropriate for a book about the Golden Age in the Invaders; I still didn't like his art.

The venom being tossed Neal Adams' way. As I said above, I am going to have to check that out and try to view it through a different lens. Tell you what -- I have my eye on a Teen Titans story that he did back in 1969. I'll run that coming up in a week or so and we can chew on it some then.

Thanks for all of the comments -- while I agree/don't agree with much of what's being said, I appreciate the civility you've all shown.

Carry on...

Doug

Anonymous said...

Just watched John Carter, and i could not get vague memories of Gil Kane's version out of my head. turns out some of that work was co-created with dave cockrum. Hell, Kane is so good that even Rudy Nebres can't ruin it. I find that i now cannot stand the stories, but the art still gets me. Kirby, Kane, Starlin, Adams, Windsor-Smith. those are the top tier, who create work worthy of hanging in a fine art gallery (sure, Adams is a little advertising-slick, but who cares? its fun to watch him create a movie on the page) second tier are Byrne (a little formulaic, but when its with Austin, its top tier), Perez (a little stiff and not as fluid as kirby, but gorgeous), Steranko (went too crazy), Infantino, Frank Brunner, Swan (well, boring but very engaging, like you are really there), Cockrum (doesn't hold up as well as i expected), Marshall Rogers, John Workman (star reach had some of the best work of my favorites). I was never a fan of john buscema, romita, buckler (well, a little, before i knew he was ripping off kirby), andru, colan (stylish but lacking something), p craig russell (he's fabulous of course, but i never cared for his style, sue me)-there were a whole lot of highly competent storytellers whose work did the job, but didn't catch my eye. now, why does anyone like sal buscema? he's horrible, and I'm not afraid to say that even though i can't draw to save my life. I know that just about every artist has a fan following, but honestly, could it hurt people to check out some real artists to compare their comic book faces with? kirby can stand up to van gogh in his own way, but sal is worse cause he never stretched outside his safety zone. i won't dump on the bottom of the barrel artists, they were just trying to earn a living. also, can't stand chaykin, too murky. inkers: Sinnott, Janson, Austin, lei aloha, tom palmer and giordano on adams. second tier: anderson hated with a passion: vinnie colletta (butchered kirby), all other kirby inkers besides sinnott. nuff said

Anonymous said...

to be fair to sal buscema, he was hired to churn out pages as fast as possible. he is in fact an excellent artist if you look at the work he labored on. he was marvel's go-to guy when others failed to meet deadlines. i quite enjoyed his defenders.

to be fair to rich buckler, he was not "ripping off" kirby, he was hired to make a smooth transition so began with a style that emulated the prior artist in order to maintain visual continuity. he is another underrated artist who is criticized, i think, unfairly for doing what marvel asked of him.

there's a reason these guys were in demand and it wasn't because they lacked talent.

--matt alias anonymous

Doug said...

Matt (and others) --

RE: Buckler aping and/or ripping off Kirby. On our former blog, our colleague Sharon had quite a memory for such things. I'd direct you to this post, where she offers several examples of the "ripping off" aspect of Buckler's pencils.

http://twogirlsaguyandsomecomics.blogspot.com/2009/01/family-matters-fantastic-fours-triumphs_23.html

Doug

Joseph said...

I feel very strong about my favs: Kirby is the king and John Buschema is nothing less than brilliant, and Sinnott is sensational.

With Byrne doing a lot of the X-Men stories I first read, I like those books but I just can't get myself to accept his 80's FF. Doug's "spindly" description is quite good. Something about the way he draws such long necks is something I find distracting. When I see the Silver Surfer done by his hand I can't help but think it is someone else in a Surfer costume - certainly not the Sentinel of the Spaceways!

Anonymous said...

I've checked out some of Robbin's strip work. It's pretty good, in a Canniff style. I guess the transition to comic book just didn't work for him (or us). So I sure wouldn't call him talentless. He had his day.

I'm mystified by anyone who didn't enjoy Adams in his prime. He really gave the whole industry a shot in the arm. Sure, he took storytelling chances that didn't always work. But more often than not, they did, and they were something new that we'd never seen before. I recommend his X-Men-Sentinels run.

I agree about Chaykin being murky, and it took some getting used to when I was younger. But put him on anything set in the 30's, and his style really shines. It's his more modern stuff that doesn't do as much for me.

As far as inkers go, I always felt that Giordano, Palmer, Janson, and Austin could do no wrong. They seemed to enhance every penciller they worked with. And Wally Wood was a master inker. He completely overpowered every penciller he ever inked over, but the results were still undeniably beautiful. I love seeing his inks over Kane or Ditko. It's as if the combinations create a a distinct third artist.

James Chatterton

Edo Bosnar said...

If for no other reason, Buckler deserves total respect for his work on McGregor's Black Panther stories in Jungle Action and Deathlok...

david_b said...

I felt Cockrum was better than some on Avengers, but never did faces all that well. But much preferred to later-day Heck and Tuska on the A-team.

As for my distain for Robbins, I will never say he didn't have talent; it was just ill-suited for Bats and CA&F, especially at the heights CA&F reached under Englehart and Buscema over the previous few years. And it kept me away from Invaders.

I agree with James about Adams, his art was among the Sterankos and Kirbys of the industry no doubt, and like Steranko, came at just the right time when art was looked at much more prominantly.

And like Steranko, Kirby, even our beloved Sal, it didn't always fit. It's hard to believe anyone loves Sal's work more than I, but like everyone here, there's titles where it didn't work on a subjective level. I loved him on so many titles, but didn't think he served Spidey or FF all that well, especially when you've loved Romita Sr on Spidey or his brother John on FF for so long. It just depends on when you entered the Marvel or DC Universe as to who you think 'perfectly renders' for our beloved heroes.

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