Friday, February 28, 2014
Doug: I may have mentioned that I've pre-ordered the next installment in DC's hardcover series dedicated to specific creators who've left their mark on the Dark Knight. Carmine Infantino's fete is due out in June, and to be honest I am quite looking forward to it. Back in 1989 (I'm sure I've also told this story a time or three) I got a steal of a deal at a flea market -- a longbox stuffed with Batman comics from the Silver and Bronze Ages for only $35. The box contained a who's-who of Caped Crusader creators, with many stories by Neal Adams, Don Heck, Frank Robbins, Jim Aparo, and of course Carmine Infantino. Those "new look" stories from the mid-60s hold a special charm as Carmine sought to bring an updated feel to the Batman mythos while not crushing the silliness of those immediate years prior. That being said, I am among the many who've remarked that Carmine's work at Marvel in the mid-70s was a real downer.
Doug: Similarly, I've said how much I've continued to enjoy Don Heck's turns on Iron Man and the Avengers in the Silver Age, but how dreadful I found his work in the high Bronze Age. Unfortunately, to this guy's eye, the Dashing One never "got it back".
Doug: Think of the first time you saw George Perez. For me, that would have been in Avengers #141, inked by Vinnie Colletta. While he was an upgrade from George Tuska's work on the previous few issues, this wasn't the George Perez we'd love only many months later once under the line of inkers like Joe Sinnott. From there Perez really took off and grew as an artist and storyteller exponentially.
Doug: So here's the drill for today -- we're looking for the rollercoaster ride that is/was particular artist's careers. Pick an artist and tell of your opinion the first time you saw his or her work and then other times when (for you) it was better or worse -- and this doesn't have to be chronological by the date of publication; it's your discovery of said artist. Was it the inker's influence? I'll say that while I love the 3-part Count Nefaria story in Avengers #'s 164-166, I wish Byrne had been inked by someone other than Pablo Marcos. Was it the artist's age that might have contributed to a perceived period of decline? Was it your age as a factor? Or, do you think that stories you love may have been the result of a herculean effort, while stories you didn't care for may have been rushed or without much enthusiasm? What we aren't looking for today are rip jobs on particular creators... we truly want you to celebrate those times that scored, while giving a constructive opinion on those times that for you, flopped. Thanks in advance!