Thursday, April 14, 2011
Spotlight On: Walter Simonson
Doug: Lately we've been covering the Tales of Asgard series. We've also from time to time reviewed a Thor story. So perhaps it's only fitting that we take a pause to offer our readers the opportunity to sound off on one of the Thunder God's premiere creators of the Bronze Age, Walter Simonson.
Doug: Call me a heretic, but I've not read Simonson's run on Thor. He started on the book during the time I was out of comics, and his style just doesn't appeal to me -- I never got back to buying or reading those issues. I tend to like my super-heroes drawn in a pretty conservative manner -- realistic anatomy (as far as muscle-bound types go, you know), a la both Buscemas, Adams, Byrne (sometimes he's pushing it when he's overly elongated), Rogers, etc. I know comics are picture stories, but I tend to focus on the picture more than the story -- but that's an Open Forum for another day.
Doug: I did, however, encounter him in the pages of X-Factor, a book I was really liking with Jackson Guice on the pencils. Simonson's style was such a departure, and when he began writing it as well I didn't care for the direction the book took. If I remember, it was under his watch that the Angel lost his wings, and the Beast was changed back to human form but with drastically-decreased intelligence. Hey, I was enjoying have the gang all together again -- I wasn't looking for the rug to be yanked out from under me!
Doug: We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Simonson's tenure at DC on Manhunter and other characters. He's also certainly remembered for the X-Men/Teen Titans crossover as well. I did acquire that book and for the most part enjoyed it. But, as you can see from the sample at left, it's pretty straightforward superhero art; my criticisms of Simonson on the other books mentioned in this post deal with his stylized anatomy. It's just not for me.
So expound on your opinions on his art, his writing, his "style" -- whatever you got! Win me over!