July 24, 2008

Who is the Question? The X-Women, apparently.

Not being in San Diego to talk about goings on and announcements and parties and giant Pikachu balloons, I'll just sit over here and talk about comic books. If that's ok with you.

When it comes to comic book art, I'm pretty much in the camp that would be cool with stick figures as long as the story is good. I mean I guess if all my comics actually had stick figures, I'd be like "ok, I appreciate that all the monthlies are coming out on time and stuff but this is getting a little old"--but my general point is that I don't scrutinize the art the way I do the plot, dialog and characterization. Part of this is because I can't draw a straight line unless I'm trying to make it wiggly, so I'm duly impressed with anyone who's talented enough to make a living at it, whether they blow me away or not. I appreciate it when I am blown away, and I complain a little bit if the art is hard to follow, but you won't hear me saying things like "the shading on Wonder Woman's cheek was off."

So given my generally relaxed perspective vis a vis cartoonists, I'm wondering if I could get some corroborating opinions that this panel from Uncanny X-Men #500 is suckfully incompetent:


I'm sure if asked, Greg Land would mumble some bullshit about deliberate abstraction. But I'm fairly convinced that if pressed with threats and mindgames and truth serums, he might eventually say "ok, actually I really can't be arsed to, uh, draw small things. It takes a long time and makes my fingers cramp, and they don't come out so good anyway."

Another astounding example, from the same issue:


Now, obviously the script here said "turn page to breathtaking two-page spread of San Francisco skyline," right? Instead, the next page is still more conversations inside the building, with nary a Bay Bridge in sight. So either this is a joke that didn't go over so well, or Greg Land said "Uh, that sounds pretty hard. Can we just have the reader picture it in his mind instead?" And I say "his," because that's probably what Greg Land said. Given that women don't have faces and therefore no eyes for reading comic books.

Anyway, this was a fairly interesting issue with some intriguing points for going forward, but this lazy-ass art, it was quite distracting, to my incredibly tolerant eyes. Which I do have. I'm sure Marvel wanted to get this landmark 500th issue out in time for Comic Con, but there's gotta be someone who could have made this happen in a marginally quality way. I'm just sayin.

8 comments:

aaron said...

Also Mayoress Gavinette Newsomina.

aaron said...

...Who I should add, has the same expression on EVERY PAGE.

Mana G said...

The faceless X-Women were way creepy. I'm assuming this was some kind of not-caught laziness-inspired error, but the fact that Scott (?), has a face there while the women don't kind of makes it extra creepy. It's as if the artist thought, "Well, they've got their hair, their costumes, their sexy bodies! My work is done!"
Editor:" What about their faces?"
Artist: "Man, NOBODY looks at woman's face."

Blarg.

SallyP said...

Storm and Emma also have just about the same body pose and nearly identical hair and capes.

*sigh*

aaron said...

Also, where are Storm and Emma's left legs?

Mad Marvel Girl said...

Man, somehow I didn't even notice the lack of faces when reading this issue. Possibly due to going out of my way not to scrutinize Land's art.

I'm just going to pretend it's a Question reference, I like that idea better.

Along with the facelessness, does the SF Mayor have a NAME? Isn't that kind of weird? I may start calling her Tyler Durden.

Sandy said...

I agree that the Greg Land's art had some faults. I noticed the non-faces, and I totally expected the "breathtaking view of SF" page that never happened (and wondered what happened), and I also picked up on a number of conversations where the two people involved are looking in completely the wrong directions. So yeah, that was not good art.

By the way, I just found this blog today, and I am happily going through all your old posts. Keep up the good work!

Evie said...

Thanks Sandy, and welcome! I very rarely concentrate whole posts on dumping on something, but this just really got to me.