Sep. 24th, 2011

Animal Man #1

So, I couldn't resist giving the new Animal Man series a chance, because I love the character, and the story may have potential, or at least the opening doesn't seem worse than average, but yikes, that art is seriously bad. (I preordered just based on series title, if I had seen page samples I might not have spent money on this.)

It completely lacks details and textures in the background that would create atmosphere, or even just normal looking rooms and environments. Seriously, it's like empty squares, boxes and tiles, and the artist couldn't be bothered to put in any effort, but not in a deliberate minimalist way, but just because they couldn't think to put something else on a nightstand besides a square clock, or give texture to a windowsill that would make a square look like an actual window and so on. (ETA: I don't necessarily expect excessive detail rendering, considering that there time/effort constraints on a comic production schedule, but there are ways to make panels *look* decent and alive through blacks and dynamic lines and hinting at detail and texture, just look at for example Ditko's art in old Spider-Man comics.)

Then the layout is atrocious with panels being given odd shapes for no good reason, same for some perspective choices. And the artist can't really draw humans well either. All their hair just looks odd, and okay, hair is difficult, but they get paid for this after all. Then there are sometimes odd scribbles on the faces, like in one scene taking place at a hospital I thought Animal Man contracted a weird infectious disease and those were skin sores, but he didn't. I have no idea what that texture on his face was supposed to be.

I honestly have trouble believing that they paid someone for this.

Jun. 20th, 2007

Marvel: newuniversal?

I haven't seen any new issues of newuniversal (written by Warren Ellis, art by Salvador Larroca) in the last couple of solicitations, which led me to believe that it may have been a miniseries rather than an ongoing one as I thought, but then I actually read the first six issues-- I had read the first issue when it came out, but it seemed very much a comic that is better read in larger chunks, so I waited-- and it turns out that it isn't, not even the end of a clear arc, #6 just stops with a "to be continued..." So does anyone know what's up with the series? Is it on hiatus? Cancelled?

It would kind of suck if the series stopped prematurely. While it isn't exactly an awesome comic, it's not awful either, and I'm quite enjoying it so far. The story isn't original (not even in the "new twist on old idea" way), which isn't surprising since I understand it is some kind of remake of a short-lived old Marvel alternate universe (that I had never heard about) or something like that. Basically it's just an "superpowers emerge because of mysterious event, what happens next?" setup, with some mythology stuff abut the nature of those superpowers and their trigger (the "White Event") thrown in, and the art isn't memorable either (though not awful or anything), but I'd still like to see the rest. It may have taken a bit, but after six issues I'm now actually somewhat interested in the characters and the plot.

On a somewhat random and ranty note: why is Marvel so fond of pasting "new" in their titles anyway? Like, there's "New Avengers", "New X-Men", "New Excalibur", "New Warriors"... far more than DC does. I find it annoying, and it makes collecting series a pain because you first have "Team Blah" then it changes to "New Team Blah" for a bit, then it either goes back to "Team Blah" directly or first to "Fabulous Team Blah" if they feel inspired before it reverts to "Team Blah" again, possibly with messed up numbers, and if you try to figure out in which order the story lines were published a while later, you need several hours of web research to untangle the mess. Not to mention that you risk getting the wrong comics when you try to get them via mail order, because you didn't realize that the website actually offered "The Fabulous New Team Blah" (say the Volume 2 incarnation of Team Blah) when you wanted that issue of "The New Fabulous Team Blah" (say the Volume 4 incarnation of the same). Does this actually help immediate sales? I mean these restarts are just as likely to give me an excuse to drop a series from my pull list and not add the new one if I'd been already following it, as to add it when I didn't, it really depends on the artists and writers, and well the inertia of having a a comic on my list and being completist about it goes actually a long way to stick with a series through a run by a team I dislike, whereas name changes give me an easy out. And like I said, retrospectively they get really confusing fast.

December 2016




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