“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

THE SPIRIT_commission

Let me preface everything I'm about to type by saying that I have no idea what 'cool' comic book art is. I don't know who is popular and why, and I can't say I've picked up a monthly book consistently going on about 5 years now. I'm an idiot at best. Take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

Anyway, I had picked up about two dozen books during my comic book convention marathon and after looking through them I walked away with the worst taste in my mouth. I was compelled (albeit shortly) to do a whole, long, ultra-opinionated write-up asking why comic books have a lot of vanilla ice cream looking art in them (more in recent days). After an hour of that, I realized I was tired of writing about how no one wants to address and take a chance on new blood whose works and styles have something to say outside of the status quo. That, and I just got plain sick of typing.

I deleted the entry but not before I copied and pasted it for a post later on down the line, for when I'm feeling my oats. For now, let me plead with as much heart-felt emphasis to the people in charge in some futile hope they can hear me and do something about it. Here is goes:

"Please, PLEASE - can we please stop putting vanilla ice cream artists on books that deserve better?"

Please? Thank you.

PS - By 'new blood' I'm not referring to me. I'm an old fart. Ask my friends; I tell kids to get off my gaddamned lawn. I also like The Spirit.


Psychotime said...


j_ay said...

Most "art" succcccccks.

Eisner rocks. Bad ass Spirit.

Keep it up, man.

Chanko said...

That's the price of mainstreaming, I guess...

That's also the reason why Eisner strongly advised his students to self-editing.

I must say I appreciate the standard-looking comics (and I buy them), while I only read the non-standard (and usually very interesting) ones if I must not pay for them (libraries, friends...). In my particular case, that's because my reason to buy is just the quality of the drawings (I don't like to buy a comic that I'll read in one hour and then will forget in my shelf for ever).

I feel it's just a matter of personal likings. And what likes the most to most people is the «vanilla ice cream look» (for now), and that's what receives the «cool» label each time.

Anyway, it's hard to understand your complaints in a country like USA, where SO MUCH comic is published, and supposedly so much options are available to enjoy.

Your drawing is incredible.

KentL said...

I'd be curious to know which titles you consider to have vanilla artists. Personally, I think a lot of the DC titles look the same. I think there are issues with some of the Marvel titles, too, but not as much. That's not to say that these aren't solid artists. They just don't necessarily have their own style. Reminds me a bit of the old Image studios trying to maintain a certain style. I understand why they do it, but it doesn't make me happy.

Paolo Boscolo said...

lazy readers and fear of trying something new. that's the main point.

by the way, your Spirit is simply perfect.

Stan Shaw said...

I'm with you I'm an Old Fart! Hell, I consider you a Y'ung 'N! Save the post. Age makes you less forgiving and it's more fun!

Dave Cummings said...

I completely agree Eric. I mean, though I love Bryan Hitch's work, his popularity has caused an abundance of "photorealistic" artists in which though they look pretty, they lack energy and emotion. I mean, the artists' who I'm digging are people like you, like Skottie Young, like Stuart Immonen, Sean Gordon Murphy. Granted, they aren't "mainstream" or the popular styles at the moment, but what is? All it takes is that one high profile project to make an artist considered a "superstar" and then there's a slew of artists trying to emulate that one.

Tom said...

I'm with you on this one, Eric. My comic book stack has gotten smaller and smaller in recent years as the art has gotten boring and the stories increasingly convoluted and dark. All the exciting artists seem to have left the industry for greener pastures or just aren't producing a significant amount of work. Like Dave Cummings, I am drawn to the work of artists like you, Sean Gordon Murphy, Skottie Young, Cory Walker, Sean Galloway, and others who create with style, energy, excitement and passion. Though there is great stuff out there, it seems artists like this are few and far between in today's mainstream comic market. I wish they were the rule rather than the exception.

mantichore said...

Yeah, enough with the boring catalogue or photonovel "style" of artwork, with most of the artist's energy spent on making Norman Osborn look like Tommy Lee Jones, or Latveria like a photoalbum of Prague.

Let's have comics, not movies. And deep-frozen movies, at that.