Home Publishers DC Late artists crackdown at DC?

Late artists crackdown at DC?

0

Rich Johnston, the only journalist in comics, dished up a very tasty rumor which has all the tang of fact:

Sources close to freelancers inform me that DC Comics has a new in house policy for pencillers. Aside from very specific contracted creators (such as Jim Lee), any penciller contracted to work on a monthly book must deliver complete turnaround of 22 pages of work in four weeks. Not a month, four weeks. If that schedule isn’t maintained, they’ll pull pages and assign them to other creators. And you may run short of future work. A reduction in quality is more acceptable than a reduction in quantity.

Specific examples I’ve been given include the recent issue of “Wonder Woman” was half Dodson and half Ron Randall. Also why Koi Turnball was dropped from “Jack Hawksmoor.” And it has been pointed out that there are already three fill-ins on the new “Legion” schedule.

Creators are also being dropped from exclusive contracts over this new regime. Expect certain publishing vultures to swarm.


There’s a lot to be said about this, including the changes in expectations and temperament required of today’s comics artists. It’s not enough to get Dan Spiegle every month (which would be fine with The Beat us, you’d better believe it), you have to get Bryan Hitch every month. But of course what you end up with is often something worse than either.

Former DCU editor Valerie D’Orazio has another take

Looking at the DC creative teams listed in the latest Previews, and noting how many books have fill-in artists or books with the art chores broken up, I can believe this. But I think it’s a mistake. We saw how well this method worked for Countdown. Nothing will kill a book like sloppy, rushed art or breaking up the art chores among several different artists. The other side of the coin is, do you want a book that is late?

[Above, cover to the originally solicited Secret History Of The Authority Jack Hawksmoor #1 by Cully Hamner. ]

  1. The bottom line for me is pride of ownership. I never buy anything to do with art unless I feel like I’m getting a quality product. When I saw that Dark Tower hardcover from Marvel as I walked into Barns & Noble, my eyes went wide and I said, “Ooo, must own!” However when I saw Marvels (and this is going back a few years) adaptation of T2, a movie I was really looking forward to seeing, I said, “That books a big smelly pile. I’m not going to buy that.” I think many will feel the same. :)

  2. I didn’t take this to mean that suddenly Frank Quitely has to start drawing All-Star Superman every month or he’s fired so much as artists have to start taking responsibility for the projects they accept. If you accept an assignment on Teen Titans, implicit in that assignment is the fact that the book is monthly, and you should turn the work in a month. If you are incapable of doing 22 pages a month, then you should tailor the work you accept to mini-series and special projects where there is more time available to complete the project. Cameron Stewart is an artist who has said that he is not comfortable working on a monthly, so he works on mini-series, does cover artwork, and inks instead of either turning in what he considers sub-par work or derail a monthly book (and the schedules of the rest of the team working on that book). I know every artist wants to do a definitive run on Detective Comics or whatever, but from a business stand point–Detective Comics needs to be on the stands every four weeks, and if you can’t handle that, don’t accept an assignment on Detective Comics.

  3. I can see a lot of “fix it in the mix”, “can the inker fix all the hands and feet” and “can you have the colourist just airbrush in all the buildings in photoshop?”.

  4. This might work out well for someone like, say, John Byrne, who can work on a monthly schedule, but this is gonna open up a round-robin (pun intended? perhaps!) look to monthly books where 3 or more artists work on one book over three months. Or perhaps this opens up the way for the return of backup stories in mainstream DC comics. This certainly would’ve helped the Dodsons on Wonder Woman.

    Ahhh… makes me pine for the days when someone like Sal Buscema, John Buscema and John Byrne would work on 3 or more books per month. Talk about Iron Men!

  5. ^^^
    Or maybe not, Dave. With this new ‘rule’, many of the trades that you buy will have a mismatched, scattershot approach to the artwork. Is that really so good? I’d much prefer the stories I read to have a cohesive feel rather than a punctual release date.

  6. its amazing to me how the editors and companies keep hiring the same people who screw up each and every time and act like its the first time. honestly, if you are a top 10 or 20 artist and you screw up…well, the other company will hire you and then when you screw up there, you can go back to the first one.

    its amazing to me on a number of levels and especially since these are the people paid the most money. If an artist is good for only 6 books a year, only hire them for it. I see a lot of editors with stars in their eyes thinking they are gonna get books out of some people who never produced on a regular basis…and it is rare that these chains ever break.

    The way i would go is to get to know the artist and take a look at his past, and hire accordingly.

    Stop rewarding the people that screw up so much and understand their output levels and give the monthly guys the respect they deserve…

    but all that said , it comes down to greed and the big two wanting to have the biggest market share each month. can you blame them? no…because the fans will keep buying and thats their business to put out books and make money.

    my policy is that if the book doesn’t look good, i don’t buy it because comics are a visual medium. I don’t care who wrote it. I am a visual guy…and if i want a great read I turn to novels if this happens.

    honestly, the big two need to go back to having a couple of issues of every title in the draw, like stand alone books…written by top talent and given to those artists that can only produce in small amounts but are otherwise brilliant. there is no need for a fill in book to suck.

    lol…My editors hat is back on.

    jimmy palmiotti

  7. An old model was that you put the best people on the most important titles, as these sold the most copies and the company made the most money from them. Smaller titles get the new talent, expectations are lower, and a fillin story is tolerated.
    You build a reputation on a lesser known title, improve sales, and eventually you get to work on an important title.
    I see a new model developing: superstar artists and writers are given special projects, while the monthly titles are produced by talented people who want to tell an epic story on a regular schedule.
    The more important question is: Do we need monthly titles? The newsstands only feature about 20 or so titles, mostly flagship or juvenile titles. Could publishers survive with miniseries, or would too many people wait for the trade? Or is the industry moving that way already?

  8. Well, David, I think the probable outcome of this policy will be the development of a ‘house’ style that many artists can emulate. Its bad news in terms of innovation, but not in terms of overall quality. The more innovative, and the ‘star’, artists will shift to minis and special projects.

  9. “my policy is that if the book doesn’t look good, i don’t buy it because comics are a visual medium. I don’t care who wrote it. I am a visual guy…and if i want a great read I turn to novels if this happens.”

    Well, yeah … but … this attitude perpetuates the “Comics are for kids” mantra. Buy comics to look at them. If you want something GOOD to READ, but a paperback novel.

    I can’t image Julie Schwartz or Stan Lee advocating a policy like that.

    Why not get good writers AND artists? Then hire and re-hire the ones who consistently meet their deadlines.

  10. “IT should ALWAYS be quality over quantity! Always. Sigh…”

    Yes … Quality … twelve times a year. Or six. Or don’t take the assignment.

  11. Why does on time have to mean lower quality? Aren’t there artist who can produce pages on time without sacrificing quality? If you can’t make quality pages on a monthly basis thenm why are you on a onthly book?

    In anycase i don’t expect this to apply to artists who are late maybe a week or need a fill-in every now and then. I expect this is for those artists who take 3 months on a book then take another 3 months on the next issue and so on.

  12. “An old model was that you put the best people on the most important titles, as these sold the most copies and the company made the most money from them. Smaller titles get the new talent, expectations are lower, and a fillin story is tolerated.
    You build a reputation on a lesser known title, improve sales, and eventually you get to work on an important title.”

    Which just might describe the early career of Frank Miller, who began on then small title Daredevil, built his reputation through those years and…

  13. There’s plenty of talented artist out there who can draw and keep a schedule. Lord knows the 50s, 60’s and 70s had plenty of them!! What happened to professionalism? I mean I love Bryan Hitch but when MONTHS ( a year??) start to pass between issues maybe it’s time to move on. Go do a mini series. Come back when it’s all done. But Marvel/ DC would rather sell 8 issues of hot slow artist than find a good fast artist and sell twelve issues in a year? I don’t get it.

  14. The pattern I’ve observed over and over again is this:

    1) Have big editorial meeting where no-tolerance strict deadline policy is announced.

    2) Everybody swears up and down that they are only going to get talent who are reliable and fast.
    3) But then same editors are told to have “hot” books or get canned.

    4) Editors end up going with the same hot artists that screwed them or other editors before on deadlines.

    5) However, this time “things will be different.” Artist has promised editor to get everything in on time.

    6) For the first two weeks, everything is cool.

    7) Then artist asks for a few extra days on deadline.

    8) Everything goes to hell.

    That said, as an editor I had found it was possible to get pages in on time on the more “tougher” artists to keep on deadline — but it involved calling them every two days to “see how ya doin?” Which, admittedly, makes you annoying. But it works.

  15. Val:

    Oh totally! The regular check in is the most hated but effective of editorial tricks for getting tardy artists to put down the Gameboy.

    Do you agree with my observation that most artists draw at about the same speed? The biggest difference between chronic lateniks and Steady Sals is how much they procrastinate.

  16. “An old model was that you put the best people on the most important titles, as these sold the most copies and the company made the most money from them. Smaller titles get the new talent, expectations are lower, and a fillin story is tolerated. You build a reputation on a lesser known title, improve sales, and eventually you get to work on an important title.”

    Well, models and rationales certainly change from time to time, but for what it’s worth, I seem to recall reading some artist describing a period where the model was to put untested talent on the most important titles, with the reasoning that the core buyers were so dedicated/addicted that they would buy the book even if the art wasn’t great.

    I wish I could remember more details about that anecdote. And, sure, I may be misremembering or misrepresenting it entirely. But it doesn’t take too much cynicism or too long a memory to think of some periods of comics publishing history where that seemed to be a common practice or conventional wisdom.

  17. Why not get good writers AND artists? Then hire and re-hire the ones who consistently meet their deadlines.

    totally agree with this..i was speaking for myself when i say that i cannot read a comic if it looks bad. I am being honest. I don’t care who wrote it …words and pictures…and I understand pretty pictures dont make a good comic as well…just saying if i pick it up off the rack and it looks like crap, its a no sell for me.

    JIMMY

  18. “Well, yeah … but … this attitude perpetuates the “Comics are for kids” mantra. Buy comics to look at them. If you want something GOOD to READ, but a paperback novel.”

    My gosh!!!!! Comics are for kids????!!!!!
    Since when,…?

    Personally I’m with Jimmy. If it don’t look good,…I ain’t buyin’ it. If there’s a good story,…why that’s just icing on the cape.

  19. I guess as a “writer guy,” I will suffer through a well-written story with bad/mediocre art a lot longer than I will a poorly-written story with pretty art.

  20. Look, I’m a deadline headache sometimes. But Terry Dodson injured his drawing arm and did the best he could to do as many pages as possible.

    In this case, WW is a bad example.

    Gail

  21. why hasn’t any of the Big Three learned from the Crossgen production schedule? 6 weeks production time for a monthly, with a “relief team” doing oneshots to give the regular art team a breather every 4, 5 months?
    Sure, they all were in the same room but with the internet that is almost the same?

    All their books came out on time, right?

  22. Hi Gail,

    I just read the issue and it was a great story but they should have just given Terry the time to draw it all. The shift from artist to artist was jarring. It might have worked if it was a flashback but in this case it really takes you out of the book.

    As to artists drawing at the same speed I haven’t seen that. Artists like my wife Pia Guerra have trouble with deadlines at time because of the amount of research they do. John Byrne can do a couple of issues a month by using no backgrounds, made up guns and cars and women who all look alike. If you want New York to look like New York and cars to look like they exist on Earth sometimes it takes longer.

    Putting this 4 week nonsense into play is going to give you more comics but they’re going to look more generic and the books will suffer in the long run.

  23. Just 6 months ago, the internet was all over DC for the Wonder Woman comic being late. Now I see people saying it should be late.

    I is cornfused.

  24. Different styles in one trade do not affect sales. Consider Sandman, or the Superman trades which collect stories from four different titles.
    While Marvel and DC do benefit from star talent, they also benefit from hiring new talent at lower page rates and easier contracts.
    And while talent matters, for lesser titles, good art is good art, and the names don’t matter as much.

  25. So, if I can keep a monthly schedual, is now a good time to ask for a pay rise? The US dollar is doing rather crap in Australia right now.

  26. I don’t know how guys like Kirby, Adams, Buscema, Swan and Andru made it through back in the day.

    Terrible, terrible quality on those books that came out monthly. And guys like Swan who sometimes did 2 books a month, yeah, those books really suffered.

    Worse still, they weren’t retelling anyone else’s stories! Most times, these guys had to come up with new, original characters to work with AND do the art… all in 30 days or less!

    Maybe that’s why comics from back in the day sucked.

  27. “John Byrne can do a couple of issues a month by using no backgrounds, made up guns and cars…”

    Is this guy kidding?

    Wait, maybe he’s right… his background-less X-Men and made up guns on Fantastic Four must have been so easy to do back then.

    Those artists from yesteryear, churning out 22 pages a month on a comic month in and month out… staying on the same title for 3-4 years…

    What shlubs.

  28. >>Why not get good writers AND artists? Then hire and re-hire the ones who consistently meet their deadlines.

    totally agree with this..i was speaking for myself when i say that i cannot read a comic if it looks bad. I am being honest. I don’t care who wrote it …words and pictures…and I understand pretty pictures dont make a good comic as well…just saying if i pick it up off the rack and it looks like crap, its a no sell for me.

    JIMMY

  29. While we’re on the topic of quality work on a monthly basis, the work that must have suffered most was probably Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing from back in the day.

    I hear Alan Moore writes scripts like short novels.

    Bissette and Totleben must have taken a lot of short cuts on the layouts, detail, backgrounds getting that book out on a monthly basis…

  30. Penciling a page a day seems pretty reasonable to me — especially for those who work at it full time.

    If I had to write, pencil, hand letter AND ink a page a day, it might be a challenge, depending on the subject matter. But if all I had to do was pencil, I could probably bang out two pages a day without too much difficulty.

    Drawing faster can affect quality, of course, but it also gives pages more “pop” and fluidity, in my opinion — especially action stories.

  31. Lateness on monthly comics is a big problem especially in this internet age in which fans are more creator driven in their purchases (and an age in which we have so many more entertainment options than yesteryear). DC and Marvel especially can’t really win in this scenario, because when they come down on the artists that aren’t meeting their deadlines those artists (especially the high profile ones) just go elsewhere. If this rumor is true and DC gets more and more fill in artists there will be people dropping books.

    I think some of us are misremembering artists from yesteryear and their output on a monthly basis. Sure there were artists like Ross Andru, Kirby, Sal and John, Dick Dillin (JLA), and Gene Colan, who did monthly books for many years (and stayed on titles for years and not just months), but during the 1970’s weren’t comic books just 17 pages? Artists from yesteryear also didn’t have the page rates that artists today get so they HAD to stay in their chair at their drafting tables and produce pages. Today artists can also make big money from sales of original art and doing commision artwork that subsidizes their not having to do that much interior work (Art Adams and Adam Hughes come to mind). I loves me the Bissette and Totleben, but I remember them not always doing monthly work on Swampy (and they often had assists from their friend Rick Veitch) and they’ve said in interviews that the monthly grind was killing them and it wasn’t something they could continue to do for very long.

    There are some that suggest that the companies should not solict books until they have several issues completed. This has been tried and worked a couple of times in the recent past (like Jim Lee on Batman and Superman and seemingly Hitch is ahead on Fantastic Four), but largely what happens in this scenario is that the artists don’t feel the deadline looming and get even slower as they think they have even more time and then the book never gets released (like Adam Hughes’ All Star Wonder Woman).

    Off the top of my head I can only think of a few artists today who can stay on a book for more than a year and produce that book monthly without fill ins: Mark Bagely, John Romita JR., David Lopez (Catwoman artist, whom I think is under-rated), and Alex Maleev (but after Daredevil he’s only done a few books here and there). Name me five other artists that are working for Marvel or DC today that have done more than five issues without a fill in and on a monthly basis.

  32. I echo alot that’s been said about deadlines and sticking to them. Another factor in the old days, just to add something – though it might have been covered – is that there were few mulit part stories where the infamous “Fill in/ inventory” issue found a home. So, even though another artist can take the next issue’s story, there’s no net where you can put another finished issue in its place.

  33. It’s so clear that this is being brought out into the public forum just to distract everyone from DC finally giving Spoiler a display case in the Batcave. You’ve all been took for suckers.

  34. I’d have to agree with jp on this. Hiring quality artists on the condition of knowing the type of output that can handle is key.
    But it seems like this new model, with fill-in artists is the way things used to be. Indies seemed to be the only ones who used exclusive creators on books. I wonder if that way of thinking will go away and what this age of comics (artist and writer-centric) can be labeled if true?

  35. **with apologies for all the questions and no answers **

    Should (or have they already?) DC (and Marvel) look at how big of a role exclusive contracts play in an artist’s capacity to turn out work? To use the Kubert brothers as an example (not to pick on them), before signing on at DC I had never heard or read of them having chronic deadline issues. But almost overnight it seemed their production just diminished drastically. What was different during their time at Marvel?

    Granted there might be personal issues involved (e.g. to Terry Dodson hurting his drawing arm) that we are not nor should be privy too but can the comfort level of having a steady paycheck with benefits dull the efficiency of a contract artist? Are freelancers able to hit the 4 week period because there is an urgency that the exclusives do not have? Instead of boosting their bottom line, are the Big 2 just hurting their bottom lines with an excess of exclusive contracts?

    It is also interesting to note that there was no mention of a writer’s policy. Is there one forthcoming?

    And Nicola, yes, you do deserve a raise :-)

  36. “Name me five other artists that are working for Marvel or DC today that have done more than five issues without a fill in and on a monthly basis.”

    michael lark, pia guerra, eduardo risso, sean philips, probably tony harris (i’m not quite sure about his “ex machina”-schedules), becky cloonan. six names, which gives me one false shot.

  37. “Name me five other artists that are working for Marvel or DC today that have done more than five issues without a fill in and on a monthly basis.”

    Mark Buckingham, Steve Pugh, John McCrea, Don Kramer, Howard Porter, Chris Bachalo, Barry Kitson.

    Some of the above may not do 12 issues a year, but are at least sensible enough to know their limits and request fill-in for the months they’re resting and catching up (hence, very few late books).

  38. Jimmy:

    “and I understand pretty pictures dont make a good comic as well…just saying if i pick it up off the rack and it looks like crap, its a no sell for me.”

    I misunderstood … my bad … and yeah, if a comic doesn’t appeal to the eye, I might pass it up as well. Good art sells the book initially … good writing AND art keep the reader/buyer coming back.

  39. “Don’t forget the talented and speedy Darick Robertson in that list of 12-or-more- issues-a-month artist”

    That’s a lot of issues a month, DC should have him to all their books.

  40. Other artists who can draw monthly books include Pete Woods, Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Doug Mahnke, Paul Pelletier, Gordon Purcell, Leonard Kirk, Rick Burchett, Freddie Williams, Joe Bennett, Todd Nauck and Ron Frenz. So there are a lot of artists who can draw regularly, but they aren’t always Wizard top 10 guys.

  41. News Flash to All Fanboys:

    Monthly comics are a business.

    If you’re an oil painter or a novelist or a poet, you can work on your own time, in your own way. If you decide to work for a company that puts out periodicals, then you have to produce your work accordingly. Even as a free lancer, working as an artist or a writer on a monthly title is a de facto staff job. Accepting the benefits of regular work (like, say, a regular pay check) has obligations in return (like, say, turning your work in on time.) Could a magazine or newspaper writer get away with this crap without getting canned? Why should a few prima donnas impair other people’s livelihoods due to their lateness? (Unless, of course, they want to reimburse publishers, printers, shippers and retailers for lost revenues due to delayed titles.)

  42. I think Heidi is mostly right, that comics artists draw at about the same speed. It’s just how many distractions they put before the work. Surfing, gaming, etc. kill the productivity, that’s for sure. I’m always stunned when I see pictures of an artist’s studio, and sure enough there’s a stack of DVDs and a TV set right next to the drawing table. Sure, using movies can work when you need reference, or are thinking of some cool scene that you want to emulate, but having the TV on while you work brings the productivity to a crawl.

    I’ve seen some of the so-called slowest artists (Mr. Hughes) draw incredibly fast. His sketches are incredible, and would easily pass for what the art heroes of yesteryear would consider pretty tight pencils, especially with an inker giving them a good polish. He could do a book a month no problem, if that’s what he wanted to do.

    He’s not a good example, since his artistic goals are different than surviving a monthly book, and he never made any bones about how his inability to handle a monthly schedule.

    The bigger issues (besides modern-day distractions, which is gigantic) are the level of ‘quality’ the fans expect, and ironically, the same movies and games that get the artists into so much trouble.

    Fans want monthly books, but are the first ones to complain if the art isn’t up to where they expect it. The artist wants to please the fans, and especially ask for high prices for original pages that are loaded with detail, so they pack an issue to the brim with detail. And fans don’t want to pay top dollar for original art that is sketchy with areas the inker would fill in at the end, so each page the penciller works on is a mini masterpiece by itself. Again, I’m stunned to see penciled page where the artist has gone ahead and filled in all the black areas with his HB. How long did that take? When did the little “x” or “BWS” notes get outlawed? Because it makes the page more attractive to the art market.

    Even more importantly, back in the day, comics didn’t have as many competitors for a kid’s imagination. There were no video games, and even if there was the occasional genre movie, it was no were near as dynamic as a good comic could be. Now, there’s 3 killer games and 2 awesome movies coming out every week! Comics have to compete at a much higher visual level to even try to get a piece of a kid’s entertainment dollar.

    The visual design of these games and movies, along with how dynamic they have become, has suddenly made comics look very plain to the average kid. I love comics with all my heart, and will argue the subtleties of panel pacing and a perfectly positioned word balloon with anyone, but most viewers are going for the wow factor, and that’s a lot of pressure to put on an artist. If your post-apocalyptic comic is going to compete with the latest amazing post-apocolyptic game or movie, it has to be unbelievable, and that takes time. And factor in that a comic is a one-person show, and movies and video games have entire staffs to come up with cool characters and shots. That’s a lot of pressure.

    I don’t know what the answer is. It’s tough on all sides.

    I think the answer, as always, is to learn from history. Go back to shorter main stories and have more backups, as well as more fill in issues ready to roll if necessary. Everyone wins. The star artist gets to keep going on his book, but with fewer pages to worry about each month. The fans get their monthly fix. Up and coming artists (howdy!) might get more opportunities to do the back up stories. And editors can still collect the main storyline as a trade without inconsistent art problems.

    Hopefully this new policy by DC will lead to that. /rant.

  43. “Stuart Immomen. Best artist working today. No missed deadlines.”

    Not to mention his predecessor Mark Bagley, who is apparently going to be doing 16 pages a week for DC’s upcoming weekly series “Trinity.”

  44. I wish comic book art was produced just like manga art: one panel at time, with a main artist and one to five assistants. Really. To the ones that say that produces a non-descript art-style, I disagree, certainly even if you compare two shonen titles like One Piece and Samurai-X they are very distinct even thought the mangakas worked together for a time. But them again even the really bad stuff sells ten times more in Japan then a comic book sells… preety much anywhere. I mean on Japan, One Piece sells millions… while on US something that sells 300,000 is laudaded as the industry savior.

    I mean some degree of lateness is okay… I would not complain about and extra half a month spent on research, specially if the comic books companies were more responsible and worked with a buffer. I mean they should really had at least three issues already done when launching a new title. And releasing mini-series that are already complete.

    Unfortunely, since the comic book industry is so small, almost pathetic when compared to other print industries, and even more when compared to other medias, but they allege and i’m inclined to believe, that they don’t have the money to do that. Damn shame.

  45. I remember back in the fifth grade, I was a regular reader of Captain America and a big fan of Sal Buscema’s work. It was that period in the mid-seventies when Cap first hung his costume and became Nomad. Well, I guess Sal needed a breather for a few months because Frank Robbins did a couple of fill in issues and I remember hating his Robbin’s work even way back when I was ten years old. It looked totally rushed and I never thought he was the right man for the job of drawing super hereos. Even the Invaders looked like crap. In fact, I nearly vomited up my 5th grade lunch peanut butter fluffernutters on my school desk because his work was such a eyesore to me and I always wondered – I wasted my 50 cent allowance on this tripe?

    ~

    Coat

  46. Frank Robbins was awesome! I’m going to build a time machine and go back to the ’70s and convince 11-year-old me to push you down in the mud at recess.

    If Frank Robbins were around today he’d have done like five Warren Ellis series in a row and become a well-established fan favorite. No one did batshit-insane looking, super-hot, strong women like 1970s Frank Robbins.

  47. I agree with Tom now about Robbins work, but back in ’75 I agreed with Cary’s opinion totally. I hope my 15 year-old self would have stepped in and prevented any unpleasantness between the two. That’s what Cap would have wanted.

  48. Oh, and even though I hated his art at the time, I never passed on an issue of Cap or The Invaders because Robbins was the artist.

  49. I liked a bunch of artists when I was a little kid and then I started reading fanzines and comics magazines and letter columns so I started hating them they told me I should and now I’m old and I like them again.

  50. “I started reading fanzines and comics magazines and letter columns so I started hating them …”

    Yeah, there is a certain joy to NOT knowing behind the scenes info. You enjoy (or avoid) comics that don’t look “good”, and don’t worry about which creator is arguing with whom.

  51. I love Frank Robbins’ work now too but when you were used to the clean crisp Marvel style it was jarring and yeah I remember it made me a little sick to read it at the time.

  52. Same here. HATED his work on Detective/ManBat for DC. I thought the pages were inked too heavy so that threre was too much density, and that everyone’s faces looked squished in.

    Okay, now, now that he’s passed away in Mexico years ago, and I am an adult and all that, he’s great. But his art does (did) not appeal to a 13 year old.

  53. I first saw Frank Robbins’s art on Johnny Hazard and really hated it. In the “Next Issue” box hyping the first Man-Bat story he drew, the editor wrote, “What? You didn’t know Robbins could draw?” Eleven-year-old me replied, “No–I’ve seen his artwork, and I didn’t know Robbins could draw.”

    Somewhere in the first few Batman stories he handled, though, I had an epiphany and came to love his artwork. By the time of The Invaders, I was a full-fledged fan and couldn’t think of anyone I’d have preferred to depict the 1940s wartime milieu. I was disappointed whenever a fill-in issue would come along without Robbins. That said, though, Marvel did sometimes put him on titles that didn’t exactly play to his strengths. Man from Atlantis or Human Fly, anyone?

  54. May I just say that I’m not over the moon about my cover representing this story? May I also say that I did that cover as a favor to the editor of that book (a friend of mine) who needed it turned around in 24 hours? And may I finally say that he was happy enough with the fact that I delivered a good job on such short notice that he offered me the rest of the covers on the series on the spot?

Exit mobile version