Between the Panels – Crappy Art

Hey TUGers, TUGites, TUG Buddies! How’s it going? First off, no that is not what we are calling fans of our blog I’ve just been listening to WTF Pod with Marc Maron WAY too much, if you haven’t listened to it, do it, it is consistently one of the best podcasts out there. Secondly I’m so sorry I’ve been gone so long, I’ve been super busy with a number of different things and I had a hard time deciding as to what my first post back should talk about. But never fear, I am back and I don’t plan on leaving you all again for a very long time, even though I do start school soon and I’m expecting that to be insane, but I’ll address that Sunday in Reader’s Indigestion.

So here I am, back again where I belong and this week I’m gonna talk about one of my biggest pet peeves (other than the phrase “pet peeve” itself) in comics and that is really awful artwork. There is going to be a lot of rage in this post towards one man in particular, any of you comic book nerds should know who that is right from the start, but I’ll ease my way into talking about him.

Gah! I shudder every time I look at this picture…

Art makes or breaks a comic for me, you could have an amazing story but if the art in the book is bad then I won’t want to read the story more than once. If you have a bad story but good art I’ll just flip through the book for the sake of look at the art, and it should go without saying that if you have an amazing story and equally amazing art I’ll love your story for the rest of my life. A great example of a solid story with great art is Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics right before DC’s The New 52, the story is called The Black Mirror and it is drawn by two fantastic men Jock and Francesco Francavilla. Francesco did the parts of the story that involved Dick Grayson and his time as The Batman in the story and Jock did the sections of the story that were centered around Jim Gordon and his son James Jr. The story is nothing short of spectacular and the two very different types of artwork in the story highlight everything about the story beautifully; I highly recommend you go check it out.

Now we come down to the evil of poor art matched with great stories, this was the case for a good part of Grant Morrison’s run on Batman Robin. A great author who picked bad art, it was really a shame to see this great man’s ideas go to waste on such low quality art. Don’t get me wrong, for most of his run the art was spot on, but there was a good chunk that was so awful I could hardly stand to finish reading the 22 page issue. For example:

There was art like this all over his run, and the way this artist drew Joker just pissed me off to no end. The story was great, I enjoyed reading it, but then it went in its sleeve and probably won’t come back out for a very, very long time.

Then, as I said, we come to bad stories and bad art all mixed into one and this is where the most infamous comic book artist of all time comes into play. DC comics rebooted their universe a little over a year ago, The New 52 it’s called and one of the comics that came out in this New 52 was Hawk and Dove. I am a big fan of these characters and was excited to see what was going to be done, to bad what was done was complete and utter garbage. The stories just weren’t solid, and so I relied on the art to pull me through, then I saw this signature on the cover of the book:

From that moment on I knew I was going to have a really, really bad time…

What’s wrong with Rob Liefeld you may ask? Well let me show you, prepare to have your minds blown by how truly awful this mans artwork is. Rob Liefeld has some very, very bad habits, over time those bad habits turned into things he is now known for, but not in a good way. What blows my mind about him is that people still pay this man a butt ton of money to do art for them, AND HE IS SO TERRIBLE!!! GAH!!! Sorry, let me try to calm down with some of Mr. Liefeld’s art, how about this work or excellence for example:

This, right here, is a classic example of a Liefeld habit: starting off drawing something going one direction and then deciding later on that he wants it to go somewhere COMPLETELY different direction AND HE DOESN’T ERASE THE ORIGINAL POSITION. Cause NO “I’m Rob Fricking Liefeld damn it and I’m the best at art!” SCREW OFF!

Classic Liefeld habit #2, this one is a mix of two different things he does, but both of them are total garbage. He either draws feet way too tiny:

Or he draws feet stupidly large:

Oh and take a look at that knife, take a good look. Notice anything? It started off going one direction but then Liefeld decided it was gonna go somewhere completely different. Seriously, SCREW YOU LIEFELD!

Only a couple more for you then I’ll let turn  you over to more capable hands if you want to see even more crappy Liefeld art. Classic Liefeld Habit #3:

For this one let me take the exact quote from 40 More of the Worst Liefeld Drawings: “FA-FOOSH indeed! Rob Liefeld’s characters can possess one of two emotions: clenched-teeth scowling, or mouths WIDE-THE-FUCK-OPEN. Sometimes both at once! But that’s it. Those are the only facial expressions our dear artist is aware of. One thing that he particularly does all the time is, any time a character is unconscious or dead, their mouth is WIDE-THE-FUCK-OPEN. That indicates unconsciousness, you see. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen an unconscious or dead person, but that uh, generally isn’t the case. I believe that the only unconscious people Liefeld has ever seen all have sleep apnea.” I think that says everything that needs to be said.

Second last one for you. Classic Liefeld Habbit #4; correct proportions are important in art right? Not if you’re Rob Liefeld:

Look at Deadpool’s face. Now look at Deadpool’s mouth. Now tell me: WHERE THE HELL IS DEADPOOL’S FREAKING NOSE SUPPOSED TO BE? Also, please let me know what Deadpool is gong to do with that knife in his mouth when both his hands are full. Oh and one of them happens to be pointing a different way than it was originally intended to. Bonus points to the first person who points out which knife is not going the original intended way in the comments.

And finally, Rob Liefeld’s Classic Habit #5:

First off I’d like to point out the leg bands on Warchild here. Not a big deal in one picture, but when he gives EVERY SINGLE of his original characters those freaking bands, it get’s really over done. Now the big issue with the picture: Why on EARTH does Warchild have THAT MANY WEAPONS? WHO NEEDS THAT MANY? Why are at least two swords blade side up? I guess that’s why Warchild’s hands are bleeding!

Okay, I’m done, but if you want to get even more angry at Liefeld’s art than I hope you already are check out The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings and 40 More Of The Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings.

In conclusion art is very, very important in a comic, which should go without saying, but really bad art can REALLY take away from what could be a great comic, and it can really piss me off, but that should seem obvious by now. I hope at this point you all hate Liefeld as much as he deserves to be hated and are just as confused as I am if he is possibly doing all of this crap on purpose at this point. Needless to say this man is still richer than any of us so clearly he’s got something right. Just to make you all feel a bit better here are two of my favourite pieces of artwork in comics from two of my favourite artists.

First, Jim Lee:

And Ivan Reis:

Alright, I’m out of here! Until next time folks, remember life happens between the panels, sometimes you gotta read between those little black lines!


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Follow Nathan on Twitter @Nait93.


3 thoughts on “Between the Panels – Crappy Art

    • Interesting that they compared the two, I do agree to an extent, Kirby was a legend, but he did have his awful drawings, everyone does. I respect Kirby though because he seemed to have learned from his mistakes where as Liefeld just continuously repeats them and I think, at least at this point, is doing it on purpose just to piss us off, if he isn’t then he really is just an idiot, but I prefer to think of him as the art world’s #1 troll. -Nathan

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