Friday, October 26, 2007

For shame, Phil Noto

I picked up the last Jonah Hex TPB, Guns of Vengeance, and was looking forward to seeing Phil Noto's take on the character and the genre. I'd heard good things about his art, so I expected good things.

Guess what? He joins the ranks of the Ghost Rider guy in the Legion of Guys Who Don't Know What A Person Holding A Gun Looks Like, Which Is Funny Because They Draw Comics and There Are Always Guns In Comics.

I present to you four exhibits that chronicle his atrocities:

Exhibit A
A) Here we have "Attack of the Pistol Grip Double-Barreled Shotgun: Part 2" (click here for part 1), except there is no pistol grip so the guy is basically holding the gun with his index-finger only, hooked through the trigger guard. (A pistol grip on a double-barreled shotgun would look really weird, too. Such a gun has never existed.)
Exhibit B
B) The guy with the shotgun is still holding on to it with his finger (can you imagine shooting it that way?), and now we get to see the weird brown banana Jonah has put in place of his usual revolver. Is that silvery thing hanging out supposed to be the hammer? Disregarding the bewildering geographical placement (sticking out of the grip off to the left), what weird unstable-molecule material is it made out of to be in a shape like that? And, to be nice, I won't even touch the silver bullets, because honestly those are something I would allow as a shortcut for drawing a gun-belt all the time.

Exhibit C
C) Again, holding the gun by the trigger guard. But now Phil's added a single giant hammer to the gun? Disregarding the artistic inconsistency, how does that work? It's got two barrels.

Exhibit D
This panel follows shortly after Exhibit C, and look at how much has changed on the gun in that short time! The barrels got significantly shorter (and the shooter has moved his fore-hand even further up the barrels, which seems like a bad idea), and the stock changed shape. It was sort of ok in panel C, but now it's all kinds of weird.

Well, Phil, I like the rest of your style ok, but come on! Couldn't you have at least picked up one of the previous issues of the comic you're working on to see how a shotgun looks, and how someone holds it?

By the way, I updated my "Western Artists" list to shame Phil Noto and praise Jae Lee.


Nobody said...

You're right, in the last panel it looks like some weird optical illusion reminiscent of Liefeld's cubist interpretation of this "gun."

I'm surprised Noto didn't consult some kind of reference photo for the weapon since he's notorious for all of his women looking suspiciously like Courtney Cox.

Ryan said...

I forgot about that Liefeld gun. That is some trippy stuff going on at the muzzle.

That surprises me too, especially when it looks like he was struggling drawing it. It's like he thought, "Well, what if I draw it differently in every panel. Odds are it's close to right in one of them."

Nobody said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Liefeld is the M.C. Escher of comic books. (The Hulk's shoulder being Exhibit A.)

Matt said...

Shot in the dark here (no pun intended, but I'll take it). Do you think he was trying to add to the "hickness" of the character with the gun by having him hold the gun wrong? That doesn't explain away the other basic errors (one hammer on a 2 barrel, etc). Any chance? Though to be honest...I've never seen a hick that CAN'T hold a gun right.

Ryan said...

An interesting theory, but I think you put that one to rest by the end of your comment: if there's one thing hicks know how to do, it's hold a gun.