Friday, October 17, 2014

Are all the best Western comics French??

(This post originally written after Comic Con 2013.)

Hey, folks.

So, lotsa stuff since last year (had a baby, got EMT license, graduated fire academy, blah blah).  But I'm here to talk about WESTERN COMICS.

At Comic Con last week I noticed that there are still quite a few Western comics out there!  Naturally I wanted to take a look at every one.  In the past, I would have bought each one.  But there are so many and I am so picky that I didn't buy any.  Mostly because the art didn't really sell me.  The Sixth Gun is still intriguing me, and the art looks pretty good, but they have a hardcover collection coming out in the Fall, so I may pick that up rather than buying one of the trades.  There was also a comic called "Deadeye" and one called "Pariah, MO."  One of the things that bugs me on a lot of these comics, though, is the lack of thorough research.  Everyone claims they research, but I still see a lot of non-period hats, holsters, clothing, and vaguely rendered weapons.

Surprisingly, the only Western comics I came close to buying were French comics over at Stuart Ng's book booth.  There is the series "Blueberry," which I've looked through before due to the beautiful art by Moebius, and I found a new collection called "Junk" which has a wonderful simplified style that I'd like to emulate when I finally make my book.

I ordered "Junk: L'Integrale" and one volume of "Blueberry" from Amazon UK last week because it ended up being cheaper than buying at Stuart Ng.  While buying a French import of Open Range on Blu-Ray, I was also turned on to the series "Lincoln," which also has a simplified comic style applied to a Western.  I discovered several other French Western series as well, which is funny to me.  I guess the American West really does have a worldwide appeal!  It's also funny given the stereotype that the French hate Americans, and what is more American than a cowboy?

Below is some of the art I could find from these series.

Junk, art by Bruno.

Lincoln, art by Jerome Jouvray.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bad Art - Neverland Hook

I'm not going to post the full cover here, but if you must see it, see it here at the Hawkeye Initiative.  Fair warning, it is cheese-cake in the extreme and likely Not Safe For Work.

This is a cover for what is surely the worst comic on the market right now, something called "Neverland Hook."  Now, aside from the ridiculous "costume" and the sexual objectification and the cultural insensitivity and the stupid pose, the thing that bugs me MOST is that gawd-awful tomahawk.  Good gravy, Pasquale Qualano, you couldn't Google "axe" or "tomahawk"?  That is really and truly awful.  I'm offended as a fan of tomahawks.  What is the blade made of, stone?  Why is it so thick?  The weight makes this thing look terribly unwieldy.  For the record, here is what your average Native American tomahawk looks like:

Bad Art - Tony Daniel's F5

(An odd time to make a new post, but that's what happens when you should be doing other things.)

I found this gem in an old Wizard magazine.  There are many things that are lame with this cover, but can you see the worst offender?  In the article accompanying the comic announcement, creator Tony Daniel says that this book is about a team of ex-Navy Seals posing as meteorologists (even though women are not allowed to join the Navy SEALs).  I could leave that premise there and this post would serve its purpose.  But the art goes further.  Daniel claims to "love weapons of war" and "the military," so I'm sure he's at least seen a movie with an RPG or bazooka, right?  Or maybe he's launched a model rocket before?  Research is key whenever you write anything, though most comic creators seems to rely on their memories of movies, but Daniel couldn't even be bothered to watch ANY movie within the genre he's writing.  I can't believe no one stopped him before this went to print, because even if he has no idea how a rocket works, you'd think the colorist, editor, publisher, or even an office intern might.

Check out the blonde girl with the rocket launcher who is about to burn off her face:

Maybe it's intentionally supposed to look stupid, and inside the book the girl is an idiot who doesn't know what she's doing.  Maybe she's comedy relief.

Other art crimes include the thigh position of the gimp at the very bottom.  His left thigh is not attached to his body if it's coming back in from that angle.  Also, why is he wearing a mask with a black tank-top?  Then, look at the leg of the skinny guy on the left of the cover.  How thick is that leg??

Lastly, the composition of the cover is just bad.  Instead of following good design and giving the eye a good path to travel, this is just a jumble of boring people thrown haphazardly together.  Does this entice anyone?  Does anyone past sixth grade think this looks cool?