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Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

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Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Old 06-08-20, 07:27 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by Red Hood

And I disagree. It's one of the best homage to NM 87 I've seen. Of course, is not an exact match to NM 87 but that's the style Mico Suayan decided to go with.


.
It's a good homage, I was saying it's a terrible swipe (swipe being a bad thing). I don't see why he's mad at someone taking the basic structure and completely redrawing it (and even crediting him) as opposed to almost tracing it instead, if that's indeed what he's sore about and it's not just a way to hock his own "exclusives."
Old 06-08-20, 07:50 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by Red Hood
He's a complex individual to say the least

I wish he had a better understanding or appreciation of storytelling as well as better businesses sense. Despite his lack of originality at times I think his overall visual style and the characters he owned would have been a great antidote to the Big Two's depressing and drab era that started with Identity Crisis.

Alan Moore tried to save the American comics industry with the ABC line. The writing was insanely good, but I felt like the visual designs themselves didn't pop to the casual buyer. I originally dismissed his line because Tom Strong looked pretty boring from a character design stand point. And the artist, while very good, has a style that feels almost sedate. Promethea had a more interesting design, but her look kind of blended into the background of her own covers. Compare that with Brandon Peterson's interpretation of Liefeld's/Alan Moore's Glory, and that stands out so much more, and makes even Wonder Woman look boring and plain.

I think there's been like 3 or 4 reboots of Liefeld's comic universe.
First there was Alan Moore basically turning it into his version of the DCU but making it better.
Then Joe Casey rewrote Youngblood #1 and did some work for Rob. I think this was when he brought back Youngblood and Casey incorporated some of the Moore characters into it.
Then Casey left and I think Rob went back to plotting.
Then he had other writers reimagine them as indie-like comics. Glory was this bulky gigantess alien with a kid friend. Prophet was a Moebius-looking Heavy Metal comic. I don't know about the rest.

Old 06-08-20, 08:03 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by brayzie


Alan Moore tried to save the American comics industry with the ABC line. The writing was insanely good, but I felt like the visual designs themselves didn't pop to the casual buyer. I originally dismissed his line because Tom Strong looked pretty boring from a character design stand point. And the artist, while very good, has a style that feels almost sedate. Promethea had a more interesting design, but her look kind of blended into the background of her own covers. Compare that with Brandon Peterson's interpretation of Liefeld's/Alan Moore's Glory, and that stands out so much more, and makes even Wonder Woman look boring and plain.
What? Chris Sprouse was perfect on the book. ABC comics had some fantastic art with Sprouse (Tom Strong), Veitch, J.H. Williams (Promethea), Gene Ha, Yanick Paquette, etc. They weren't the flashiest of designs but they were interesting and I can't fault the art.
Old 06-08-20, 08:33 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by fujishig
What? Chris Sprouse was perfect on the book. ABC comics had some fantastic art with Sprouse (Tom Strong), Veitch, J.H. Williams (Promethea), Gene Ha, Yanick Paquette, etc. They weren't the flashiest of designs but they were interesting and I can't fault the art.
Chris Sprouse is a great artist, and he is amazing at telling a story visually. His line work is too clean, in a good way. But his particular style illustrating a middle aged guy with white temples, whose costume consists of back pants and a red t-shirt makes the whole thing feel quaint. His work on Legionnaires was a better match, as they were younger characters in colorful futuristic costumes, although even then, it looked more like a kids book, closer to Batman Adventures.

I'll even go as far as to say that Sprouse's previous collaboration with Moore on Supreme had a similar effect. Supreme is a Superman clone who's in his late 20s/early 30s but just happens to have white hair due to exposure from "Supremium." But the way Liefeld drew him, you'd swear he was an old man, with a 50 year old Marlon Brando face. Sprouse's interpretation of him wasn't much better. He gave him a slight receding hairline, and had him looking like a superhero for seniors.



J.H. Williams is amazing. I can't fault the art either, and he illustrated The Painted Doll perfectly. A better Joker than the Joker. But Promethea's costume looked more magical than superhero, which makes sense within the context of the story. But the comic was supposed to be competing with superhero comics. And it had the appearance of a treatise on magic, which it became about midway through the story, and which even fans criticized. Glory I think had a better costume design:



Of course, that first issue as far as story goes, and as good as it was, cannot compete with the first issue of Promethea.

Rick Veitch is a bad ass, and his work on the "old" Supreme stories is simply amazing. He managed to capture each era of comics with precise accuracy. What did he do for ABC though? The Ink character?

But so much of the ABC line has the surface appearance of "granddad" comics. Even Grand Morrison called them that initially.


Even the Dodsons can't shake the idea that this comic is for old people.
Old 06-08-20, 10:56 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

ABC comics was kind of meant for old people. It certainly wasn't trying to compete directly against modern capes, it was all about old school, pulp fiction and/or science heroes for a modern age. League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Promethea, and even the cop procedural Top 10 were all off the beaten path, and I think that was by design. The imprint's name and the characters from Terra Obscura were, well, obscure Golden Age characters.

Funny you should mention all the artists that worked on both imprints, I had forgotten one of the reasons Moore agreed to even do the Wildstorm imprint was because he had promised work to a lot of his artists from the now dead Awesome (Liefeld) line.

I won't argue with you that Sprouse was a perfect fit on Legionnaires, though. Legion books had a fantastic lineup of artists back then with Sprouse, Hughes, Immonen, Kitson (on LEGION), 9-panel Giffen, Pearson, etc. It's one of my favorite Legion eras.
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Old 06-09-20, 02:24 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by fujishig
ABC comics was kind of meant for old people. It certainly wasn't trying to compete directly against modern capes, it was all about old school, pulp fiction and/or science heroes for a modern age. League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Promethea, and even the cop procedural Top 10 were all off the beaten path, and I think that was by design. The imprint's name and the characters from Terra Obscura were, well, obscure Golden Age characters.
Despite it definitely seeming that way when you look at the content, I never felt that was his intention. Even his Awesome Comics work for Liefeld was full of faux Golden Age characters and he even created faux pulp characters like Zantar-White God of the Congo, John Prophet-Man of Marble, and Bram the Berserk. Supreme was full of faux Golden/Silver/Bronze Age stories, Glory had faux 1940s stories, Judgment Day had the same...and yet he was suggesting to Liefeld how they could spin out a toy line from these same comics.

But ABC definitely felt off the beaten path, especially Top 10. Holy shit, that was a great series. Even the non-Alan Moore continuation was equally good. But there were no traditionally "hot" female characters in it, no perfect alpha male specimens. Everyone in that series looked like real people, which I suppose was necessary for what they were going for.

I won't argue with you that Sprouse was a perfect fit on Legionnaires, though. Legion books had a fantastic lineup of artists back then with Sprouse, Hughes, Immonen, Kitson (on LEGION), 9-panel Giffen, Pearson, etc. It's one of my favorite Legion eras.
Chris Sprouse is great. I didn't like they way he drew Supreme, but everyone else, including the League of Infinity were great. I think Joe Bennett was the better artist for Supreme, but Sprouse was the better artist in general. The guy has a very elegant way of illustrating characters and movement.

I'll have to check out those Legion/Legionnaires back issues. Of all the modern Legion takes, the eras you listed always looked the most interesting to me.
Old 06-09-20, 07:27 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

I had forgotten about this. Todd and Robís cover was actually a homage itself to Gil Kane Avengers cover. So his fucking issue with Micoís homage is stupid since his ainít even the original one



Old 06-09-20, 08:03 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by fujishig
ABC comics was kind of meant for old people. It certainly wasn't trying to compete directly against modern capes, it was all about old school, pulp fiction and/or science heroes for a modern age. League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Promethea, and even the cop procedural Top 10 were all off the beaten path, and I think that was by design. The imprint's name and the characters from Terra Obscura were, well, obscure Golden Age characters.
ABC was a really strange imprint. On one hand, you had a couple of "all ages" comics (Tom Strong, Tomorrow Stories) that were sort of throwbacks to the Silver Age and Golden Age, and then a couple "mature readers" titles that were essentially art/literature comics (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea) that would have fit right in at Vertigo. Top 10 sort of straddled the line between the two, though it probably fell more into the latter camp.

It was sort of difficult to market, the only real connective tissue was that they were all created and written by Alan Moore. Unsurprisingly, the only two to really break out were Promethea and LoEG.
Old 06-09-20, 09:36 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
ABC was a really strange imprint. On one hand, you had a couple of "all ages" comics (Tom Strong, Tomorrow Stories) that were sort of throwbacks to the Silver Age and Golden Age, and then a couple "mature readers" titles that were essentially art/literature comics (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea) that would have fit right in at Vertigo. Top 10 sort of straddled the line between the two, though it probably fell more into the latter camp.

It was sort of difficult to market, the only real connective tissue was that they were all created and written by Alan Moore. Unsurprisingly, the only two to really break out were Promethea and LoEG.
Wildstorm/Jim Lee created this imprint for Moore before WS was sold to DC Comics. That's why the imprint itself was all over the place, but basically it was Alan Moore's pet project outside of the big 2, since he refused to work there at all.
Old 06-14-20, 07:56 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

I just ran across something that reminded me of another artist whose work I absolutely hate...

Frank Robbins. Odd poses, sloppy art, weird facial expressions - just really bad work.


Last edited by B5Erik; 06-14-20 at 10:04 PM.
Old 06-14-20, 10:19 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

I've been reading old Superman comics from the period I had stopped collecting (military made it hard and I quit for awhile). I'm in the early 1980s and Ross Andru did a lot of the covers. I've never cared for Andru's style, and his Superman stuff pretty much repulses me. Got to this one today.


Old 06-15-20, 01:25 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by Bronkster
I've been reading old Superman comics from the period I had stopped collecting (military made it hard and I quit for awhile). I'm in the early 1980s and Ross Andru did a lot of the covers. I've never cared for Andru's style, and his Superman stuff pretty much repulses me.
Now, that one doesn't look bad to me, but good art is subjective.

I will say this - Andru's pencil work was horribly sloppy. He needed a strong inker like John Romita or Frank Giacoia to make it look good. Bill Everett intentionally sabotaged the first Defenders comic because he hated inking Andru's work. His statement at the time was that Andru drew three lines in rough fashion where one strong line was appropriate. Everett complained that he didn't know which of the three he should ink, so for that issue he inked every line as drawn by Andru, and it was a hideous mess. Stan Lee blew a fuse and read Everett the riot act because by the time Everett turned the pages in it was too late to re-do it. It's one of the sloppiest comics of all time.



Everett never did that again, and he inked the third issue the way Stan wanted it inked. (The 2nd was inked by someone else.)
Old 06-15-20, 08:53 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

It's probably my old age or something but I don't see anything wrong with that page (besides the globe looking wonky). It certainly doesn't strike me as a person who doesn't know how to draw.
Old 06-15-20, 09:21 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by Bronkster
I've been reading old Superman comics from the period I had stopped collecting (military made it hard and I quit for awhile). I'm in the early 1980s and Ross Andru did a lot of the covers. I've never cared for Andru's style, and his Superman stuff pretty much repulses me. Got to this one today.


Wow, so that's where Capcom got the idea for Blanka in SFII. Who is that supposed to be?
Old 06-15-20, 10:58 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu?
Wow, so that's where Capcom got the idea for Blanka in SFII. Who is that supposed to be?
Just a random guest-alien that arrived peacefully on Earth, started sneezing and devolved into his barbaric ancestor. 1980s Superman writing wasn't too hot either!
Old 06-15-20, 03:14 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by B5Erik
Now, that one doesn't look bad to me, but good art is subjective.

I will say this - Andru's pencil work was horribly sloppy. He needed a strong inker like John Romita or Frank Giacoia to make it look good. Bill Everett intentionally sabotaged the first Defenders comic because he hated inking Andru's work. His statement at the time was that Andru drew three lines in rough fashion where one strong line was appropriate. Everett complained that he didn't know which of the three he should ink, so for that issue he inked every line as drawn by Andru, and it was a hideous mess. Stan Lee blew a fuse and read Everett the riot act because by the time Everett turned the pages in it was too late to re-do it. It's one of the sloppiest comics of all time.



Everett never did that again, and he inked the third issue the way Stan wanted it inked. (The 2nd was inked by someone else.)
Originally Posted by fujishig
It's probably my old age or something but I don't see anything wrong with that page (besides the globe looking wonky). It certainly doesn't strike me as a person who doesn't know how to draw.
Andru was ahead of time. All of those fine, scratchy lines look like standard-issue late 80s-mid 90s art.

It actually looks like it could have been from a Vertigo comic book.
Old 06-15-20, 04:42 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

I also kind of like that Andru illustrated page. The only thing that looks bad are the lines used to reflect the pieces of machinery on the mirrored floor. It looks like hair or brush hanging from it.

Early 80s Superman comics look so generic. Like a parody of what parents or adults THOUGHT comics were like. Batman didnít have that problem. Pre-Crisis his comics were still great. The only good thing I know of 80s Superman is the Brainiac redesign.
Old 06-15-20, 05:26 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Before Crisis, the Superman comics had hit a rut because they had been treading the same Bronze Age stuff for years by that point. I think Superman is the main reason why DC went ahead with Crisis and rebooted the entire universe.
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Old 06-15-20, 05:58 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Before Crisis, the Superman comics had hit a rut because they had been treading the same Bronze Age stuff for years by that point. I think Superman is the main reason why DC went ahead with Crisis and rebooted the entire universe.
The Man of Steel reboot by John Byrne was viewed by fans at the time as being a good thing right?

Just digging through back issue bins, the Byrne era looks better. Self-exiled Gladiator Superman, evil Eradicator controlled Superman, Trump Lex Luthor...good stuff. It felt modern for the time. And bringing back Ma and Pa Kent was nice.

But on the other hand, they threw out way too much. Silver Age Superman came to be considered goofy and campy, but it was still charming. Just keep that stuff but update the look and tone. But no, Byrne and DC got rid of ALL that stuff. By the time instarted reading Superman with the Doomsday storyline, even as a kid I felt like the modern Superman concept was thin. Even Mark Waidís The Flash seemed like it had a richer history and back story, what with the Speed Force and all the speedsters incorporated by DC at the time from defunct publishers.

But Superman? It was just boring. His supporting cast was what? Bibbo, Not-Supergirl, a male cop, a female cop...Gangbuster...who else?

Silver Age Superman had fantastic science-fiction characters and concepts like the LOSH, Supergirl, and the citizens of the shrunken city of Kandor.
Old 06-15-20, 06:09 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

I always thought in general the powers that be felt Superman was too powerful (and if you look at that Silver Age stuff, he kind of was) so Byrne toned down his powers, made him vulnerable to magic, etc. Also to make him more unique they passed down the mandate that he was the only Kryptonian, in any era. Morrison was the one that ramped that back up to absurd levels. I doubt the guy who did one of the greatest, most cosmic runs ever of Fantastic Four went in wanting to keep him grounded without some editorial input.

As we've seen, he's also a tough character to get right mainly because of his boy scout persona and status as the greatest superhero in the universe. You can run with it like Morrison (or deconstruct it like him) or you struggle to humanize him. They've gone back and forth so many times on him.
Old 06-15-20, 06:26 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by fujishig
I always thought in general the powers that be felt Superman was too powerful (and if you look at that Silver Age stuff, he kind of was) so Byrne toned down his powers, made him vulnerable to magic, etc.
I get that. But in regards to his insane power levels...just tone them down. Why this elaborate throwing out the baby with the bath water?

Also to make him more unique they passed down the mandate that he was the only Kryptonian, in any era.
That one makes sense at a story level. But by having that mandate you get rid of the Phantom Zone criminals, arguably some of Supermanís best villains.

Morrison was the one that ramped that back up to absurd levels. I doubt the guy who did one of the greatest, most cosmic runs ever of Fantastic Four went in wanting to keep him grounded without some editorial input.
Good point. Possibly it was more DC than Byrne. But his Brainiac reboot was severely lacking.

As we've seen, he's also a tough character to get right mainly because of his boy scout persona and status as the greatest superhero in the universe. You can run with it like Morrison (or deconstruct it like him) or you struggle to humanize him. They've gone back and forth so many times on him.
I donít agree with this at all. Iíve heard it mentioned forever, since the days of Wizard Magazine. But I donít believe itís true. Itís funny that a kind and compassionate hero is referred to dismissively as a ďBoy Scout.Ē

I think itís just a lack of imagination on the part of the writers. They fall back into cliched portrayals: The Jesus analog, the God-like being, ďthe first and greatest superhero ever,Ē etc.

He was intended to be a science-fiction character! Take advantage of that!

As much as I enjoyed All-Star Superman, Morrison writes the character as this perfect, father-knows-best-type. Itís clear heís writing from a fanboy perspective.

You can keep the characterís ethics, empathy, and moral code intact while still writing him as real person. But...they rarely do that.
Old 06-15-20, 06:50 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

I love Superman, I love Superboy and the Legion, and I loved them bringing him back with a son. I have always liked Superman more than Batman. I'm just saying sales-wise he's struggled a lot more than Batman for whatever reason. I also have always liked him better in a sci fi setting or a team setting.
Old 06-15-20, 10:00 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

I love Ross Andru's work with Romita or Giacoia (or Giordano) inking. But without a strong inker his work is just way too rough and sloppy for me. He was great with poses and expressions and backgrounds - but he was really raw and unpolished. I'm not a big fan of raw and unpolished.
Old 06-16-20, 10:26 AM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Outside of occasional Alan Moore stories, the best bronze age Superman book was DC Comics Presents.
Old 06-16-20, 04:46 PM
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Re: Rob Liefeld - Worst comic book artist ever?

Originally Posted by fujishig
I love Superman, I love Superboy and the Legion, and I loved them bringing him back with a son. I have always liked Superman more than Batman. I'm just saying sales-wise he's struggled a lot more than Batman for whatever reason. I also have always liked him better in a sci fi setting or a team setting.
John Byrne has said the one regret he had with his Superman reboot was eliminating Superboy and the mess it caused for the Legion.

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