Monday, February 11, 2008

The Problem With Comics Today

You know, I am thrilled, seriously thrilled, to see comic creators thinking consciously about their craft. I was just talking with someone last night, trying to explain why so many comics come across as created for and by emotionally immature males, and part of my explanation included the notion that a lot of creators, in trying to earn a living, crank their work out based largely on what they've done or seen done in the past; and they put little thought into actively improving on what was done before or, worse, put no thought into actively improving their own craft.

I give a lot of credit to Stuart Immonen as an artist. Sure, he's talented and can draw some really incredible stories, but if you've read his blog for any length of time, it's easy to see that the reason why he's so good is because he continuously works at improving his ability. He spends a lot of time thinking about and considering capital-a Art, and how that may or may not be applicable to the commercial art he produces in whatever comic(s) he's working on this month. He's willing to try relatively significant experiments in his comics and he's one of the few comic artists working in the business today who doesn't always fall back on a singular personal style. He's constantly adapting his linework and layouts to serve the story he's trying to tell. Stuart's not the only one doing this, to be sure, but it definitely seems to be top-of-mind for him more frequently than for a lot of other people.

The guys working on Atomic Robo evidently talk about the same types of things among themselves, too. They recently posted a list of five rules they constantly follow in creating each issue. Excellent rules, all, but if I might pull out a particularly memorable quote:
I mean, come on, 99 times out of a 100, there is no reason at all to frame a panel from the perspective of a girl's ass. Grow up already.


I love these guys!

1 comment:

ivnkplng said...

I agree comnpletely, especially with the "no cheesecake" rule! I just came back to comics after an absence of over 15 years. Infinite Crisis was one of the first things I read and I could barely get through it because of the ridiculous size of Power Girl's breasts. JLA is another title that's very hard to read because of the overt sexualization of the female heroes.