Friday, March 2, 2007

More on cartooning and superheroes

Since there was so much interest in the earlier post about cartooning in mainstream superhero comics, I thought I'd start an open topic on the subject. What are some of your favorite examples of outstanding cartooning from Marvel or DC (or Valiant or Charlton or etc.)? Here are a few of mine (with thanks to Matt Brady for jogging my mind):

-John Buscema on Avengers. As I wrote in the original post, Buscema seemed to excel at drawing villains. The Living Laser never looked more brutish than on the cover to Avengers #79.

-We all remember Frazer Irving's work on Klarion, but he was also very good on Iron Man: The Inevitable. Irving's Tony Stark was as dapper as ever, but also seemed smaller and more vulnerable.

-When I think of great Golden Age superhero cartoonists, Jack Cole is the first to come to mind. But Dick Sprang isn't far behind.

-Richard Corben's recent stint on Ghost Rider was an absolute pleasure, possibly my favorite art on any Marvel comic from recent memory.

What are your favorites?

11 comments:

Dan Coyle said...

Corben's recent Ghost Rider stint was indeed beautiful, as was his recent Edgar Allan Poe's Haunt of Horror series from MAX.

John Paul Leon has been turning out the work of his career on the sadly underrated The Winter Men (although TBH, the first issue of the series was pretty weak in terms of writing, but it got much better by the second issue).

I'm a huge Marvel Fanboy, that's why I have Universe X and Paradise X, but I also love Dougie Braithwaite's figure work and storytelling.

William Vance's Frank Thorne by way of Takao Saito work in the recent XIII Vol. 1: Day of the Black Sun trade from Dabel Bros. and Marvel is very good.

Matt Brady said...

Man, how could I have forgotten Richard Corben in that last thread?! I didn't read his Ghost Rider issues due to lack of interest in the character (and writer), but I was tempted. Loved his Poe adaptations though, and I'm REALLY looking forward to his upcoming Lovecraft adaptations.

Jones, one of the Jones boys said...

Dick, you're going off message. Remember the mission statement: "I mock those who write about comics on the internet."

Think negative thoughts!

Vaklam said...

Someone mentioned Immonen in the last post and I agree with that. His sense of design, framing and color blow me away.

I also like Jim Mahfood's stuff when it's paired with an appropriate story. Sometimes his art knocks me out of the mood they're trying to establish.

Carla Speed McNeil has a kind of cartoony sensibility that I enjoy. Her stuff leans more toward the realistic side but there's enough exaggeration in there to qualify.

Dick Hyacinth said...

The thing which most annoys me about so-called Silver Age "experts" is their utterly shameful neglect of the great John Buscema. You hear plenty about Sekowksy or Romita, but not enough about the man whose only peers were Kirby, Kubert, and Ditko (some might add Adams and Kane to that list, including me in moments of weakness, but ultimately those people will always prove themselves fools). The ongoing anti-Buscema bias, perhaps spurred by his admitted distaste for the superhero genred, is evidence that bloggers covering the SA are all doddering codgers, divorced from both reality and (if possible) their own nostalgia.

That any better, Jones?

Dan Coyle said...

I never understood the J. Buscema hate. Gil Kane thought superheroes were painfully limited- The Last Heroes was his attempt to tackle them in real world, operatic terms. But no one runs Kane down for this, nor should they.

Speaking of Kane and Buscema, how come no one talks about their final work, Superman: Blood of my Ancestors? It's basically Blackmark on Krypton but it's excellent.

Jones, one of the Jones boys said...

Yeah, I'm feeling it now. Especially the deliberate iconoclasm in your rankings (Buscema over Adams? Really? And what about Steranko?)

Dick Hyacinth said...

Adams and Steranko turned their backs on comics (or started a company that made the sort of comics that, when I was 11, I would flip through and put right back on the rack because they were so muddy, goofy, and generally unappealing, and bear in mind here that I really liked Neal Adams' X-Men, much more so than the contemporary X-Men comics of my youth, both of which I was very familiar at this time). I actually like both of them quite a bit, but compared to Buscema or Kubert they're kind of like an incredible, incendiary guitar solo appended to an okay-but-it's-not-making-me-forget-"In a Jar"-or-"Freak Scene"-or-even-"The Wagon"-and-a-returing-Lou-Barlow-isn't-really-doing-it-for-me-either kind of song (much like some new album I heard recently, but I can't quite remember which one).

The Fortress Keeper said...

I always liked Frank Robbins, Nick Cardy, Ramona Fradon and, of course, John Buscema.

Golden Age? Few people beat Cole, Eisner, Reed Crandall and Lou Fine.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see Corben get some positive attention from comics fans. Corben's fellow underground artists have often been less than complementary. I was amazed when Frank Stack took a cheap shot a Corben in a recent online interview, lumping Corben in with Tod McFarlane, of all people. Bill Griffith is another underground guy who has nothing but venom for Corben. And there's a big hole in Rosenkrantz's [i]Rebel Visions[/i] where Corben ought to be. Jack Jackson, on the other hand, was an unabashed fan, as are Wrightson, Mignola, Haspiel, and plenty of others, so I guess it all evens out somehow...

Too bad nobody will pay Corben to do a long graphic novel in his full-colour [i]New Tales of the Arabian Nights[/i] style, or put together a lavish, non-Bowdlerized collection of Corben's underground work.

Ah well...

Anonymous said...

Correction: ...less than complimentary...