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  1. #1
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    Default Art in current comic books

    Hi everybody,

    I started reading comics a couple months ago. I've read in the 80's and 90's. I am currently reading: Superman, Action Comics, Detective Batman, Batman, The Joker, Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, JL, Flash, Green Lantern and Infinite Frontier, all printed books. Also from DC, Crisis on Infinite Earths (book). From Marvel I am reading Amazing Spider-Man (printed and digital), Hulk and Daredevil (both digital).

    Even though I'm enjoying a lot rediscovering all these heroes and series, there is something that I am not so crazy about: the art on today's books. I figured that what bothers me more is the colour, not so much the pencil/ink. Yes, some art (pencil) seems a little to "modern" for my taste but most of the time I can understand it and live with it; but the colour... I assume that most if not all the colour are painted digitally...which might be the reason I don't like it. It's too "digital".

    It also seems that reading the digital version of the book is even worse. To finish it off, I don't dislike them all. For ex: The Joker, Batman, Nightwing and some others I like it.

    So what are your thoughts on today's art? Do you all like it? Does some people read only old comics because of the art?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have noticed differences between old and new comics. I haven't really seen what's "better". I need to take a closer look

  3. #3
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    All kinds of art is subjective, therefore, there is no "better" art. I just wanted to know the opinion on today's art in general, your preferences. Just to make it clear: my opinion in today's art does not make this art "bad art". It's just an opinion.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandro78 View Post
    All kinds of art is subjective, therefore, there is no "better" art. I just wanted to know the opinion on today's art in general, your preferences. Just to make it clear: my opinion in today's art does not make this art "bad art". It's just an opinion.
    Ok. I haven't noticed it much myself tbh

  5. #5
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    I feel like, the more effects driven and digital the art, the less integrated with the story it feels. It's like the writer is doing all the work of telling the story--through dialogue and captions--while the artist is off doing something else and not really involved in the sequential art of story telling.
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  6. #6
    Spectacular Member captchuck's Avatar
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    My biggest problem is that some panels have layouts that can't be easily read. It shouldn't take a long time to figure out which character is which.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I feel like, the more effects driven and digital the art, the less integrated with the story it feels. It's like the writer is doing all the work of telling the story--through dialogue and captions--while the artist is off doing something else and not really involved in the sequential art of story telling.
    I agree with you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by captchuck View Post
    My biggest problem is that some panels have layouts that can't be easily read. It shouldn't take a long time to figure out which character is which.
    Sometimes I feel the same. Pages should be beautifully simple to read/understand. Too much complexity kills the main purpose of the book.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member green_garnish's Avatar
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    For some time there has been an impression that the story should mostly be told through art rather than words. This is extremely limiting to both art forms and results in a more transitory, less engaging form of storytelling.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Zelena's Avatar
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    What can I add to what has been already said…

    As someone who started reading comics with Jean-Michel Charlier and Christopher Claremont, I’m not afraid of words in comics. A comic with Jean-Michel Charlier (64 pages) lasted at least three quarters of an hour… Three quarters of an hour of adventures.

    What saddens me the most in modern US comics is that the comics feel like a pretext for showing “pretty pictures” and not a mean to tell compelling stories: few panels per pages, a story that could tell with half as many pages, poor transitions from a panel to another, characters posing pretentiously in panels… It’s so shallow and stereotypical. Hermetical sometimes when the purpose is not obvious.

    A comic can be so good with a good writer and a talented artist who knows his job.

    And, yes, OP, I’m not fond of digital colorization, too… Maybe with an artist who takes his/her time, it screams less computer… Most of time, it just feels cheap and out-of-place.

  11. #11
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Just talking about colors, there's a huge difference between the old stuff and the new stuff.

    Let's look at a recolor Jack Kirby image for illustration.



    With the old style, the focus is clear. The colors really pop drawing your eyes to where they need to be. Thor is a bold larger than life figure and his bright colors help convey that. Galactus is shown as a psychedelic abstract character. He has an inhuman presences and while his presence is there, the character himself really isn't.


    Newer style there's less of a focus. You have to be realistic so can't use the colors to draw your eyes the same way. Thor is no longer larger than life. He's just a guy in a costume. Even though Galactus is kinda see through, you don't get any strange feelings from the character. He's just kinda hanging out.

    Another issue is the characters aren't really separated from the background enough. In the recolor, the little cosmic storm at the bottom draws as much attention as Thor.

    That's just my issues with colors. With character designs it gets even worse. Costumes used to be simple and striking. They presented a larger than life feel that helped to sell idea of superheroes being these huge almost mythical figures. Now superheroes are just guys wearing tactical gear and body armor.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Zelena's Avatar
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    Indeed, closer you are to the “ligne claire” (“keeping essential traits, removing the accessory ones” Töppfer, 1913), more you produce a drawing that has a inherent strength and a more legible picture.




    You can decide to vary the level of detail on the picture to point the gaze on what is interesting.


    And if you don’t follow realism, you can use color in a creative and expressive way:



    Today there’s certainly a decrease in quality and in creativity…

  13. #13
    Spectacular Member captchuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    Just talking about colors, there's a huge difference between the old stuff and the new stuff.

    Let's look at a recolor Jack Kirby image for illustration.

    With the old style, the focus is clear. The colors really pop drawing your eyes to where they need to be. Thor is a bold larger than life figure and his bright colors help convey that. Galactus is shown as a psychedelic abstract character. He has an inhuman presences and while his presence is there, the character himself really isn't.


    Newer style there's less of a focus. You have to be realistic so can't use the colors to draw your eyes the same way. Thor is no longer larger than life. He's just a guy in a costume. Even though Galactus is kinda see through, you don't get any strange feelings from the character. He's just kinda hanging out.

    Another issue is the characters aren't really separated from the background enough. In the recolor, the little cosmic storm at the bottom draws as much attention as Thor.

    That's just my issues with colors. With character designs it gets even worse. Costumes used to be simple and striking. They presented a larger than life feel that helped to sell idea of superheroes being these huge almost mythical figures. Now superheroes are just guys wearing tactical gear and body armor.
    The Kirby original is better in every way. The cropping out of Thor's hand is annoying in the later version. The cropping of Galactus makes him look less regal.

  14. #14
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelena View Post
    Indeed, closer you are to the “ligne claire” (“keeping essential traits, removing the accessory ones” Töppfer, 1913), more you produce a drawing that has a inherent strength and a more legible picture.




    You can decide to vary the level of detail on the picture to point the gaze on what is interesting.


    And if you don’t follow realism, you can use color in a creative and expressive way:



    Today there’s certainly a decrease in quality and in creativity…
    Thank you. You said that more intelligently than I ever could have.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelena View Post
    Indeed, closer you are to the “ligne claire” (“keeping essential traits, removing the accessory ones” Töppfer, 1913), more you produce a drawing that has a inherent strength and a more legible picture.
    Adding to that, something I realized as a kid reading comics is that the inkers were using heavier line weight to make certain figures and details pop in the foreground, and less line weight for backgrounds--and the amount of line weight would vary depending on what the inker wanted to bring out.

    I don't see that as much anymore--it's a lot of lines with the same weight. Or, even if the inker is using line weight, then the colourist comes along and changes that bold black line to another colour that melts into the rest of the colours, undermining the whole point of those black lines.
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