docfalken wrote:When the Image guys came around and the idea that artists could run their own titles, I was totally on board with McFarlane, Lee and yes Liefeld.
Was that period comics golden age? Computers were just coming online for coloring. Artists were running with their own titles away from the big two. And the content matter covered in the books seemed to involve more than just capes and damsels in distress.
My exposure to the early Image comics came only an issue or two at a time, because I quickly lost interest, so what follows obviously is biased.
The Image group proved that most
(not all) artists need writers. (And vice versa, if you've seen any of the books Jim Shooter laid out (gods, I typed "layed" there and didn't notice for over an hour!) from '77-'85 at Marvel).
Early Image was exciting visually, yes, but with stories written in such a way that the artists could show off with large panels and lots of full-page shots, to the detriment of character and cohesive plot. There were some interesting ideas, but lots of them weren't developed. Erik Larsen seemed to handle story very well, but the others had trouble. Notice that after a while almost every title went to a traditional writer/artist breakdown.
Before the Image creators split off, there were complaints inside Marvel that some of them were going off-plot/script, and most of that came from overlarge panels or action scenes lengthened or inserted where the script did not indicate. These bigger-paneled, action-packed pages would bring better prices when sold at cons.
This is not to say most of the Image artists weren't talented. Jim Lee, especially, was a find. Silvestri was pretty sharp. Valentino was not. As for Liefeld, he just can't draw the human figure and he doesn't understand perspective. Or if he can and does, he's terribly lazy. I was thrilled to see him the first time, under Karl Kesel's inks on Hawk and the Dove
. After that I was truly disappointed, because I thought he had promise.
For me, a great comics artist must, first, be a good storyteller.
As I said, my biased opinion.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky