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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rob Liefeld.

Some call him the "most-hated man in comics." But that seems a bit... extreme (no pun intended).

When I first came across Rob Liefeld's art, I wasn't blown away by it, but I didn't despise it, either. I think it was a "Bonus Book" feature back in the days when WARLORD was still being published by DC. He then went on to do HAWK & DOVE and then became very popular during his tenure on X-FORCE.

But enough of the history lesson. Rob Liefelds art is a weird thing to me. There are times when I like to look at his art (I have enough back issues of his Image comics for me to do a bit of reminiscing, and also his infamous CAPTAIN AMERICA run), and there are times when I do look at it, it just seems ugly to me.

But come to think of it, there are artists a lot worse than Mr. Liefeld. And looking at his work, you can't deny that there is a certain power and dynamism in the way he poses his figures that makes you pay attention. But I guess that in itself is the inherent problem with his art. They look nothing more than pin-ups divided into panels or two-page spreads. Not to mention the inconsistensies, like sometimes his character BADROCK has three fingers, sometimes four. And this is just between pages of the same issue. I guess he doesn't even reference the previous page he's drawn.

I just got to thinking about Rob because of my recent purchase of the SUPREME trade paperback. Maybe only time will tell if people are wrong to dislike him. Heck, when I was young, I HATED Jack Kirby's art. I remember thinking "Why do the people look like they're made of boxes? Why are the tips of their fingers flat?" And so on and so forth. It wasn't until I grew older that I learned to appreciate the exaggeration Kirby brought forth in his work. He's also one of the best storytellers ever.

So maybe there will come a time when the Rob-haters will learn to appreciate his work.

Maybe tomorrow I'm gonna pick up an old Rob Liefeld book and say "Hey! There's great stuff here that I didn't see before!" But then again, maybe I'm gonna say "Why the hell did I buy this? What was i thinking?"

Only time will tell.

P.S. As for a look as to what CAPTAIN AMERICA naked as drawn by Rob Liefeld would look like, click here.


monsanto said...

Jack Kirby's style is POWER!

Rob's is more like an excuse to say that all his mistakes are called stylistic art. " eh style ko iyan eh."

Please don't compare the two, it is insulting to the king! :)

Sa akin lang naman ito hehe.

reno said...

I'm not comparing the two, I'm just comparing the way I felt when I first saw their respective artworks.

And I agree with you. When it comes to POWER, nobody matches The King!

Rey said...

Jack Kirby IS the king. Everybody who's been reading superhero comics know that. But I'm actually one of those people who like Rob Leifeld's art. I mean, let's just say that his art is sometimes over-dynamicised, or people say that he can't even make out a face without it seem to be angry or "constipated". But it doesn't take away the fact that the chap can draw with a big impact.Though his weakness comes mainly from poor visual story- telling (I can hardly make out the sequential just looking at the unlettered art-- I guess this is because of using so much of multi- perspective in a single page), Rob was really one of my latest influences back in the 90's when the image comics revolution was at its heights, along with Jim Lee and Whilce.

I even thought that these 3 guys shared art and styles so much that you can see all their styles in each of the individual art made by them. Whilce did had a significant "change" of style from his earlier works and so was Rob. Maybe Jim Lee has the best influence on the two becasue I can clearly see an imprint of Lee's hatching and shadows on them two. Just a novice's observation though. :)

reno said...

There's no denying that there's a certain appeal to Liefeld's art, or he wouldn't be as popular (infamous?) as he is now.

And to be fair, his art DID improve over the years.

Though I'm more impressed with the way one of his clones, Marat Mychaels, has improved. He was a bad Liefeld clone way back now he's definitely improved. Chck out www.maratmychaels.com.

monsanto said...

Kirby= Power
Liefeld= Impact
JIM LEE= Total Package
Portacio= Ultimate

Malaki na nga ang mga paa na naggagawa ni Liefeld ngayon hehe. Pero tamad pa rin sa Background :)

reno said...

He he. Kakatamad talaga backgrounds. Si Gerry lang yata matiyaga dun. ;)