Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bionic Bait and Switch!

Bionic Woman # 1, news story

Here's a more decent example of cover art (above). Not bad, but the question remains -was it drawn by looking at a photo-reference as so much of today's comic book art, especially covers, are? Notice the flowing lines and form, the excellent proportions. All life-like. But this cover is quite deceptive for it is part of a larger "bait and switch" effect. You buy it for the beautiful cover and it's suggestion that you're gonna be reading something about a beautifully portrayed young woman (at least that's what it says to me!). But when you open up the book look at the quality change:

Your interior art (above) is drawn by someone who hasn't reached a professional level yet when it comes to the most important aspect of comic book artwork -figure drawing!! It's obvious that the amateur artist working on the interior artwork has taken a few figure drawing lessons whether from a book or a class but he hasn't begun to master the basics of it yet (which are concerned with rhythm, proportion, etc.) The figures are ungainly, the line work doesn't flow like the surface lines and contours of a real human being (compare it to the cover image if you doubt what I say). You can' tell a convincing story if the artwork is so bad or mediocre that it distracts from the narrative! Many editors aren't doing their job. The editing doesn't stop at the story but it continues with the art work. The artist needs to be told to get their act together -show some improvement -or he'll be replaced. The interior artwork sells the story; no one has time to read the whole comic book inside a comic book shop and few people (suckers in my opinion) buy a comic book based on the cover artwork alone. I'll talk about cover artwork and sales at another time and how the industry has been led down a dimmer path by painters working in a field created by "figure inventors", people who draw realistically without photo reference.

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