Monday, February 18, 2008

Who Are We Forgetting?

Just a quickie today as I'm busy trying to squeeze three days worth of...stuff...into one afternoon. Suze and I have been training for the 10K race coming up and that always wipes out Saturday. The training only actually takes about 90 minutes or so but we're completely wasted afterwards. Yesterday was spent trying to clean up my yard (Don't get me started on neighbors who won't pick up their leaves in a timely fashion, instead allowing them to blow all over, say, my yard...) before it rained. I didn't quite make it and got drenched in the process. Today, we were off for President's Day and I've been racing to do all the things I meant to do this weekend. I started the day getting a temporary crown on a back molar that broke in two last week. I'm only 39 but I've got Dad's brittle teeth and I suppose it's only a matter of time before I need dentures. Jesus wept.

Anyway, I read an interesting bit on Rich Johnston's LYING IN THE GUTTERS in which, inspired by the passing of Steve Gerber, he lists creators who are still with us that he views as being unduly marginalized. This is something that always worried Mike as his desire to go more "cartoony" with his work was at odds with the more photorealistic tastes of today's readership. Johnston listed Christopher Priest as on of those creators still able to create great work but seemingly unable to get hired. I would agree. I loved Priest's BLACK PANTHER series and was enjoying CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON despite Bart Sears' barely comprehensible artwork. I couldn't believe it when Marvel cancelled PANTHER only to relaunch the book with Reggie Hudlin months later. Priest's version was one of the best-written books on the stands.

There are a lot of guys out there that I really miss seeing on the racks. I have no idea if they just can't get work or if they've deliberately moved on or retired. Guys like Rudy Nebres, P. Craig Russell and Keith Pollard. A lot of the guys I'd put on that list were big back in the 70's so they very well may have retired or gone Hollywood. Hopefully they weren't forced out after years of service like Herb Trimpe. Whatever the case, it really got me thinking about all the greats that came before and what's happened to them. I'd like to think there were some happy endings in there somewhere.

Okay, back to work. This house ain't gonna paint itself. Nor will the laundry wash itself. Or paperwork fill itself out...


Warren said...

I read Herb's account, and found it very sad. The man was THE artist on Incredible Hulk for an an incredible run. I guess it says alot about today's throwaway culture.

But where would showboats like Jim Lee (who wishes he was Neal Adams, but will never ever be half as good) and Michael Turner (why isn't he ridiculed for his outrageously bad anatomy the way Liefield is?) be without the Don Perlins, Don Hecks, Herb Trimpes, Sal Buscemas, Mike Sekowskys and so on?

I read in the same Lying in the Gutters about DC's new policy on getting pencils in on time. Herb and his generation wouldn't have had a problem with this, and would likely turn in quality art on two titles on time.

Anyway, I ramble. I guess you know you're old when you miss the old days.

Christian D. Leaf said...

I love me some Herb Trimpe. Reading that account made both mad and blue.

John Severin was one of the guys who got me into drawing. He was the only reason I bought Cracked Magazine over Mad for so long. (Those Blob stories were boss.) There's just something magically about his line work and it translates to all genres: humor, horror, superhero and noir.

And, yeah Warren Michael Turner is a first rate chump. Mafus and I exchange disgust about him on a regular basis.

Warren said...

Glad to know someone else hates Turner's art. And I wish I could find the particular article from CBR (can't remember if it was in Permanent Damage or Pipeline), but one of them mentioned the damage today's over-wrought comics pages are actually doing to the future of comics by intimidating kids from picking up a pencil and drawing their favorite characters.

I mean... have you tried drawing Iron Man's latest armor? You need the schematics sitting right in front of you! And Captain America's meticulously detailed chain-mail shirt? Come on... that is all just ego-stroking. Draw the characters!

Anyway, back on topic -- I miss Roy Thomas' Avengers. His Avengers were emotional, angsty, and conflicted, but they were also heroic, confident, and FUN!

Now, his contributions to the Marvel U. are hardly mentioned. Roy, to me, was more responsible for the feel of the Marvel U.than even Stan and Jack.

Heywood Jablomie said...

That article was sad. Sadly though there are so many other artists to get the same treatment. I wonder too, Matt, about people like P. Craig Russell, whose stuff is always great to look at. Also, what about Barry Windsor-Smith? Any ideas where he disappeared to? Granted if I took the second to search it I could find out.

As for Mike's more 'cartoony' style, i wish he was allowed to run with it more. He seemed to show so much more love and passion with it, not that his other stuff didn't mind you, but you know what I mean.

Michael Turner is a hack. Everything he does is so damned samey, it makes me ill to look at anything he puts out. I believe he is this wave's Liefeld. Give it time, and I believe he'll be ridiculed.


Brian said...

I got the chance to have dinner with Herb Trimpe and his wife when he was in town a couple of weeks ago for a show thanks to my buddy Shawn.

Herb's actually getting back into comics these days. His done some work for Big City Comics, did some pages for an on line Goon story for Dark Horse and is doing a B.P.R.D. story for Dark Horse as well.

Herb seems to be in a great place these days and it was a lot of fun to get to spend some time with him.

Brian said...

Trimpe Update:

According to news reports from the Herb Trimpe spotlight panel from Wonder Con, Marvel has offered Herb a ten page Hulk story.

Matt Wieringo said...

Yeah, I saw that! Awesome!