?

Log in

No account? Create an account
David Hines [userpic]

some comics reviews

January 30th, 2005 (12:07 am)

Nightwing #102: OK, I'm enjoying this. I'd given up on Nightwing lately because the unremitting gloom and doom got to be too much for me -- but this? Pure fun. Dixon throws in humor, action, and serious (but not angstful) character work, and makes it look easy. I mentioned a while back that I prefer the DCU approach to the superhero community, and Dick's trip to ask Superman for advice is one example of why -- they come off as friends, not just two guys who happen to wear spandex and team up every once in a while, as you tend to see in the Marvel Universe. Dixon does a great Metropolis, too, and it makes me realize part of why I never bought Lois/Clark: Lois works better as an antagonist for Clark than as a partner for him and Superman.

Also, *dude.* I marked out over the solicits for this storyline when I saw Dixon was bringing Deadman in. Because I've been trying to figure out a Nightwing-and-Deadman team-up idea for, like, *months.* And now I get to watch a pro roll with it. *Sweet.*

Robin #134: Everyone else bitches about the writing on Robin. If anything, my bigger problem is with the art. It's blobby and ugly, and the page design is terrible; there's often no separation of events by panels, and sometimes that gets confusing. The cover is just embarrassing; it literally looks like something the editors were sent in the mail.

That said, the best that I can say about Willingham's writing is that it's been uninspired. This issue, it just goes nonsensical. The writer has established that Tim has issues with Batman; that he left Gotham in part to get away from Batman, for a while; that his life is stressful and painful, and Batman bears some of the blame for that. So when Batman offers to adopt him, Tim's immediate reaction is, of course, "Yay!"

...

Dude, I'm not emotionally invested in Tim's characterization the way some people are, so I can't bring myself to get mad about it, but I just can't explain how little sense that makes. As Walt Kelly put it, "You lost me as you was goin' past the Elks Lodge."

Batgirl #60: More good fun. Gabrych gets the characters very well, and he understands the importance of brevity and grace. Cass's new headquarters is great, and she's settling into Bludhaven very well. I'm happy to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Comments

Posted by: the Jack (buggery)
Posted at: January 30th, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
fanartists love Dick

it literally looks like something the editors were sent in the mail.

No, the fanart people send in with their fanmail tends to be pretty good, actually, to judge by the examples that used to occasionally get printed in lettercols. ::mourns the lettercols:: I have a sneaking suspicion, actually, that the cover was meant to be an homage to the style of some pop-modernist artist or other, but even if that's the case, it was the wrong approach for the medium. Which pretty much sums up the whole of the Willinghamfucktard/Scott run, really.

Posted by: Doctor Science (mecurtin)
Posted at: January 30th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
Helga Ironpants

I actually think the cover is quite visually & artistically interesting fanart -- but clearly, fanart. I wish someone would post a scan of one of the interior pages, so I could see what it looks like.

Posted by: PROBE UNIVERSE (liviapenn)
Posted at: January 30th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)


I actually think the cover is quite visually & artistically interesting fanart -- but clearly, fanart.

Fanart in what sense? In a certain sense, *all* comic book art (that doesn't feature original characters) is fanart. If by "fanart" you mean "amateurish-looking," that betrays a certain prejudice about fanart. ;) I actually like the cover as a piece of *art*-- but I don't think it makes an effective cover. The only useful information it conveys is "Robin's in this comic book!" and, well. I think most people could tell that from the title.

I wish someone would post a scan of one of the interior pages, so I could see what it looks like.

Everyone has little bean heads and it's very cartoony, with lots of thick black outlines, bright colors, and very little shading. It's not a style that bugs me per se, but I think it's wrong for Robin, and wrong for this storyline in particular.

I do agree with what David said about the page design, but this issue *was* heavy on the flashbacks and exposition-- often hard to portray visually as anything *but* a cluttery montage of scenes. The art alone wouldn't be a turn-off for me, but the fact that it clashes so badly with the storytelling... ech.

Posted by: Doctor Science (mecurtin)
Posted at: January 30th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
Helga Ironpants

"Fanart" in the sense of "more expressive or evocative than informative or marketing-ive". (erm. or something) As you say, The only useful information it conveys is "Robin's in this comic book!" It's an interesting piece of Robin-art, but it doesn't do its actual, as you say, *job*. I guess that's why it pushes the fanart button for me.

Again, I find the littlebeanheads artistically different and almost reminiscent of manga, or something, but when I brought over my local manga expert and asked her, "Do you think this is manga-y?" she said, "No, it's WTF-y!" (pronounced "wutfuh-y"), which pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: PROBE UNIVERSE (liviapenn)
Posted at: January 30th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC)
dc: the shade is smirky


You ought to look up some of the early Batgirl trades. It's the same artist, Damion Scott, but I think a differenc colorist, or at least a different *approach* to coloring. I absolutely *love* Scott's run on Batgirl, and I think his art was a great match for the character, because in Cass' world, things *are* simple-- it's a world of thick black outlines and not a lot of *shading*. People *should* be drawn less 'realistically' and more expressionistic-ly in a Cass title, because that's how she sees them-- she *sees* more information when she looks at people than you can really convey by just drawing straight, non-cartoony likenesses.

Cass reads to me as a much younger character than Tim, even though they're the same age. At the beginning of Batgirl, I *liked* that she was drawn as a tiny skinny thing with big hands and feet and a little bean head. I could totally see that being Cass' *image* of herself. (And I don't think it hurt that Scott draws women really well, and action really well, and *subtlety* really well, when he gets the chance... he's just not getting much of that in Robin #134. At all.)

5 Read Comments