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You know what Rob Liefeld hates drawing? Feet.
November 30, 2007 6:37 AM   Subscribe

"I would be remiss if I did not mention one of Liefeld’s more brilliant creations, Forearm! His power is that he has FOUR ARMS." The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings.
posted by beaucoupkevin (102 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this a few days ago, easily the most hilarious thing I've read in a while.

I remember when I was in 7th grade or so, trying to draw cartoon big d00dz with guns, but since I didn't know how to draw muscles (or waists or necks or chins for that matter) instead of looking like Punisher, they looked a bit like John Goodman. The less we discuss my initial attempts at drawing breasts, the better. I'm still not much in the way of the draw-draws, but I'm at least attempting to learn how things are supposed to look.

I imagine rob's artwork is the result of my 7th grade style scribbles, only he spent the interim years copying faces and the vague idea of muscles out of comic books instead.

Or something, I dunno, he just blows.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:46 AM on November 30, 2007


My favourite:

You know what Rob Liefeld hates drawing? Feet.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:48 AM on November 30, 2007


There can never be too much mockery of Rob Liefeld. You will also enjoy this blog post.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:48 AM on November 30, 2007


Agh. I saw this last night and I've been beaten'ed.

I am shocked though, because I read the entire list being 100% sure what #1 was going to be, only to discover it didn't make the list at all. I'm referring of course to the classic massively deformed Captain America.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:52 AM on November 30, 2007 [4 favorites]


My favorite so far:

A fun Liefeld drinking game: take a shot for every pouch he draws on a character. Oh great, now you have alcohol poisoning.

posted by Bookhouse at 6:54 AM on November 30, 2007


Anyone know of a mirror? I get teased for 40-31, and then the server seems to run out of pouches bandwidth.

The first ten are hilarious. Excellently refined snark.
posted by butterstick at 6:54 AM on November 30, 2007


That Captain America really is classic and awesome. I mean, I've read a lot (by which I mean "a tiny amount of") of criticism of various aspects of comix and I'm mostly like...meh. Nitpicky or I don't get it or whatevs. But Liefeld....one wonders how his initial submissions (or however the industry works) didn't get laughed right into the nearest garbage can.
posted by DU at 6:58 AM on November 30, 2007


Fucking ricockulous.
posted by loquacious at 7:04 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Great piece.

I have a friend who has made a living drawing comic books of the superhero variety since the early 90s. He is infinitely more talented than Liefeld, and is just now starting to get some recognition. I wonder what accounts for Liefeld's success? Really?
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 7:10 AM on November 30, 2007


I never knew who Rob Leifeld was, but now I do. Wow. This guy draws for a living? Where is the Liger, Rob Liefeld?

The critiques are hilarious.
posted by Mister_A at 7:19 AM on November 30, 2007


This guy was the most popular comic book artist during the early '90s? Looks like I got out just in time...
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:25 AM on November 30, 2007


Looks like we broke the server BTW.
posted by Mister_A at 7:28 AM on November 30, 2007


This is good stuff -- not the drawings, of course.

Also check out Why is Rob Liefeld Like a Tulip Bulb?
posted by cog_nate at 7:31 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Where is the Liger, Rob Liefeld?

You mean that thing Napoleon Dynamite drew?

Not being a big comic fan, I'd never heard of this guy either. My first thought going down the list was, "Well shit, he draws a hell of a lot better than me. This is being kinda picky." But yeah, as I keep going I can see just how terrible he is for someone who gets paid to do this.

His pants are so uncomfortably tight that his groin is puckering into some sort of overachieving asterisk.

Superb.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:34 AM on November 30, 2007


Phew! That was snarktacularly awesome.
posted by brain_drain at 7:35 AM on November 30, 2007


I've seen more than a few skewerings of Liefeld online but this is easily one of the funniest.

I am shocked though, because I read the entire list being 100% sure what #1 was going to be, only to discover it didn't make the list at all. I'm referring of course to the classic massively deformed Captain America.

And don't forget this comics fan's imagining of Liefeld's Capt. America...naked. Not safe for work. Or eyes.
posted by LeeJay at 7:36 AM on November 30, 2007 [13 favorites]


At that point, he then goes PFFFFT FUCK IT and then inks over it and sends it to the colorist. Then he GETS PAID FOR DOING THAT.

That was awesome.
posted by zebra3 at 7:36 AM on November 30, 2007


Every time someone mentions Rob Liefeld, I hear Alan Moore saying, "Rob Liefeld? Now there's a name to conjure with" and it makes me laugh far more than it should.
posted by COBRA! at 7:37 AM on November 30, 2007


“You know what? I’m not drawing that other hand. Too tricky. Pfft what are you talking about? No one’s going to notice.”

My friend and I were got into comics during the Liefeld period and we were convinced he didn't own an eraser.
posted by drezdn at 7:44 AM on November 30, 2007


I will bet money that this picture was traced from child pornography. I have never seen a drawing of lips make me feel as creepy as looking at this does.

brb gotta vomit


Everyone in the office is wondering what it is I'm laughing about right now.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:44 AM on November 30, 2007


A brilliant piece which made me laugh for far longer than it should have. The drawings look a bit like Tim's drawings in Spaced..only worse.
posted by oh pollo! at 7:47 AM on November 30, 2007


The most fun part about going through these is looking at the image before reading any of the text and seeing if you notice the same flaws or if the author rants about something completely different.
posted by cog_nate at 7:49 AM on November 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


See, like in image #17, my eyes immediately fixated on the godawful calf muscle Spidey was sporting, but the author found something else even more odd.

Again, good stuff. Thanks, beaucoupkevin.
posted by cog_nate at 7:51 AM on November 30, 2007


I will say this, though: I'd rather stare at 1,000 Liefeld panels than 10 by Greg Land.
posted by COBRA! at 7:53 AM on November 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


And don't forget this comics fan's imagining of Liefeld's Capt. America...naked. Not safe for work. Or eyes.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Little chubby, isn't he?
posted by loquacious at 7:54 AM on November 30, 2007


The deal with Rob Liefeld was that he was a hot writer/artist due to the ridiculousness of all this crap, but he made it big because he was a much cannier businessman than artist. Or a better social climber, or something of that sort.

I'm going to botch details, but the gist of it was that a posse of talented writers/artists opted to defect from the major, corporate-owned companies (well, really just Marvel) to make it as Image. Liefeld hitched himself to that group, and quickly became one of the more vocal and visible. So he was off pitching ideas to Hollywood, starring in a Levis ad (!), and being an awesome guy or something.

Yeah, I don't get it either.
posted by mikeh at 7:54 AM on November 30, 2007


Man, that guy was the pits. I got out of comics about the time he came in, so I'd never known his name, but his work is certainly familiar.

There's an artist now, and I don't know his or her name, who seems to be in almost every comic I pick up now whose art I hate more. I'd say this person does everything Rob Liefeld doesn't, like look at actual people and draw their facial expressions and bodies, but the result is just so ugly that I can't bear to look at it. It's not the realism of Alex Ross, but something cartoonier. Maybe it's not even a single artist, but a trend.

On preview: Oh, thanks COBRA!, for reading my mind and putting the artist's name in the thread for me.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:58 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Great site. I was also amazed by the lack of Cap. I mean, that panel is legendary.

I wonder what accounts for Liefeld's success?

In the late 80's, Liefeld was given art duty chores on New Mutants, which was once an edgy, smartly-written comic drawn by Bill Sieniewicz, whose art style was unlike anything that had been seen before in mainstream comics. It never sold very well, though, and after Bill left it kind of died. Liefeld's proposed solution was to give all the girls (and they were girls, not women) big boobs and all the guys big muscles using lots and lots of splash pages. The book started selling well, and Liefeld took more and more creative control. Then he introduced Cable, which brought big guns into the mix, and the rest is history.

I will say this, though- as shitty as he is as an artist and (even worse) a writer, I give him a lot of credit for getting Image off the ground. Their approach of creator-owned comics properties changed the industry for the better.
posted by mkultra at 7:59 AM on November 30, 2007


Oh my god. Oh my god.
posted by COBRA! at 8:01 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


The site’s availability seems to be getting sporadic. Here’s a cache: 1 2 3 4
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 8:04 AM on November 30, 2007


I'd rather stare at 1,000 Liefeld panels than 10 by Greg Land.

Yes, Greg Land has the same fetishistic tendencies as Liefeld, and some additional problems of his own, but at least:

- His figures are anatomically correct. True, everyone looks like a porn star, but I'm never scratching my head to figure out how a given pose is even possible.

- He's (generally) paired with good writers and doesn't seem interested in taking control of story.
posted by mkultra at 8:06 AM on November 30, 2007


Somewhere atop a monstrous ziggurat of money, a lone Rob Liefeld weeps.

A ziggurat built...right...on the...beach!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:09 AM on November 30, 2007


- His figures are anatomically correct. True, everyone looks like a porn star, but I'm never scratching my head to figure out how a given pose is even possible.

In fairness to Liefeld, Land's figures are anatomically correct (down to their implants, even) because they're all obviously traced from photographs. I don't think Liefeld's are. I mean...Jesus, I hope they aren't.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:12 AM on November 30, 2007


Hey, I'm not excusing it, just refuting COBRA!'s point about which is better to look at. ;)
posted by mkultra at 8:18 AM on November 30, 2007


In Art History class I remember learning that Geriault hating painting/drawing feet. Suddenly it made sense as to why the shipwrecked men on the Raft of the Medusa were naked, yet wearing weird-ass baggy socks. 'Cuz really... what was up with those socks?
posted by miss lynnster at 8:20 AM on November 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


# "A ziggurat built...right...on the...beach!"

And covered in pouches.
posted by infidelpants at 8:27 AM on November 30, 2007 [5 favorites]


Good God, I think Greg Land might be worse than that other guy about whom this thread is. He's tracing fer chrissakes. Some one should apply Tom A. Swift's electric rifle directly to his posterior.
posted by Mister_A at 8:41 AM on November 30, 2007


He missed a huge glaring error (actually, probably he missed a lot or just didn't mention them all, but hey): So the hair just slides forwards and backwards on his head or what?
posted by DU at 8:51 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I could pick just 40...

I'm not sure I want to think abount what it means about my chosen medium that this guy was the Biggest Thing Ever at a time when arguably comics were at their biggest. It's all rather depressing.
posted by Artw at 8:53 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I remember getting to a good article about Land's pornfaces through MightGodKing, but I can't be arsed to dig up the link now. Just in case any of you decide to go back and read the re-written Civil War comics, MGK has moved.
posted by tylermoody at 8:55 AM on November 30, 2007


I'm not sure if it's in one of the Doom Patrol TPBs at all, but the one shot Doom Force parody of the Liefeld style is awesome, and you should track it down.
posted by Artw at 8:55 AM on November 30, 2007


Artw: That'll be in the next trade, due fairly soonish.

And yes, it is hilarious.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:58 AM on November 30, 2007


Captain America naked! My eyes!! My eyes!!

Upon soothing administration of a tincture to my scorched sockets, I now realize that Cap was the first victim of elicit doping. I bet that serum he chugged was The Clear. Barry Bonds, be very afraid.
posted by bigskyguy at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2007


edgy, smartly-written comic drawn by Bill Sieniewicz, whose art style was unlike anything that had been seen before in mainstream comics. It never sold very well, though, and after Bill left it kind of died.

Nah it kinda floundered as it struggled to find a regular artist. Chris Claremont was still writing it after Bill left (He drew from issue 18-30 I think) and was generally turning out good stuff. Jackson Guice was penciler for a few issues (late 30s and early 40s) and Barry Windsor Smith was doing some covers, while Claremont was writing some pretty mature stuff (He killed off most of the characters, then brought them back and they had to deal with that).

Steve Leialoha and then Mary Wilshire were doing the penciling after Bill left and while they're completely fine artist, they're NOT what you follow with after Bill Sieniewicz. Rick Leonardi and Keith Pollard each did an issue, but still the rapidly changing artists, who seemed to be fill-ins from the old guard, was jarring. Jackson Guice settled in as the new artist (with Barry Windsor Smith doing some nice covers) for 15 issues (cept for one Steve Purcell) and he an Claremont were in top form, maturing the characters to a fantastic degree.


No, what killed The New Mutants was Claremont and Guice leaving and Louise Simpson taking over the writing and completely infantizing the characters. Combine that with Brett Breeding's wacked out, maniac art and the book turned to shit. How bad was it? Rob Liefield was an IMPROVEMENT. He was shitty artist, but at least the books had something to talk about then.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:07 AM on November 30, 2007


I don't know much about art, but I know this guy sucks at it.
posted by Mister_A at 9:09 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I linked to this when it was still on livejournal, and it deserves to be linked again: MightyGodKing makes sense of Land's pornface.
posted by casarkos at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


I can't believe he still gets work. Isn't it just commonly accepted that everyone hates him? Are there really people buying books because he's working on them?
posted by shmegegge at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2007


I actually remember how I gradually stopped stealing my brother's comics because of Rob Liefeld's work. So ugly. I think it was around then Jim Lee started working for Image? Then I was subjected to the wtf of WildC.A.T.S. But hey, at least Jim Lee was drawing it.
posted by spec80 at 9:12 AM on November 30, 2007


I feel that, ten years from now, everyone is going to be looking back at the comics written by Jeph "Every Villain in Every Issue" Loeb the same way we look at comics drawn by Rob "What the Hell Does He Keep in All Those POUCHES?!?!" Liefield today.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:13 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why is everyone dissing on Rob? He's a really nice guy - always says "Hello" when he stops by once a week to collect cans from our recycling bin, does a pretty good job mowing our lawn when our normal neighborhood kid is away at camp, and keeps his cardboard box down by the 7-11 dumpster pretty clean.

One time, and this is a true story, he even took time out of his busy day of yelling at passing cars about the dangers of feet to come entertain my daughter and her friends at her birthday party. Sure, his Domino costume was a bit... tight, but he did his best with the materials he had at hand. I mean, the guy took apart his house to make the armor and smeared his face with Crisco, which I assume was his dinner, to get the right pale skin tone. That must have been a lot of work! Of course, my wife and I still wonder how he even found out about the birthday party in the first place.

Anyways, it is the thought that counts so I tossed him a couple of bucks for his troubles. I don't think he understood that the party was a one-time thing, so the next day he was back in my yard all dressed up as Shatterstorm of Deadgultch or one of his Image characters, I don't know which one. He had a lot of pouches, well, paper lunch bags really, duct taped to his thigh and some sort of blocky cape made out of pizza boxes and trashbags. He may have been pretending to be a robot as he talked in a low monotone and beeped a lot, but sometimes he just does that, so I'm not sure. The look on his face when I told him that there was no party that day was heartbreaking. I tried to explain that birthdays only happen once a year and that my neighbors would be pretty pissed that he uprooted a newy planted sapling to make his sword/magic staff/gun/crying pole or whatever. I gave him a piece of left over cake and told him to help himself to the empty soda cans in the recycling bin.

I'm hoping to turn my weekly run-ins with Rob into some sort of Tuesdays with Maurie book. I make sure to get a picture of him whenever he shows up in costume, but that's pretty hard as he thinks that cameras are tools of the feetdevils that live beneath the magic boulder that taunts him at night. It's a shame because the costumes are pretty elaborate. They've got even better now that he's making some extra change panhandling/drawing Annihilation. I think someone on the street his giving him a ride to Michaels or something which is a mixed blessing - better costumes (his Cable was pretty good until the wind and rain pulled off all the tinfoil) but renewed access to spraypaint for huffing. I need to track down his NA sponsor. It was his paint problem that caused his downfall back in the 90s and I'd hate to see it put the kibosh on his comeback attempts recently.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:16 AM on November 30, 2007 [16 favorites]


The deal with Rob Liefeld was that he was a hot writer/artist due to the ridiculousness of all this crap, but he made it big because he was a much cannier businessman than artist. Or a better social climber, or something of that sort.

Also, he drew enormous tits.

Basically, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, J. Scott Campbell, and Rob Liefeld got together and said "you know what? We could make a shitload of money selling really glossy comics with pages and pages of enormous tits."

I mean, seriously, a lot of the Image guys are/were great artists, but nevertheless, Image rose to success because of two things: Spawn, and pages and pages of enormous tits.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:27 AM on November 30, 2007


i'm a bit ashamed, but when i was a kid i used to think Liefeld, Jim Lee and McFarlane were the greatest things to ever happen to mainstream comics.
I was also reading vertigo stuff at the time, or what was going to be Vertigo, and i thought the art on those comics were the ugliest stuff ever. Well i still think it kinda is. The thing is if you compare the things DC was putting out at the time and Jim Lee's X-men you'll understand why everyone was thinking that those guys were the shit.
posted by SageLeVoid at 9:32 AM on November 30, 2007


The thing is if you compare the things DC was putting out at the time and Jim Lee's X-men you'll understand why everyone was thinking that those guys were the shit.

Uh, no offense, Sage, but if by the things DC was putting out at the time you're talking about the proto-Vertigo stuff -- Chris Bachalo (when he could still draw) on Shade, Steve Dillon on Hellblazer, even someone like Case on Doom Patrol -- then the only way I can understand that is if by "everyone" you mean "thirteen-year-olds."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:38 AM on November 30, 2007


well, I can only speak for 13 year olds since that was my age group, but even now I can see a lot wrong with the early vertigo and proto vertigo stuff. Sure, it had much subtler and more engaging use of shadow and such, but a lot of that art was derivative genetic lazy crap. Sure, there's also something wrong when artists can't draw people in anything less than skin tight clothing but if you're reading superhero books that stuff doesn't feel out of place. Stiff looking characters in raincoats that look like they're made of paper (yes I'm talking about hellblazer) looked out of place. The best stuff coming out of vertigo was sam keith's early sandman work, and keith went over to image when it was founded. honestly, I'll take keith drawing the max over any millions of lazy Lynn Varley wannabe inkers turned artists pushing out pages of hastily drawn material in no time with flat coloring and muddy tiny panels.

this is not to disparage the vertigo books, by the way. I'm just saying that if we're talking about the art there WAS something to be said for some of the image lineup if you were a superhero book fan. just not liefeld.
posted by shmegegge at 9:58 AM on November 30, 2007


Steve Dillon on Hellblazer

ah, good times.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 AM on November 30, 2007


also, Steve Dillon on Hellblazer isn't fair to bring up. At the time of his and ennis' run on the series, people had already had 5 years of crappy hellblazer art to get through when image was first founded. and lee's x-men art was turning heads for years before then.
posted by shmegegge at 10:02 AM on November 30, 2007


well, I can only speak for 13 year olds since that was my age group, but even now I can see a lot wrong with the early vertigo and proto vertigo stuff.

Ehhhh...I dunno. Lot of qualifiers here. Like, if we're talking about the proto-Vertigo stuff vs. the early '90s Marvel/Image stuff, and especially if one is primarily interested in superheroes in comic books, then yeah, I can see how the Image crowd has the edge. That's a lot of ifs, and they start to seriously fall down once Vertigo is Vertigo and you start seeing artists like Guy Davis and Jon Muth and Kelley Jones on stuff. At that point, you can go with Image because you prefer their aesthetic, but it gets harder to argue that what they were producing was actually better.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2007


I was just reminded by my comics retailer friend that Liefeld's Marvel work still sells stupidly well. Onslaught Reborn sells well when an issue bothers to hit the stands and his run on Wolverine is a back-issue-bin hit.

Yes, it's depressing.
No, it's not at all sane.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:09 AM on November 30, 2007


Effin' Liefeld. I have not been keeping up with comics as of late, but I do have to admit, like in one of the articles linked upthread, that I liked Cable back in the day. I thought he was badass. Maybe that was the initial appeal, it was like a collective explosion of "holy shit, this is badass" orgasm of 12 to 13-year-olds boosted by the onset of unbalanced hormones from puberty, but then once they adjusted to puberty they started realizing how utterly ridiculous it all ways.

Case in point, in my younger days I had designed this entire character to shop to Marvel (right) and it was the amalgamation of all that was wrong: The pedigree of coked out 80s costume-designing that sometimes leaked into the early 90s, convoluted backstory (she was like the future, present-tense nominative gerund cousin of Rogue and was probably relative to like some other characters like they all decided to collectively spit into a test tube), "everything but the kitchen sink, we'll figure it out as we go along" laundry list of powers, and last but not least, the character was GRUNGE. I swear to God, she looked like a Tank Girl decided to moonlight as a Fly Girl on In Living Color. Plaid shirt, goggles, kneepads, low-slung pouchy belt over cut-off-at-the-knees jeans, and gloves because, you know, she has some similar powers to Rogue. She would've worn Doc Martens, but I couldn't draw feet so they became more like a knee-high socks version of the Iron Fist's slippers. 13-year-old me was pretty much Liefeld.
posted by kkokkodalk at 10:10 AM on November 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


also, Steve Dillon on Hellblazer isn't fair to bring up. At the time of his and ennis' run on the series, people had already had 5 years of crappy hellblazer art to get through when image was first founded.

Wha...? Oh, I think I'll take John Ridgway or Richard Piers Rayner over the terrifying plastic people of Jim Lee any day of the week, thank you very much. Granted, what Lee was doing didn't resemble their work in the slightest, but still. (As far as defending the art on the second half of Delano's run -- hell, the second half of Delano's run, period -- okay, you got me there.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:12 AM on November 30, 2007


Steve Dillons a fantastic artist. If you're after all that splashy distorted Liefeldesque stuff he's not your man, but his storytelling is top notch, and he's got a grasp of facial expressions that's just breathtaking. Something like Preacher, which was pretty much all dialogue, no captions or internal monologues or anything like that, would have fallen totally flat without Steve Dillon.

Oh, and FWIW McFarlane and Lee are far better artists than Liefeld as well, even if McFarlane is a bit of a tit (Lee, on the other hand, seems like a thoroughly nice guy).
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on November 30, 2007


Lot of qualifiers here. Like, if we're talking about the proto-Vertigo stuff vs. the early '90s Marvel/Image stuff, and especially if one is primarily interested in superheroes in comic books, then yeah, I can see how the Image crowd has the edge. That's a lot of ifs, and they start to seriously fall down once Vertigo is Vertigo and you start seeing artists like Guy Davis and Jon Muth and Kelley Jones on stuff.

No doubt, but I figured that if we're talking about Sage LeVold's comment, here, then some of those qualifiers are sort of built in to what I said ni the first place. At the least, I'm trying to explain the fascination someone can have with their marvel work and that moment where you realized that they were all going to form their own company. I have no intention of defending anything image did after that, except for certain much later books. and Kelley Jones is my hero. so is Steve Dillon. and whoever did Transmetropolitan.
posted by shmegegge at 10:33 AM on November 30, 2007


I'm reminded of a bit that Jhonen Vasquez did about overmuscled giants and unrealistically proportioned women. I'll have to dig around, see if I can find it.
posted by WCityMike at 10:35 AM on November 30, 2007


Here we go.
posted by WCityMike at 10:38 AM on November 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


WCityMike, that's one of my favorite bits he ever did, but if I ever met him I'd say "draw a book about a fat kid and you can criticize anyone you want."
posted by shmegegge at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2007


Can you imagine how hard you would elbow your friend if you saw a dude with three ponytails? You would elbow the shit out of them.

That made me laugh pretty hard. It's still making me laugh.
posted by interrobang at 10:48 AM on November 30, 2007


Ah, memories. Like several of the other posters here, I can remember when I thought Liefeld's art was the bee's knees.

God I'm glad I'm not thirteen anymore.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:03 AM on November 30, 2007


Yea preacher was cool, I should check out more of Dillon's work.

Also:

MetaFilter: Pages and pages of enormous tits.
posted by Mister_A at 11:07 AM on November 30, 2007


As far as overproportioned musclemen go, I always liked Marc Hansens persons in the Ralph Snart comics best.
posted by Glow Bucket at 11:28 AM on November 30, 2007


I literally cried laughing from this part:

What the fuck must go through Liefeld’s head when he’s drawing a character? “Yep, crew cut, I’ll put Boba Fett’s rocket on his back. Hmm, oh, GOTTA go with the metal shoulderpads and enormous Run-DMC gold rope chain. Okay, belt…uh…pouchespouchespouchespouchespouchespouches leg things, oh, KNEEEEEEPADSSSSSS yessss.”

posted by brevator at 11:38 AM on November 30, 2007


Steve Dillons a fantastic artist.

Except when he tries to draw black people. Or anyone that doesn't have a long, thin head. Even his fat people have long, thin, fat people heads. The only way he can draw anything other than long thin heads is to to draw long thin heads that have been hit by a shotgun blast. I do like the guy's work, but I hope he's still willing to learn.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 12:05 PM on November 30, 2007


If you're after all that splashy distorted Liefeldesque stuff he's not your man, but his storytelling is top notch, and he's got a grasp of facial expressions that's just breathtaking.

The facial expressions Dillon draws can be breathtaking, but my problem with Dillon is that all of his characters look so similar - every dude looks like a slight variation on Jesse Custer, and every girl looks like Tulip with longer hair or something. Don't get me wrong, I love Preacher and definitely think Dillon is far cooler than the likes of Liefeld (or Greg Land, for that matter)... I just sometimes need an index to differentiate between his characters.
posted by sluggo at 12:27 PM on November 30, 2007


regarding Jesse Custer:

*cough* Jerry Curl *Cough*
posted by shmegegge at 1:00 PM on November 30, 2007


The drawings look a bit like Tim's drawings in Spaced..only worse.

I love the look of the art for Tim Bisley's comics, and I can't stand Liefeld. But then, Tim's art was done by a couple of guys from 2000AD, and I adore that over-the-top 2000AD style.

Of course, Tim Bisley was named for Simon Bisley (probably), and I love his art, too, particularly his covers for the Morrison/Pollack-era Doom Patrol.

Vaguely on-topic, I blame Marvel and their need to publish eleven thousand books per month (and apparent willingness to put up with late work) for the blossoming of Liefeld, in much the same way that I blame them for bleaching their glorious shared universe free of any kind of life or imagination over the last couple of years: bitterly.

/end ramblings
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:09 PM on November 30, 2007


I've been into comics to varying degrees my entire life. I was extremely hardcore from September 1992 to when I departed for University in September 1995. It took me only a couple months to sorth through the cognitive dissonance arising from Rob Liefeld success and influence despite his obvious dearth of talent. This was a good lesson in the realities of popular tastes not reflecting objective quality.

I always hated the art of Walt Simonson. Could never understand how he got work. He was a decent storyteller but everything he drew was so flat and ugly.

Then there's guys like Bret Blevins, who I used to think sucked major ass, but now when I look back at the same stuff, it has a uniquely dynamic style. I suppose me "eye" has matured. He did suck on Uncanny X-Men 219 though.

My favourite artists are Art Adams, Brian Bolland, Steve Dillon, and Simon Bisley. The best things I've read in recent years are The Life Eaters, most of the Garth Ennis Punisher stuff (stomach-turning goodness!), and The Walking Dead. I bought the main Civil War series and some of the offshoots... good premise with poor execution, last time I'll pay attention to a Marvel "event".
posted by autodidact at 1:13 PM on November 30, 2007


Last page of the last issue of Punisher was one of the most jardcore what-the-fuck moments in comics ever.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on November 30, 2007


Can we get a spoiler, Artw?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:31 PM on November 30, 2007


*BANG*
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on November 30, 2007


Thanks for the post. My girlfriend has been listening to me rant about Liefeld for about ten years now and I've never been adequately able to explain what a stain he is. She's always nodded sympathetically and wiped my foam-flecked lips and soothed me and given me my medicine and then everything's OK again for a while.

But now I've been able to show her what I've been talking about. I showed her the link and told her the the artist was, for a while, the highest paid artist in the industry. She was repulsed. For a follow-up I showed her the famous "Captain America" cover. The look on her face was priceless.
posted by lekvar at 1:45 PM on November 30, 2007


There was a great Ambush Bug special at one point that featured Ambush Bug as re-imagined by Liefeld. If I recall, he was huge and muscular and running so hard that his left actually wrapped around his back over his should.

It was funny to make fun of Liefeld then and it just gets funnier.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:46 PM on November 30, 2007


I always hated the art of Walt Simonson. Could never understand how he got work. He was a decent storyteller but everything he drew was so flat and ugly.

What. I'm sorry, I recognize every word in that sentence but don't understand the configuration at all.

Also: Bug for Joey Michaels.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 1:53 PM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I recognize every word in that sentence but don't understand the configuration at all.

Do you mean the sentence is poorly constructed from a grammatical standpoint, or do you just disagree with me about Walt Simonson. Looking at it now, I suppose it is kind of a messy sentence.
posted by autodidact at 2:01 PM on November 30, 2007


... ?
posted by autodidact at 2:01 PM on November 30, 2007


I was thinking some of the stuff on Liefeld, though hilarious, was overly picky... I loath most it not all of his output, but some of it is legitimate stylings that comes down to individual taste whether you like it or not, but the floating guns and the well wonky anatomy is inexcusable. And a lot of it (like 'claw' hands and the shoddy backgrounds) is just flat out lazynes.

But he's going to have to go a long way to beat the sheer brass balls badness of a certain comic artist who drew a fan commission of Invisible Girl with SIX FINGERS on one hand and when it was pointed out just shrugged it off without and apology or the offer of redoing it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:26 PM on November 30, 2007


Invisible Girl with SIX FINGERS

Full story, please? I can't find this.
posted by interrobang at 3:01 PM on November 30, 2007


At the time, Liefeld was considered a stylist, part of a generation of artists which were turning super hero comics on their heads.

The artwork was exciting because it broke conventions. Characters were looking interesting and fresh. Stories moved through never ending splash pages. The work was vibrant and fun.

Rob Liefeld was an extremely fortunate fan who somehow accidentally fell into the publishing process. His enthusiasm was tangible, so we forgave his naive ( some would say plagiarised ) art and storylines. Maybe that's why the collectors loved him, he was living every fanboy's dream.

What made me angry is the second generation of Image-inspired artists were excused from drawing competently thanks to Liefeld's precedent. However, this anger led me into discovering comics outside of the spandex, and for that I am eternally grateful.
posted by elphTeq at 3:15 PM on November 30, 2007


I almost never notice the art unless it’s really fantastic or really bad. Liefeld never struck me as bad exactly (as I know little about drawing, my hands are pretty scarred and battered) but goofy looking enough that they detracted from the story. Not the writing, you could follow what’s going on through dialogue (although in comics you shouldn’t *have* to) but it disrupted the pacing.
And of course, the whole pouch thing is ridiculous enough to be distracting.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:58 PM on November 30, 2007


Soem of the comments regarding colour are not entirely fair, since comics colouring was universally horrible in the early 90s and Liefeld wouldn't have been handling that anyway.
posted by Artw at 5:25 PM on November 30, 2007


Thank you for that Beaucoupkevin!
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:19 PM on November 30, 2007


No, what killed The New Mutants was Claremont and Guice leaving and Louise Simpson taking over the writing and completely infantizing the characters. Combine that with Brett Breeding's wacked out, maniac art and the book turned to shit. How bad was it? Rob Liefield was an IMPROVEMENT. He was shitty artist, but at least the books had something to talk about then.

That would be Louise Simonson (ex Louise Jones), and mostly Bret Blevins (maybe an issue or two of Bret Breeding too?)..


Why Liefeld? It is pretty hard to say exactly, but.. McFarlane had just exploded on the scene, and then Jim Lee. Rob Liefeld had a look, and some solid potential (his Hawk and Dove LS work looked quite promising), so everyone was sure he was the next big thing (remember, a lot of this was about speculation on book value). Somehow, between that and his association with a mutant book that was a little different from the core Claremont stuff (again, great territory for speculation at the time).. It took off..


I was always a Marvel fanboy at heart, and image hollowed Marvel out completely. That was the end of my interest in comics.
posted by Chuckles at 8:58 PM on November 30, 2007


Walt Simonson is the man!
posted by Chuckles at 9:03 PM on November 30, 2007


From a Walt Simonson interview:
MARIO: (I was asked to include this question by a visitor to the site) Why Rob Liefeld? Aren't you concerned with his reliablitiy after the Heroes Reborn Avengers thing?

WALT: Rob's doing a single five page back up to be published sometime during the next year and a half. Even if he screws up, and I don't expect him to, that means that DC will have something over 500 days to get another five page contribution to the book done. I don't really see that there's a problem here. But I am amused by the fact that having Rob's name even remotely associated with the project has generated more posts and e-mail than anything else up to now. Even you yourself note in your question that this isn't your question but someone else's. Rob attracts attention, whether people like dancing around him or not.
posted by Chuckles at 9:40 PM on November 30, 2007


I feel that, ten years from now, everyone is going to be looking back at the comics written by Jeph "Every Villain in Every Issue" Loeb the same way we look at comics drawn by Rob "What the Hell Does He Keep in All Those POUCHES?!?!" Liefield today.

I agree, except replace Jeph Loeb (not that he isn't deserving of scorn) with Michael "torso as far as the eyes can see" Turner*.




*Or for a more recent image there's this. Which is...well, words fail me, really. And yet people eat this shit up. Why?
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:47 PM on November 30, 2007


I haven't read comics in decades, but I like to keep up with the scornwagon, so I'm well aware of Liefeld and Greg Land. This Jeph Loeb, though, is new to me, and googling around, it seems like he's a writer, not an artist. Has he done some artwork as well, or is Parasite Unseen saying "Jeph Loeb is to story what Rob Liefeld is to art"?
posted by Bugbread at 12:02 AM on December 1, 2007


Invisible Girl with SIX FINGERS

Full story, please? I can't find this.


It was John Byrne...sorry, I thought it was more well know. The evidence was on his forum somewhere (don't know if it still is)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:12 AM on December 1, 2007


What made me angry is the second generation of Image-inspired artists were excused from drawing competently thanks to Liefeld's precedent.

So true. I never read much of the early Image stuff, but I remember being increasingly amazed at how many of the 2nd-gen artists they used were badly derivative of Liefeld's style, which is doubly awful.

Has anyone ever done an accounting of the whereabouts of Image alums?
posted by mkultra at 10:45 AM on December 1, 2007


by the way, the pic of liefeld they put on the wikipedia page about him is hysterical.
posted by shmegegge at 11:33 AM on December 1, 2007


My girlfriend caught me looking at the Liefeld link again last night... I can't stop looking at it. It's like picking a scab or probing a rotten tooth with my tongue; it's revolting but I can't stop. His "art" is such a trainwreck, the voyeur in me can't resist its awful appeal.
posted by lekvar at 12:57 PM on December 1, 2007


Yeah, the thing that would be amazing would be to find 40 *GOOD* Liefeld pictures.
posted by dejah420 at 1:33 PM on December 1, 2007


Six Fingered Sue
posted by Bugbread at 6:37 PM on December 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ha! Byrne shrugged off a goof that big in a commissioned piece? I lost respect for him long ago, but I figured he had better standards than that.
posted by lekvar at 9:22 PM on December 1, 2007


Has anyone ever done an accounting of the whereabouts of Image alums?

The Founders:

Todd McFarlane - Former millionaire jerk, now bazillionaire jerk. Action figure, litigation, and baseball enthusiast. His series Spawn is almost up to 200 issues but no one will admit to buying it. Still with Image.

Jim Valentino - Smuggled self into Image and remained undetected for 4 months by disguising himself as a stack of reference books. Created ShadowHawk, an electroplated Wolverine lookalike who had AIDS and broke criminal's spines. Diversified Image's output (Yay!) during his tenure as publisher (1999-2003). Runs Image's ShadowLine imprint, home to such worthy endeavors as Bomb Queen (Boo!).

Jim Lee - Left Image in 1998, sold WildStorm imprint - under whose aegis Planetary, The Authority, and Alan Moore's America's Best Comics were published - to DC. Good artist, currently draws The Goddamn Batman.

Erik Larsen - Creator of Image's long-running series, The Savage And Increasingly Sketchily Drawn Dragon. Succeeded Valentino as publisher. Still with Image.

Whilce Portacio - Late even by Image's standards, industry punchline. No longer with Image.

Mark Silvestri - Creator of Image's Top Cow imprint, home to such series as CyberForce, Codename: Strike Force, Witchblade, The Darkness, and Force Force. Blame him for Michael Turner. Left Image in 1996 due to disputes involving Rob Liefeld, returned a few months later after Liefeld was kicked out of Image.

Rob Liefeld - Voted out of Image in 1997 for alleged misappropriation of funds, alleged attempts to poach artists from other Image divisions, swiping from other Image creators, using Image resources and books to promote non-Image projects, footlessness, credibility damage. Gained a reprieve by claiming he wasn't given enough notice. Announced departure shortly after, and voted out again almost immediately after that.

Announced return to Image this year.

Not even fire can kill him.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:54 PM on December 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


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