Wednesday, November 20, 2002

GAY BLADE: Not that there's anything wrong with it, but has Marvel Comics been reduced to publishing gay p0rn? Under the aegis of Marvel's "mature themes" Max imprint, readers of the recent Blade #5 were apparently treated to -- well, you tell me. Some say the artist's intent was to depict this bad guy sucking on a denuded human femur, but that sure ain't what I see, folks. (Warning: Not for small children or sensitive homophobes.)

It astonishes me that this imagery was allowed into print under any Marvel Comics imprint in the first place. Previous management has been historically so uptight that, not so long ago, they fired a guy for sketching blurred obscenities into his background ink-strokes.

But to me, the far greater offense is that this is just plain terrible comic-book artwork. Oh, it's very pretty rendering, I suppose -- but so what? Look at all three pages in succession, and tell me: What's going on in the storyline? I haven't a clue.

Comic art has to flow naturally, guiding the reader's attention in a linear direction from one panel to the next; teasing the reader to turn from one page to the next. In contrast, this sequence is barely more than a series of disconnected illustrations, with no apparent relationship to one another. If there's a through-line anywhere in this mess, it's lost on me.

I haven't been following the goings-on at Marvel very closely for a number of years -- nor do I pretend to know a blessed thing about Steve Pugh, either by personal observation or reputation, so I do not stand in judgment of the artist's whole body of work. But I will say this: If these pages are representative of what Marvel routinely publishes nowadays, it's no wonder they're constantly rubbing elbows with bankruptcy court. Who can make heads or tails of this crap?

UPDATE: It's not just my imagination. The Comics Journal Message Board weighs in here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

BLUSH, BLUSH! Israpundit names Mind Over What Matters "Site of the Week."