Welcome to “Comics Corner” a new column here at Nerd Nation, where popular independent comic book artist/writer Kevin McVicker explores various topics both in and around the realm of comic book fandom. In this first edition, Kevin will be exploring The Subjective Ravings of a Man Who May or May Not Be Crazy Based on Your Subjective Viewpoint… or something catchy like that… how about instead of all this intro-chatter, you all just read & enjoy!
The other day at my LCS (Local Comic Store) in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, I started to engage in friendly banter which was the kind you know is going to turn sour quickly. The guy I was talking to was telling me about how good Uncanny X-Men was lately, and I mentioned to him that although I enjoyed Brian Michael Bendis, I have never liked anything Chris Bachalo has drawn since Generation X or the Death mini-series, which were both a long time ago. I can only assume that Chris Bachalo must have been this guy’s dead grandmother, because I somehow deeply insulted him with my opinion on comic book art. I thought I was even being extremely polite about it because I really strongly dislike Bachalo’s current style, along with his usual inker and colorist.
The guy proceeded to tell me that I probably couldn’t draw as well as Chris Bachalo. In fairness, this is absolutely true, but as I tried to explain, saying Chris Bachalo is a better artist than me is a like saying I’m a better writer than an orangutan. You’re not really insulting the orangutan in that scenario.
He then quickly summed me up saying I was probably one of those Rob Liefeld haters too. I sarcastically replied, “Well, I do enjoy comics and breathing, so yeah, I don’t like Rob Liefeld.” I could see he was getting upset that I clearly didn’t like two artists that he enjoyed. But he asked me what was so wrong with Liefeld’s art. So I quickly rattled off a list of about ten issues I had with his art (feet, cheeks, pockets, man-boobs, etc) and added at the end that he was a jerk as well and from what I could tell, not many people in the industry had a desire to even work with him any longer. He’s like the Uwe Boll of comics because I can’t understand why either of them are allowed to keep doing what they’ve been doing.
I assume this guy saw a weakness in my logic and jumped back like a Musketeer with, “Ah-ha, but I bet you like Alan Moore?” I replied that I did. He pointed out how big of a douchebag Alan Moore is. I said he was correct, but at least his work is always masterful. Alan Moore is like having cake without icing. Rob Liefeld is like a pile of crap without icing. Do you see the difference?
Look, we all have our opinions on who we think is good or not. Another example of someone everyone thinks is great is Howard Chaykin. I know to talk ill of him will most likely ruin any hopes I have of ever working in the industry, but I do not enjoy his art. The guy is a phenomenal storyteller. I realized that with his work on New Avengers with Brian Michael Bendis, but everyone he draws looks like they have a Brooke Hogan chin. Another artist cemented in the industry which I don’t enjoy is John Romita Jr. I loved (LOVED!) his work on Amazing Spider-Man and even Thor back in the day, but his recent work on Captain America, Superman, and especially AvX just feels stiff and lifeless to me.
Even with my opinion on those creators, some people I idolize love them. Warren Ellis, who to me is the greatest comic book writer in the business today, loves Howard Chaykin. A lot of other creators that I greatly respect do as well. Joe Kelly, who is another writer whose work I always pick up, did issues of Amazing Spider-Man with Chris Bachalo. So while I don’t enjoy their work, and sometimes I even avoid it, I recognize that maybe there is something there that I don’t see yet. And maybe there is something that I haven’t given the time to see.
But trust me, I read comics in the 90s, and yes… Liefeld definitely sucks!
Note: the views and opinions expressed by Mr. McVicker are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Nerd Nation Magazine, or anyone else for that matter. So don’t be a d-bag and try to sue anyone over the stuff he writes. K?