Thursday, August 26, 2010

Comics that should be drawn for free

I know it's a little cliché to criticize Greg Land for being the laziest, most shameless tracer in comic art, but so long as the man is being paid to rip off other artists' work with no credit, I think that it needs to be repeated and restated.

One thing, though, that I commonly read in threads about his hack work is that he used to be pretty good and didn't do this kind of thing. I've seen some of his old Birds of Prey covers, and it seemed like that might have been true.

And then, when going through the Legion of Super-Heroes reboot chronology, I read The New Titans Annual #11, with pencils by 1995's Greg Land. And while it isn't obviously porn- and wrestling-tracing all the way through, that's partially because it looks so terribly '90s. All the typical '90s excesses are here--ridiculous proportions, huge muscles, everyone shouting and veiny. But in addition to that, it's clear to see the germs of Land's current career: blatant tracing, lazy reuse of images, and images that just don't fit either the story or the scene.

Frankly, I didn't even know it was Greg Land at first. I didn't go back to look at the artist credit until I saw these two panels on the same page:
Remember, this was when copy/paste still required actual paste.

Really? The same exact pose in consecutive panels? There's no reason for it in the story, either.

Then there's these, mercifully spread out in the book:
Anyone know who got referenced for this one?

And finally, special guest star Don Knotts!
We oughta nip this in the bud.

The idea that Greg Land was better in the past is a Comic Book Legend worth debunking. The man is a hack, he's always been a hack, and he will continue being a hack so long as his comics keep selling. There is no reason that Land should have a career as a professional comics artist when there are starving artists with metric tons more talent working on freaking DeviantArt. Anyone can trace, and it's time people stopped paying for Land's stolen work.

No comments: