Thursday, September 24, 2009

From the Crypt v.2, Item 3: Ripped (Off)

March 5, 1993. Seems like it was a pretty productive time for me, artistically. I really can't think back that far to what might've been going on, but at the very least I was drawing.

And what a drawing it was. sigh. See, this is everything that was good and bad about comics in the 90's (stop me if you've heard this one before). The 90's brought a real and lasting change in how comics were seen and perceived. This is when books stopped being about the characters and (frequently) became about the creators of the books- the comic book equivalent of the end of the studio movie system and the rise of the 'movie star', in my opinion. Sure, there were always very famous and popular artists (let's face it- people are pick up comics for the art initially) out there, but it became a whole other animal back in the 90's.

If there could be said to be a unifying style to this art, it was 'dynamic'. The artists themselves varied pretty wildly in the details of their art, but overall it had a real sense of action and vibrancy in it. Lots of useless detail lines helped. Also, over-rendering the people into something that looked more like an anatomical model of muscles rather than a 'normal' human being was a big difference. Super heroes always looked stronger than mere mortals; now you could see how each muscle was better. Hell, I remember there was actually an artistic trend in comics to draw the guys with bulging arm veins! Yep, true. One could ponder the meaning, symbolism, and effect it had on the average comic reader back then, but I'll spare you (for now).

Anyway, as you can see, I feel for this trend hook, (crosshatched) line, and sinker. The main culprit of this art style you see above was a guy named Bart Sears. I don't remember him always drawing like this, but there are some artists out there who can change their style to reflect current trends, and I guess he was one of them. Of course he pulled it off much better than I ever managed. My problems with this are like all my problems with drawing: I didn't have enough background to really understand what I was drawing. These weren't copied from anyone else's work, so I was left to figure out how the muscles were put together on my own, and figure out where the lines would go. I did okay, I guess, but really? that's just ridiculous. I never had the knack to really pull off these super-muscled people. So, when you see something I've done of late, just think: I could still be trying to draw just like this.

Back then, though, I recall being pretty proud of it- it was reasonably dynamic, and God knows I put enough lines in there. Bits and pieces I'm still pretty proud of, really. But jeez, how did these people digest food, with waists like that?

Music: "Them Bones" - Alice In Chains

No comments: