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thuggernaut


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,435


There may have been thread about Image here once, can't remember.

So, what's your take? Here's mine:

McFarlane, Leifeld, Lee were all rational in their move to make Image. It was their way to not be screwed over like creators of the past. The industry had all ready profoundly changed with Direct Market. So they attempted, and succeeded, to make themselves very wealthy. They were driven by making money and keeping money for themselves instead of the big publishers.

Artistically, Image was the worst crap I've ever seen. Catering to the absolute lowest impulses of comic fandom. Their characters, art, and stories were utter rubbish. Look, most comics were and are shlock, but this stuff was a step below if possible. Uglier and more crass.

IMO, Leifeld/Lee/McFarlane are ALL generally lousy and vomitous artists, even in their hey-days. They simply had flashy stylistic flourishes that appealed to the lots of young dopes high on too much sugar or something. They're not really artists, just highly astute businessmen (and smart/nice guys personally) who cashed in the Miller grim'n grittiness and X-Men dystopia style stories. "Heroes Reborn" sold, but it was also garbage. Jim Lee as a big boss at DC is a big reason their comics/movies are so "grim n gritty" imagey.

Comics has always been a dirty business, and I can't fault themselves for making themselves very rich. But I don't believe they had no real love or inspiration in their hearts or their art like S&S, Finger, or Kirby/Lee/Ditko. Nor were they real storytellers like a Byrne, Adams, Perez, Miller or Moore.






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Superman's Pal

Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,676


There were a couple of threads on Top Cow and Extreme Studios but none on Image itself, ironically (at least that I could find).

The Image Seven were Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld and Whilce Portacio.

McFarlane produced the second-most interesting comic to me with Spawn. In some ways his art isn't great but there was something dynamic about those early issues. Maybe it was the coloring, maybe it was just the subject matter, but I honestly liked them. My problem was he handed off the comic after about 20 issues to other artists and writers that I didn't like as much so he could focus on building the media empire; cartoons, movies, and mostly action figures.

Lee's books I didn't care for as much and I can't speak to his staying power. WildCATS remained a series of mini-series and didn't he mostly just become a publisher for his Wildstorm studio to crank out other stuff like Gen 13 and Stormwatch? I liked his art but even the CATS didn't get my attention.

Larsen is my MVP. At first I thought he was one of the weaker artists, can't say I liked his stuff at Marvel all that much with its cartoony style. The Savage Dragon had won me over after the first miniseries and it kept getting better. It was obvious he cared first and foremost about making a good comic. It wasn't always good but he is currently at 240+ issues so he has stuck with it. I haven't followed regularly since about 150 but that's not because I stopped liking the book, I just didn't have as much time for comics anymore.

Valentino seemed to withdraw from making comics and mostly worked on the publishing end after the first couple of Shadowhawk books.

Silvestri I liked at first for Cyber Force but that didn't last long. Then he was like Lee with Wildstrom, running his own Top Cow studio and spinning out Witchblade and Tomb Raider comics. Not much there to interest me.

Liefeld, yeah I never liked his stuff all that much. He could occasionally put together a good cover or poster but his art and stories were both pretty junky, never understood the hype. His constant rebooting to spike sales was another turn off. He was notoriously late or nonexistent when it came to deadlines.

Portacio, I don't think I ever read his stuff. He didn't last long, did he?




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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



    Quote:
    The Image Seven were Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld and Whilce Portacio.


Early Spawn, WildStorm, Shadowhawk, and later, Witchblade were the only things that remotely interested me about Image. And all of that stopped somewhere in the 90s.

Generally, my feelings are about the same as thuggernaut, just not as extreme. Although, I would even consider their art better than some of these guys' personalities that I've seen.


    Quote:
    Liefeld, yeah I never liked his stuff all that much. He could occasionally put together a good cover or poster but his art and stories were both pretty junky, never understood the hype. His constant rebooting to spike sales was another turn off. He was notoriously late or nonexistent when it came to deadlines.

I cheered the day I heard Liefeld was leaving Marvel.


    Quote:
    Portacio, I don't think I ever read his stuff. He didn't last long, did he?

Portacio had family issues early on with his sister's health, so he quickly withdrew. He returned a couple years later under the WildStorm imprint with WetWorks. Then in 2000, he had diabetes issues, which left him paralyzed and unable to draw for a bit.




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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



    Quote:
    Larsen is my MVP. At first I thought he was one of the weaker artists, can't say I liked his stuff at Marvel all that much with its cartoony style. The Savage Dragon had won me over after the first miniseries and it kept getting better. It was obvious he cared first and foremost about making a good comic. It wasn't always good but he is currently at 240+ issues so he has stuck with it. I haven't followed regularly since about 150 but that's not because I stopped liking the book, I just didn't have as much time for comics anymore.


I totally agree with you about Erik Larsen.

Even in the business, he is known as one of the most dedicated comics creators there is.

He has remained faithful to his own drawing style since the very beginning and he is as much a comics aficionado as he is a professional, even after all these years.

Curiously enough, in the last decade, the issues of Savage Dragon have dealt a lot with sex and mediatisation. Erik Larsen seems to care a lot about it. It probably has to do with the current commercial success of the new celebrities whose fame comes from a sextape.

I am a bit lost with the current storyline because Maxine Dragon has been portrayed for quite a long time as a character with important issues of addiction (especially nymphomania) and, actually, this unending plot gets quite boring.

In the last issue, Malcom & Maxine even make a comment that seems to break the 4th wall about the storytelling focusing too much on sex lately ...

Still, it shows that Erik Larsen does whatever he wants with the characters that he created and, well, he remains a good comics writer & penciller in my opinion.


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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


I like the first issues of the comic book (both by Todd McFarlane & Greg Capullo). I haven't read the book for more than a decade but I still have fond memories of the 1990s' storyline (Spawn #1 - Spawn #75).

https://imagecomics.fandom.com/wiki/Spawn_Vol_1_1
https://imagecomics.fandom.com/wiki/Spawn_Vol_1_75

I stopped reading the book around 1998-1999, probably a short time after issue #75. Anyway, in my town, I couldn't find the comics anymore during the 2000s.

I think that Spawn has a good rogues gallery.
https://imagecomics.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Spawn_Villains

I also like the HBO animated series, 'Spawn: the Album' CD and the action figures. \:\-\)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_McFarlane's_Spawn
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spawn_(1997_film)#Soundtrack
https://mcfarlane.com/toys/brands/spawn/

On the contrary, I dislike the 1997 movie (mind you, some of the SFX were still good ...).

Since then, neither McFarlane nor Capullo are the pencillers any longer, so I've lost interest in the book.


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Superman's Pal

Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,676



    Quote:
    Early Spawn, WildStorm, Shadowhawk, and later, Witchblade were the only things that remotely interested me about Image. And all of that stopped somewhere in the 90s.

I should also say that I was a fan of Alan Moore's 1963, but was super disappointed that it was never resolved (that I know of, anyway). I did read the followup in Shadowhawk and Big Bang Comics but they never got to cross over with Image proper. But then anything requiring all the Image founders to contribute was doomed to be shelved indefinitely.


    Quote:
    Generally, my feelings are about the same as thuggernaut, just not as extreme. Although, I would even consider their art better than some of these guys' personalities that I've seen.

I don't know most of their personalities. I find Liefeld a bit obnoxious but there are worse out there. Larsen I like and McFarlane, while I wish he had stuck to comics, seems to be a respectable businessman at least.


    Quote:
    Portacio had family issues early on with his sister's health, so he quickly withdrew. He returned a couple years later under the WildStorm imprint with WetWorks. Then in 2000, he had diabetes issues, which left him paralyzed and unable to draw for a bit.

Well that's too bad. I know Larsen briefly had an issue where he couldn't draw for a while, a loss of feeling in his hands. I guess he got better or learned to work with it.


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Superman's Pal

Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,676



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Larsen is my MVP. At first I thought he was one of the weaker artists, can't say I liked his stuff at Marvel all that much with its cartoony style. The Savage Dragon had won me over after the first miniseries and it kept getting better. It was obvious he cared first and foremost about making a good comic. It wasn't always good but he is currently at 240+ issues so he has stuck with it. I haven't followed regularly since about 150 but that's not because I stopped liking the book, I just didn't have as much time for comics anymore.



    Quote:
    I totally agree with you about Erik Larsen.



    Quote:
    Even in the business, he is known as one of the most dedicated comics creators there is.



    Quote:
    He has remained faithful to his own drawing style since the very beginning and he is as much a comics aficionado as he is a professional, even after all these years.



    Quote:
    Curiously enough, in the last decade, the issues of Savage Dragon have dealt a lot with sex and mediatisation. Erik Larsen seems to care a lot about it. It probably has to do with the current commercial success of the new celebrities whose fame comes from a sextape.



    Quote:
    I am a bit lost with the current storyline because Maxine Dragon has been portrayed for quite a long time as a character with important issues of addiction (especially nymphomania) and, actually, this unending plot gets quite boring.



    Quote:
    In the last issue, Malcom & Maxine even make a comment that seems to break the 4th wall about the storytelling focusing too much on sex lately ...



    Quote:
    Still, it shows that Erik Larsen does whatever he wants with the characters that he created and, well, he remains a good comics writer & penciller in my opinion.

Another thing I couldn't get behind was shelving Dragon and bringing in Malcolm as the star of the book. I mean it's his comic, he can do what he wants. But I actually liked the original character and wasn't ready to see him go.

Larsen said early on that his goal was to make it to 300 issues like Dave Sim with Cerebus. But he said that if you were to read 300 issues of Spider-Man, for instance, it wouldn't really make sense as a story of one character's life because of changing writers, rewriting reality, etc. Yet on Dragon we have changing reality, rewritten history, lead character replaced with a legacy character. It doesn't really make any more sense than Spider-Man.


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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139



    Quote:
    There may have been thread about Image here once, can't remember.



    Quote:
    So, what's your take? Here's mine:



    Quote:
    McFarlane, Leifeld, Lee were all rational in their move to make Image. It was their way to not be screwed over like creators of the past. The industry had all ready profoundly changed with Direct Market. So they attempted, and succeeded, to make themselves very wealthy. They were driven by making money and keeping money for themselves instead of the big publishers.


A reasonable goal and they did pretty well at it, especially McFarlane.


    Quote:
    Artistically, Image was the worst crap I've ever seen. Catering to the absolute lowest impulses of comic fandom. Their characters, art, and stories were utter rubbish. Look, most comics were and are shlock, but this stuff was a step below if possible. Uglier and more crass.


And on purpose, which is what fascinates me, because their comics sold pretty well. The lowest common denominator is a perennial money maker.


    Quote:
    IMO, Leifeld/Lee/McFarlane are ALL generally lousy and vomitous artists, even in their hey-days. They simply had flashy stylistic flourishes that appealed to the lots of young dopes high on too much sugar or something. They're not really artists, just highly astute businessmen (and smart/nice guys personally) who cashed in the Miller grim'n grittiness and X-Men dystopia style stories. "Heroes Reborn" sold, but it was also garbage. Jim Lee as a big boss at DC is a big reason their comics/movies are so "grim n gritty" imagey.


The only Image comic from those days that interested me at all was Youngblood. I only bought the occasional issue, I think partly for stupid reasons that made sense to my younger self, like, "Independents shouldn't sell out by doing superheroes." That sounds ridiculous to my older ears but back then it drove my purchases. I bought superheroes from Marvel and DC and non-superheroes from everybody else, and I felt best about my non-superhero purchases. Sounds like a teen-ager, right? Yet I was in my late 20s and early 30s.


    Quote:
    Comics has always been a dirty business, and I can't fault themselves for making themselves very rich. But I don't believe they had no real love or inspiration in their hearts or their art like S&S, Finger, or Kirby/Lee/Ditko. Nor were they real storytellers like a Byrne, Adams, Perez, Miller or Moore.


Oddly enough, I think Liefeld had an artistic vision. Yes, there were weird torsos, heads too small, legs too long, a lot of tracing, etc., etc., but he had an aesthetic. Yes, it involved big guns, big knives, big teeth, lots of explosions, etc., etc., in fact it was classic B-movie stuff, and that was the aesthetic: B-movies.

80s B-Movies

Hmm, I think I know what our next banner may feature.







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