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Superman's Pal

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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.

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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