Sunday, May 24, 2009


I figure you've all guessed that the visit to DC was more successful (so far) than the visit to Marvel. I just had issue #6 of VIGILANTE come out from DC this week and it was okay. I must admit that I think my layouts looked much better than the finished piece, but everything was SO rushed I am surprised it looks anywhere as close to good as it does.

Here's my rant for this post. I've read the reviews for 5 and 6 (my two issues for now) and I am irritated and amused that in one of the recent ones my art was classified "dated" because of the amount of background detail I have in the panels.

Yeah. Heaven forbid we should actually be able to tell where we are in the story.

I'm kind of torqued that you guys settle for crappy storytelling and lazy, pin-up art instead of a solid, well-drawn story.

Now, I admit, I think that there are aspects of my storytelling that need updating, but BACKGROUNDS!!

Gimme a break.

I'd love to hear about it from you.

I'm posting a layout for you to compare to the finished art.

See ya soon, I hope.



Anonymous said...

This is an interesting trend you mentioned, the lack of backgrounds. You need both characters and environments (positive and negative space) to make a panel work.

Sounds like they need to take a Backgrounds class with Gildersleeve or Goto.
Just kidding.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see a new penciled page! There is some awesome raw quality about them that's interesting to see before they're inked and colored. Will you be posting anymore in the near future?

xaqBazit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xaqBazit said...

I think the lack of backgrounds is really attributed to the influence and influx of manga over the last decade, and you coming up and making your career in the hayday of the "american/image" style comics puts you on kind of the other end of the spectrum. You said something to Cornell today about how he wanted to do something so bad he didn't see it was hurting him. I know your playing one side hard because of the review so I'm just playing devil's advocate as you do for me, but as I mentioned - "dated" does not imply bad, just not-modern. All your mentors/idols would probably like your work because they holds similar values to you when it comes to sequential art, but if those same artists that influenced you (that I know of) made comics today they would be considered dated too. I saw a addendum mini-issue that james has in the new printing of BWS weapon-x and its digiatly colored. His style doesnt work with the times, its great in it's element but seeing it now a days is a little "fish out of water" for me. Still like your art Tom, and get where your coming from, these are just my thoughts. Even major players around the same early-90's point like McFarlane, Joe Mad! and Miller were influenced by Manga/Anime so more than a decade later and with Manga giving American Comics a run for their money, and market - even a different demographic entirely - and the fact that your marketing to at least one entire generation after your 90's work - this is the "Manga generation." Any negative connotation with "dated-look" probably comes from all the hacks who got jobs using all those "American" pseudo-Jim Lee rendering techniques everyone got burnt out on. I get that much of their "style" comes form cutting corners and that aspect you should stay away from, but there are some powerful things you may be missing out on by not letting it influence you. But backgrounds are a small thing in the overall scheme of "east vs. west" and I dont see them as being distracting or detracting from your art, so... Phew.