Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Comic Book Art 5 (Moebius, Bryan Lee O’Malley and more)

Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Comic Book Art 5 (Moebius, Bryan Lee O’Malley and more)

This is obviously a little bit
odd-looking… maybe more than a little bit. I love when someone takes a convention
and just turns it. This is genuinely a page where it doesn’t matter at all what
order you read it in. – But I’ve never seen something like this before where someone
makes the eyes bigger and it makes the characters so… *shudders*. Been a while since I
did a flat out illustrator reacts a good and bad comic book art episode.
Partially because it’s kind of hard to find good examples of bad comic book art
that I can talk about in a constructive way, but I think I found a decent balance
in this episode. Also for anyone who’s never seen the series before, in the
pinned comment on this video I’m going to put a list of every artist I’ve
talked about in the series before and the episode it talked about them in
because I’ve covered lots of artists. So if you’re looking for someone
specifically that I don’t talk about in this episode, I might have talked about
them before so check there. Without further ado, let’s get into some comic
art starting with a pretty famously goofy looking Batman. Yeah, so… this is obviously a little bit
odd-looking. Maybe more than a little bit. This is art from Injustice, the comic
based off of the video game and I remember seeing this art firsthand when
I was reading this comic years and years ago. And it is genuinely one of the best
comic runs I’ve ever read. I really loved it. The story is fantastic and there is a
lot of genuinely great art in it. One of my personal favorite Catwoman drawings
ever is in this exact issue that this Batman art is from. The reason that there
is some goofy look and art in this series is because the artists were under
an intense rush. Like when I was talking about Yoshihiro Togashi’s art a couple
weeks ago on HunterxHunter, the artists for this comic were under a pretty
intense deadline. This comic was coming out weekly instead of monthly like most
DC comics would, and also take into account the fact that there isn’t just
one person doing the art. There’s David Yardin doing the pencils, then three
different people were doing the inking for this comic, and then there was a
colorist as well So with that many people involved in doing the art under
such an intense deadline, something is pretty much guaranteed to get lost in
translation at some point in some of the panels. Just imagine for this art if the
pencils were even a little bit vague in terms of the face structure of the
character. When the inker, or potentially multiple inkers, get this they have to
then interpret what the penciler was trying to get across, which could have
resulted in some kind of goofy-looking inks. But if you’re under an intense
deadline sometimes you just gotta go ‘well I’ve got dozens of other drawings
to do today so we’re just gonna have to deal with this.’ And maybe they’re hoping
that the colorist would fix things up a little bit, but then the colorist gets
this and goes ‘well I guess this is the inks that I’m coloring.’ So they both have
to try and stay in the lines that were provided in the inks as well as try and
get across the original idea of David Yardin’s art that he drew in the first
place. So with so many people involved and all of them having to draw multiple
images and odds are not having much time to communicate with each other, it’s
pretty easy to see how he could get some goofy looking art that looks like buck
teeth Batman here. And to David Yardin’s credit, this was all the art that was
coming out for the digital release of the comic, which was the initial release.
Once again like with Yoshihiro Togashi Yardin was pretty
unhappy with the final result so before the print issues were coming out he went
back in Inked and colored over a bunch of the artwork that had been done and
fix it up a whole lot. You can see in this comparison, with his fixed version
for the print not only did he do the obvious fix on the eyes and the mouth
making it a lot more normal human looking, he also added some more sheen
and contrast to Batman’s cowl and to Catwoman’s body and added more form to
Catwoman’s face he added a bit more blood on to Batman’s hands and overall
just really improved the image and made it look… you know more like normal comic
art. But even looking at that old one if you kind of stick your thumb over
Batman’s face the art is still pretty good looking it’s just unfortunate that
the part that got most messed up was the focal point of the image. And there are
plenty of other examples, I’ll put a few of them up, of other spots where Yardin
was fixing the artwork. He did a great job fixing things up and as someone who
read the Injustice comic, I can say that even though there was some goofy art and
I did notice that at the time, it didn’t interrupt my enjoyment of what is a
genuinely fantastic comic. And if you want to see a bunch of awesome examples
of David Yardin’s work I’ll put some of that up now he really is a great artist.
He’s done lots of awesome stuff, don’t let this one goofy image cloud your
judgment of him or any of the other artists that we’re working on this
series. There are very very few places where you’ll be able to find better
examples of using a really simple color palette than in some of Moebius work. And
he doesn’t exclusively use simple color palettes, but personally I find his best
work is when he does. If you look at this image specifically; there’s only three
colors in this whole piece there’s shades of orange, purple, and yellow. And
he’s using those colors to do a couple different effects. One is create depth.
You can see that the only thing that’s really a big orange wash is our main
character here looking down over the city and the building that he’s on and
that building he’s on is the only orange building in the whole piece which really
brings it forward and makes it stand out as the main focus. All the buildings in
the back are mainly a wash of purple and then there’s flecks of yellow splashed
all over in the windows and on some of these flying machines. And
this image could work without the yellow, but, that would mean that our only focus
in the image would be that main character and clearly with an
interesting environment like this he wants us to look through and explore all
of the background stuff after we’ve looked at our main focal point. So having
the purple and yellow be together in the background, being complementary colors or
contrasting colors (Some people call them complementary some people call them
contrasting, basically two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel) and
having those two colors in the back really makes us want to look through and
explore all of this interesting stuff happening in the background.
It’s a really great example of a reserved color palette. And he’s done
something kind of like that in this next image. If we take a look at this, you can
see this image is even more stripped back there’s pretty much only two colors
we’ve got blue and orange and then a bit of purple on that character on the left.
And in this one we’re encouraged less to explore the background because the focus
is supposed to be more on just these two characters interacting; the face and the
rocks and this little guy standing on the rock. And the way that we’re drawn to
that face in the rocks is partially just because people are inherently drawn to
looking at faces and even finding faces in places where there aren’t any
sometimes but also by the fact that this orange rock in the bottom left is almost
like an arrow pointing us straight towards that guy and the little
character on this rock is looking at the face in the rocks. And we’re also drawn
to that face a little bit more because of the contrast on it. It’s kind of a
lighter blue while all the rocks surrounding it are a bit of a darker
blue. And there are so many great examples of Moebius using reserved color
palettes two really really nice effect. And if you’re not familiar with Moebius
he’s a very famous french comic book artist who has influenced so many people
in the artistic realm. He’s encouraged the looks of different movies, video
games and so many popular artists. One specific one that I really like,
Hayao Miyazaki, who’s my personal favorite storyteller probably in
existence, he’s the director of movies like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke
and a bunch of other Studio Ghibli films and he specifically cited Moebius as
being an influence for Nausicaa of the Valley of
Wind which Miyazaki did as a manga and does a movie. Oh
also if you didn’t recognize that the face in that second image we were
looking at was Jimi Hendrix. So that wasn’t exactly comic book art but I
really liked that piece so I wanted to talk about it.
But yeah, his work is all super impressive I highly recommend you go take a look at
more of it cuz it’s all really gorgeous especially if you want to study color. Now in this series I’ve talked a lot
about how different artists get people to look through individual images in the
way they want but I haven’t actually talked a lot about how different artists
get people to look from one panel to the next in the order that they want and
that’s a big part of making comics. Readers have to be able to read the
comic in the intended order without thinking about it so I decided to go
looking for some examples of good and not-so-good page layout. And these pages
here from a Dark Avengers comic were framed by a lot of people online as
being a good example of bad page layout and admittedly I don’t mind it as much
as some other people seem to but I do get the complaints this is art done by
Mike Deodato jr. I’m 99% sure the credits for this comic are all out of
whack. On Marvel Unlimited it says that Terry Dodson was the penciler for this
issue and some of the art in it does look like it was done by him but the
pages were looking at definitely do not look like Terry Dodson’s art style. They
look a lot more like Mike Deodato jr. who is credited as an Inker. So I think
the crediting is just off and they were both doing pencils for different pages.
For the colorist and inkers I have no idea who is doing what pages so I
apologize that I can’t credit them properly. But anyway, if we look at the
art on these two pages specifically first of all the art itself, not trying
to read it as a story, is just really awesome looking. I specifically love this
Colossus vs Venom image because it really feels like Colossus is trying to
push a Venom away and it’s just a really uncomfortable cool dynamic fight image.
And even the earlier one of Colossus about to take a swing at them is really
cool-looking but I can see a problem with this page where… going back up to
the top of the page we read through that first panel and the normal way to read a
comic (specifically Western comics, if you’re reading a manga you’re
obviously gonna be reading to page the opposite direction) but is to read like
you would read anything from left to right and then move down to the next
part of the page. In this case though because the next two panels in the page
are angled up like this, which is a cool idea, it can kind of make you want to
look from that jumping image of Venom down to the panel just below it where
Colossus is running at Venom’s hand in the foreground. Which, what you’re
actually supposed to do is read it like you would read any comic jump your eye
down to that lower panel and then read up that slant and then continue. Because
I saw this image specifically being framed by people as not great layout I
didn’t really get to look at it with an unbiased eye going into it so I don’t
know if I personally would have read out the right way going in. I think there is
a good chance, I don’t think it’s that poorly laid out. I think the other page
is probably a better example of bad page layout because we’re obviously supposed
to start on this image of beasts taking a slash at someone but then I don’t know
necessarily which image we’re supposed to look at next. But to be fair I don’t
think it necessarily matters that much for these three images because they’re
all focused on different characters that are spread out over this fight so these
things could all be happening simultaneously. The problem really
happens if someone looks at this and feels like they have to think about
where they’re supposed to look next. If someone’s thinking ‘Oh am I supposed to
go here or here?’ then it’s taking them out of the story so that’s really the
only problem with this. There’s probably much better examples of
bad page layout; this really isn’t that bad it’s just not great. And specifically
when I was flipping through this comic to see more of the images I really
really love this page in particular and I think the flow works way better here
personally I start down here on Archangel… since when can Archangel shoot
lasers from his eyes? that is Archangel right? I didn’t read the Dark
Avengers run, so I’m sorry I might have somethings wrong. But my eye starts down
there and looks up through the beam and through Iceman’s
ice… surf… whatever you want to call it, read the texts over to ice man’s body
and then down through the other panels and I love the depth here of the eye
blast bringing us up towards Iceman. It’s really cool, there is some good page
layout in here but I see why people had problems with some of the other pages. Now for a really cool example of some
good comic layout and this is someone taking the classic 9 panel grid which is
one of the most classic common old-school page layout techniques and
kind of turning it on its head making us read it in a different direction of how
you normally would. This is art done by Bill Sienkiewicz
who’s probably most famous for his run on New Mutants? He’s done a lot of really
great stuff and a lot of his art is really bizarre and unusual looking. This
Moon Knight art is a little bit stripped back from his usual style, but I had to
take a look at this because I love when someone takes a convention and just
turns it. You can see with this page you’re not reading it going panel, panel,
panel, then down to the left again panel, panel, panel, like you normally would.
You’re reading it around sort of clockwise. And the way he’s managed to
make us do that breaking from how we would conventionally read a page like
this, is with Moon Knight’s body really guiding us through around the different panels.
And you could see Moon Knight’s body- his leg and his cape are sticking up into the
previous panels making sure that we move down to that panel next instead of
jumping over to the left of the page. And then to help emphasize it even more
there’s the sort of circle of blams going around these guys in the middle
that are shooting at Moon Knight. I also really like that moon night is getting
bigger and bigger subtly as he’s moving around the image. Because he is getting
closer and closer to the… I want to say camera that’s not exactly it but you get
what I mean he’s getting closer to us. There are a few other examples of
artists breaking how we’re supposed to read the 9 panel grid and they’re all
really cool but this is one that just really jumped out at me. Partially
because I was surprised it was Bill Sienkiewicz cuz it really doesn’t look
like what I think of when I think of his art style. Now if I hadn’t actually planned on
talking about Bryan Lee O’Malley today, but in looking at the Mike Deodato jr.
art and that one page how I was saying you could kind of look at it in any
order and it wouldn’t matter, that really got me thinking about some art from
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s book ‘Seconds’ which I believe was the next comic he made
after Scott Pilgrim which is probably the thing he’s most famous for. I really
really love Scott Pilgrim, but I might even love Seconds more… I don’t know it’s
a tough call they’re both great. But in Seconds there’s a few pages where it
really doesn’t matter what order you read the page in or even how long you
look at the page and this is one example of that. You can see this sort of
isometric drawing of us looking down at the basement of a restaurant and just
seeing what all the different people who work at the restaurants are doing. And
there’s no traditional panels on this page but there are sort of panels built
up by the walls of the basement. And this is one of those things where it’s kind
of like a world building page that you can either look at and say okay I get it
it’s a bunch of people working in a kitchen and move on to the next page or
you can stop and let it simmer, look through all the different rooms, see
what’s happening, absorb it. This is genuinely a page where it doesn’t matter
at all what order you read it in and I think the execution is great and the
idea is great and it just feels so Bryan Lee O’Malley. His art is all very fun and
cartoony and interesting and really creative. And there’s another page like
this where we’ve got the main character Katie going and interacting with her
customers in the restaurant, Seconds. And while in this one there is dialog that
you can read it still doesn’t really matter what order you’re reading it all
in because you get the idea by just looking at the page. This one there’s not
really as much framing built into it but you can see it’s just Katie interacting
with her customers, there’s not any essential plot information coming across
so again you can either look at this quickly take a look and then move on or
you can really sit in it and absorb what’s going on, see how she’s talking to
the different customers. So while guiding people’s eye through an image is really
there, are some times where you don’t necessarily have to do that. And I kind
of just came up with that term world building pages on the spot, but I I think
I kind of like that as a way to explain pages like this. It’s almost like a
free-roaming page for your eyes. But yeah I might have to talk about Bryan Lee
O’Malley again because his art is really fun and really great and Scott Pilgrim
and Seconds are both fantastic comics. Now Locke-and-Key is a comic series that
I’ve meant to get to for a long time, specifically because I’ve heard the
writing was really good. I hadn’t really heard anything about the art itself. The
book was written by Joe Hill who’s actually the son of Stephen King, but if
he’d kept the last name King then his name would have been ‘Joking’ so I get why
you wouldn’t want that, but anyway the art in it actually really jumped out to
me and one specific thing that Gabriel Rodriguez did was the way he did the
faces. Now when you’re doing eyes on a character a lot of the time if you want
the character to look more tough and stoic you’ll make the eyes smaller and
that makes them more intimidating. If you want them to look cuter you make the
eyes bigger in this case Gabriel Rodriguez made all the characters have
really big eyes… but in this case it makes them so much more uncomfortable
and unsettling looking which is the intended effect. This is very much a
horror comic and a lot of the stuff in it is kind of disturbing and creepy and
weird. But I’ve never seen something like this before where someone makes the eyes
bigger and it makes the characters so *shudders* I think part of the way he’s done
that is the rendering around the eyes emphasizing the eyelids a little bit
more and eyelashes and just uh… I don’t know not cute way. Especially considering the
fact that a lot of the time he does those sort of light glares in the eyes
which usually makes the eyes look even cuter and it just doesn’t in this case
it really kind of baffled me the whole way through the comic. And the comic is
exactly as great as everyone was telling me it is. But just those eyes really
really got me the whole way through and I think they’re so effective. They do
still help you connect with the characters cuz we’re drawn to looking at
not just specifically faces but eyes, but as
you’re drawn to them you’re also really unsettled by them. And there’s a lot of
other stuff he does really well in this comic the art in general is just really
solid. His texturings on stuff like wood are really cool and I think he’s done a
really great job with any drawing of the big mansion that these characters live
in. But yeah those eyes really interesting decision and really well executed.
Another comic series that I highly recommend.
Alright everybody that’s all for this episode of illustrator reacts be sure to
check out some of the other kinds of videos on this channel a bunch of people
have really liked my recent overwatch characters as Dungeons & Dragons
characters and the much requested sequel to that is coming up on Monday. I also
did an episode recently where I filled an entire table with hundreds of
sketches and I do lots and lots of other fun art challenges and drawings and
weird nerdy mashups. And of course as always I’d love for people to recommend
more artists for me to talk about. I know people like when I talk about
quote-unquote bad art if you’ve got some good suggestions of bad professional
comic art please leave them in the comments that’s the hardest kind of
stuff to find. And I try to not tear into the artists ever I try to just look at
it from a constructive lens and talk about how a good artist might
occasionally make some bad artwork but also if you’ve just got some really
great artists that you’d like me to talk about that’s super awesome to all the
suggestions are very much appreciated. Anyway everybody I’m Christian Pearson
this has been PopCross Studios, home of the nerdiest art videos on YouTube and I
will see you all on the next one goodbye everybody!

100 thoughts on “Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Comic Book Art 5 (Moebius, Bryan Lee O’Malley and more)

    Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Manga Art:
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    Frank Miller, David Aja, Jae Lee, Matteo Scalera and Marcio Takara

    Illustrator reacts to Good and Bad Comic Art 4
    Kim Jung Gi, Joe Madureira, Stjepan Sejic, Todd McFarlane, J Scott Campbell, Takehiko Inoue, Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth

    Illustrator reacts to Good and Bad Comic Art 3
    Eric Canete, Dexter Soy, Dan Mora Chaves, Yusuke Murata, Kentaro Miura, Hirohiko Araki

    Illustrator reacts to Good and Bad Comic Art 2
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    Illustrator reacts to Good and Bad Comic Art
    Rob Liefeld, Kenneth Rocafort, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Francis Manapul and Humberto Ramos

  2. Now that you talked about Moebius, I advise you to check Philippe Druillet's work (on Loane Sloane, Salammbô and Night) : he was kind of Moebius' fellow at Heavy Metal (Métal Hurlant) but his work is much darker. He influenced Mad Max, Star Wars and many artists…

  3. I think what he did the eyes on Locke & Key is like how they do it on Attack on Titans. Those eyes are big and also really disturbing to look at. Kinda having the same feel looking at those faces.

  4. It's Bill SinKEVitch.
    Moon Knight was pre-New Mutants. He began far more a standard/solid artist, then about halfway thru the run he just exploded. The latter part of the run is just astounding.

  5. Gabriel Rodríguez is an Architect graduated of the best Chilean architecture school. He design the Mansion and made some architectural drawings that are included in some versions of the comic. Thats why he draw so well perspectives.

  6. So pleased to see Locke & Key featured. It’s easily one of my favourite series and the collected edition box set is beautiful.

  7. Love this series, and this episode is done so so well! Thank you also for highlighting the artists as best as possible, and also discussing reasons for any possible "bad" art. Also, you mention "archangel" on one cool page layout, but you were confused by his eyebeam. This is because it isn't archangel, bit rather the character "Mimic". Mimic has the ability to copy any power or skill from anyone or any mutant close to him.

  8. Give Oh!Great a try. he drew Air Gear, and it has many great sequentials, backgrounds and poses. He's also doing Bakemonogatari, which has some trippy stuff.

  9. How could you skip Richard Corben? That guy mixed comic and film conventions in his art like noone else.

    Do. Not. Skip. The. Corben.

  10. I'm assuming that the person with the wings and eye blasts is Mimic. He copied all the powers of the original five X-Men.

  11. Pop cross studios for a video you should instead of reacting good and bad art you should fix “bad” art wether I photos shop or a redrawing like for example correcting the proportions on rob liefeilds captan America

  12. Art Adams please! Its interesting to see me how his style changed over the years. When I saw Longshot as a kid I thought it was the most detailed, greatest art I'd ever seen! Would love to hear your thoughts on his work.

  13. i’d like to know what you think about eiichiro odas art. i think he’s really good at guiding the reader through the page especially in the beginning and certain fights of the series

  14. hi, great you put sienkiewicz in there. question: are you open to do a video about comicbook art when somebody suggests a topic you like?

  15. 11:43 That's Mimic or Cal if you want to call him by his regular name. If I'm not mistaken he can use up to five different mutants powers at once. His usual power set is that of the OG X-Men given that he's spent the most time with them and knows their powers the best.

  16. Check out Ethan Van Sciver's art work from Green lantern and the newest CyberFrog there's a vast difference from his old stuff to his newest stuff

  17. Those Bryan Lee O'Malley's pages were probably inspired by Frank Miller's Elektra Lives Again.
    What many people don't know is that Frank Miller took inspiration from italian comic book artist Gianni De Luca.
    You should check out his works ; they deserve some praise. 🙂

  18. This is something I would normally be interested in watching, but it does not need to be 20 whole minutes at ALL. Your content seems pretty good, but if you cut more of the fluff people will stick around for longer. Keep it up, dude

  19. Snotgirl is definitely now on my radar! I remember reading Seconds in middle school, the frame you showed of the basement really brought me back! It was my favorite panel, I'd look at it for a while before I even thought to move on. Always thought I had missed something.

  20. have you ever taken a comic stle design and try and change it to a manga style or viceversa . i think that would make a cool video

  21. I would love if you checked out Alex Milne's art- he's one of my biggest inspiration, and I think his art is just awesome.

  22. If you like that first image you showed from "Seconds" you should take a look at Spanish artist Francisco Ibañez series "13, Rue del Percebe". Basically, the whole comic series is the concept of that image. Every page shows a building with the front wall missing and you can see what happens inside the different apartments, with one gag happening in each single apartment. The idea is brilliant and it's a lot of fun.

  23. I would love to see you react to Atsushi Ohkubo's artwork. He's the creator of the Soul Eater and fire force mangas.
    He has a unique style that I could only describe as: quirky but twisted.

  24. I think the deal with Gabriel Rodriguez's big eyes is that he draws really small pupils. Mostly big eyes are paried with dilated pupils. We register dilated pupils as cute, just look at "kawaii faces" etc. And if you look at more art with small pupils, you'll see that really makes a face look sinister, really deranged, when it's pushed to it's limits. I mean at least that's what I think. :)))

  25. I just started reading Copra volume 3 and need an artist's reaction to the work and oeuvre of Michel Fiffe. I have so much to say, but I'll wait until the conversation has begun.

  26. Unfortunately, Rodriguez changes his art style as the story moves forward, becoming more and more realistic towards the final issues, and, while still good, it's not as awesome as it was in the first issues.

  27. I am glad that you covered Moebius. My older friend was a huge fan of his work in Heavy Metal magazine. At the time (mid 80s) I didn't really appreciate it. Since then, I have come to REALLY appreciate his work and have seen how he has influenced other artists with his style. I think you did a really good job of pointing out how some of his techniques are subtle, yet have a subconscious impact when looking at the panels. He did this in multiple ways. One of the first comic related posters that I bought to hang on my wall as a teen was Moebius's Iron Man. I never even read Iron Man and was a DC fan but I just really liked the illustrative style and use of the limited color pallet that also influenced me as an art student.

  28. It'd be so cool to see you react to Ayami Kojima's art! She isn't a comic or manga artist but she designed a lot of the work for the Castlevania games

  29. Have you checked out:
    The Breaker: New Waves (Park Jin-Hwan)
    God of Highschool (Park Yong-Je)
    Demon Slayer (The animation specially: Koyoharu Gotoge)?
    Regardless, I really like your content, wd and keep up the great work ^_^)/

  30. Here’s an idea you could do for a future episode you could take a look at art from webcomics, you could also ask people on Twitter for recommendations Incase you can’t really think of to many.

  31. Moebius's art is on another level
    6:26 and by "the face on the rocks" you meant "the face of Jimi Hendrix as a deity of the blue(s) rock" , right?
    And too bad you didn't mention that Katsuhiro Otomo is one of the artists Moébius influenced deeply.Here's a Tetsuo by Moebius 😉

  32. sean murphy's art from the bat man white knight/curse of the white knight series is some of the best ive seen in a hot minute

  33. Manga can sometimes be really bad about page layout and what panel you are supposed to read next cause they love doing crazy layouts that take up half a page or more.


    Oyasumi Punpun is some of my favorite art, the way he clashes surreal imagery with stark realism is amazing.

  35. Titles like these are the reason art is dying. Art cannot be objectively good and bad. You can't use facts to prove the artwork in this video is good or bad because art is subjective.

  36. Yet another great episode! I know you're drowning in recommendations/requests already, but I really hope you take a look at Ivan Reis' work. His pencils (and, honestly, every single other person on that creative team) for Blackest Night is easily one of my personal high watermarks for detail combined with breadth in comics. Still one of the best-looking books I've ever read.

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