#1 Posted by Fenderxx (410 posts) - - Show Bio

So I was at my local Comic shop today and walked into an interesting conversation. Can good writing keep you interested in a book if you do not like the art ? or on the flip side, Can great art, save a so-so story and keep your interest?

Me personally, I find that really Great Art can save a average story, for example the current run of Venom, I like the story, but I feel the last couple of issues it has been the art keeping me in. (last issue was much better). while the story has been lack luster.

However. I find the flip side harder, Bad art can not save a story I am interested in. example, current Thunderbolts, I love the team, and their interaction, however I find that I would have dropped the title if the artist was not going to be changed in the next 2 issues.

Anyway what do you all think ? and do you have any examples of good art or writing that saved an series for you ?

#2 Posted by lightsout (1829 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with the OP. Dark Knight Returns is an "all time" story, but the art ruined it for me. I can't think of an example of the reverse off hand, but I'm sure I've read stories that I've sleep-walked through, but if it had good art & cool fight-scenes, I wouldn't care.

#3 Posted by spinningbirdcake (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

Man...am I the only one that thinks Dark Knight Returns reads like bad fan fiction?

Anyway, I relate this to the way I look at video games. I'll play a game with bad game play if the story is interesting, but I'm less intrigued by a game with amazing mechanics and no convincing reason to be doing the things I'm doing. It's the same with comics. I'll suffer what I consider bad art for the story, but not the other way around.

#4 Posted by judasnixon (6586 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fenderxx: Funny you brought up Thunderbolts. I'm one of those people who isn't bothered by Steve Dillon's art. That man drew 65 issues of one of my all time favorite books ever (Preacher). There is two types of bad comic book art. 1 Ugly art, and Steve Dillon's art is definitely Ugly. 2 Is bad story telling. You should be able to flip threw a book and not read anything and still have a good idea what's going on. That is the on that drives me crazy. Dillon has fugly art, but at least he can tell a story. As for good art saving bad writing in a comic. I don't like Daniel Way's writing at all. Never did. Steve Dillon is leaving thunderbolts and being replaced by my favorite artist Phil Noto, and I'm still not going to pick up Thunderbolts. So no. Good art can't save bad writing in a comic. At least for me that is. Everyone is different I Guess.......
#5 Posted by Donovan Montgomery (5446 posts) - - Show Bio

Art definitely makes up for lackluster story telling, just look at early Image books..........

Good writing , however, can suffer severely from bad art.

But this is coming from someone who picked up the last few issues of Doom 2099 mainly to finish the collection and not for the story and definitely not for the art. I also quit on my favorite comic because (mainly) of the writer (I say "mainly" because finances at the time helped with the decision, but if I enjoyed the writing, I would have kept buying).

#6 Posted by guttridgeb (4832 posts) - - Show Bio

There's too many factors for me to give a full answer. In short, I usually struggle to enjoy a comic with bad art regardless of the writing.

#7 Posted by Decoy Elite (30041 posts) - - Show Bio

Depends.

#8 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

Let's put it to the test. Have Liefeld draw for Morrison and have Alex Ross draw for Quesada.

#9 Posted by SC (13120 posts) - - Show Bio

Well first off, just to be clear, in comics art can tell a story. Art in general can tell a story. There is a reason why writing is called writing and story is called story instead of writing and story being called writstory. Then I guess it really depends on how good the writing or art is compared to how bad the art or writing is and how a person values each.

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#10 Posted by kingsloth (249 posts) - - Show Bio

@Fenderxx: depends on how bad the art is and how good the writing is. I mean can a jim lee batman save the book if its written by liefeld, probably not.

#11 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm more of a visual person, but I have to say that bad art can make me like a good story...more than good art can make me like a bad story.

As pretty as the visuals are, if there's no soul or sense behind them, I can't swallow the story at all. Case in point: Brad Meltzer's Justice League. Ed Benes is a gorgeous superhero artist, his Wonder Woman and Red Arrow are two of my favorite interpretations of the characters. But Meltzer's story is ridiculous and stinks. The whole time I was reading the panels, I just kept getting distracted by the questionable plot.

On the other hand, while I don't like bad art, there's probably a higher chance I can swallow it if the story's good enough. Mike Perkins' pencils on Ed Brubaker's Captain America run for example. Doug Mahnke's pencils in Sinestro Corps War. Even Paul Pelletier's work in Aquaman (I don't mind him, but Reis really set the bar way up there).

Of course, even this has some exceptions. Case in point, Igor Kordey's art on Morrison's New X-Men. GODAWFUL. Seriously, I couldn't even care about the story when my eyes were bleeding all over his panels. I've heard that he was rushed and that he's usually a good artist, but those issues were ridiculously bad.

#12 Posted by Billy Batson (58030 posts) - - Show Bio

Writing yes, art no.
BB

#13 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

@Billy Batson said:

Writing yes, art no.
BB

truth.

#14 Posted by End_Boss (738 posts) - - Show Bio

Short answer? No. Great art will not make up for terrible writing, and vice versa. Great art might compensate for mediocre writing, but even then not for long. And for the other scenario, let me put it to you this way: a book you're reading has a great plot. Then Liefield signs on as the permanent artist. What do you do? Drop the book? I know I would.

#15 Posted by PrinceAragorn1 (17472 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah. There is a reason why I still watch naruto after Pein turned road runner :D

#16 Posted by JonSmith (3996 posts) - - Show Bio

@Fenderxx said:

Thunderbolts, I love the team, and their interaction, however I find that I would have dropped the title if the artist was not going to be changed in the next 2 issues.

Oh, thank (insert deity of choice here).

#17 Posted by dtschemmel (503 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm just going to say it, Hawkeye has good story. But worse art than an Archie comic...

#18 Posted by Captain_Yesterday (807 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd rather read a book with a great story and ok art. Then one with great art and an ok story.

But, I do like writing stories and can't draw a straight line so that may have something to do with it.

#19 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fenderxx: This really is an excellent question!!!
For me, the answer is, "The art HAS to be good."   it's an imperative....   Great writing can can sort of carry things if the art is bad, but that only works in a mini-series or one shot...
 
I remember a specific conversation with a friend, back in the late 80s...  We were talking comic books and I was mentioning how so many of them were changing their art styles to the point where I even had a hard time recognizing the characters that I knew well...  HE had already given up on a number of series.  He made the comment, "If I don't like the art, I'm not buying it."      
 
That made sense.  Charles Schulz (Charlie Brown cartoonist) said that comics should be, "enjoyable to LOOK at..."    Now, consider what
 @lightsout said:

I agree with the OP. Dark Knight Returns is an "all time" story, but the art ruined it for me. I can't think of an example of the reverse off hand, but I'm sure I've read stories that I've sleep-walked through, but if it had good art & cool fight-scenes, I wouldn't care.

The Dark Knight Returns truly was a great story.  But, if we're going to be honest, the art sucked a whole heard of goats...  If it were a continuing series with that type of art, I wouldn't bother with it...  Long ago I dropped series such as "The New Mutants" and "Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-man" because the art became so bad I couldn't tell who anyone was, or what they were doing during the fight scenes...
 
Now, the flip side.  Great Art with lousy writing... Well, I think it's like music.  If the music is truly great you don't actually NEED the words to tell the story.  But I do prefer words and I prefer to words to tell a great story...
 
I think it's possible to tell a story, in comic books, with only pictures...  Think about the Fantastic Four issue immediately after Johnny Storm died.  All pictures... it was great... 
However, I do love great dialogue.  There are many things that can only be expressed in dialogue and that requires great writing.
#20 Edited by Nerd Of A Hero (882 posts) - - Show Bio

This is GOOD Writing but BAD Art:

This is GOOD Art but with BAD Writing:

So it all depends on the people doing it.

#21 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4530 posts) - - Show Bio

There's nothing like a good story ,which we all can agree on! For me I can't stomach bad art with a good story, but I can take a mediocre story, horrible even, with a great artwork/ beautiful book any day.

#22 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (20257 posts) - - Show Bio

At least you can go through a comic book and look at the marvelous illustrations the artist created with a bad plot. You can just ignore the words.

However, with bad art, it's a pain flipping through the pages. I like The Dark Knight Returns, but the art just really turns me off the novel.

#23 Posted by Fenderxx (410 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, To be honest I expected this topic to be very one sided, but it looks like its almost 50/50,

#24 Posted by lightsout (1829 posts) - - Show Bio

@Nerd Of A Hero: Those are good examples, and I definitely show my art-bias because just looking at the art before reading the latter is a LOT more appealing to me.

Speaking of bad art (though I'm not making a judgement on the writing), the latest Batman INC's art was VERY unappealing to me. A little sad (IMO) given the events.

#25 Posted by Army2442 (1744 posts) - - Show Bio

I prefer a story with great art and poor story rather then vice versa. Just look at pretty much all of 90s books the art was terriable.

#26 Posted by lightsout (1829 posts) - - Show Bio

@Army2442 said:

I prefer a story with great art and poor story rather then vice versa. Just look at pretty much all of 90s books the art was terriable.

Yea, I can't read much of anything prior to the mid-90s (and then, it's only stuff like JLA or JSA - fun team books). I like me some detailed, modern (technology) art.