Yes, I Am a Fan of Rob Liefeld

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Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
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2008/15/10Yes, I Am a Fan of Rob Liefeld(Blog) (Forum)Rob Liefeld(Back) (Next)

I wrote a blog yesterday, titled "Seven Comic Writers That Inspire Me," and this was number seven:

7) Rob Liefeld - This probably comes as a shock to most, because Liefeld is probably the most popular whipping boy in comics, but he truly is one of my favorite writers in comics. NOT because I necessarily think he's a great writer, but because of the sheer amount of books and characters he has put out. I ran across an interview with Crazy Cat Com Comics, posted on Comic Vine, where Liefeld said, "About twenty years ago, it's like my head exploded," and all of these characters came out. Entire teams - Youngblood (in two or three versions of the team), Bloodstrike, New Men, and Brigade - as well as solid solo characters Supreme and Glory. Nevermind stuff he did at Maximum, like Avengelyne. And lest we forget, he created Cable and Deadpool for Marvel - characters that, love 'em or hate 'em - have carried at least five titles each.
I don't care about "tiny feet" and whatever else might be said about his art. As I have trouble drawing better than a twelve year old, I think his art is teriffic. The thing with Liefeld is that he seems to have trouble getting books out on time, if at all. Still, when Marvel tried to sue him over Agent America, he managed to get the rights to Fighting American, effectively thumbing his nose at Marvel, and with a nice bit of historical symmetry. If you don't admire him for that, you have no soul.

Of course, I got this as a response: "Liefield is good at creating characters because he rips other's creation off. Ha ha ha. But you have to respect the man. He put himself out there helped build an entire comic company from the ground up... and then robbed it blind but who's cares about that right?"

Honestly, I had avoided the topic of Liefeld's time as Image treasurer, so here, I was forced to give it some thought, along with the comment about ripping off others' creations. To my surprise, my response was more positive towards Liefeld than I expected:

I try to live by "Don't take up an offense for another." Whatever Liefeld may have done during his first run at Image, that seems to have been worked out, as he's back there now, so no, I don't think his previous offenses matter. As for ripping off other's creations, it could be argued that many creator-owned properties are derivative of stuff at the Big Two. Offhand though, other than derivatives of Cable and Deadpool, which Liefeld created for Marvel, I cannot think of characters that Liefeld has ripped off. Troll's hair made him look like Wolverine in the face. Liefeld wanted to use reworks of his Captain America art on his own Agent America, but I don't consider that any more derivative than Mighty Man to Captain Marvel, Invincible to Superboy, or the way Valentino creates villains that are direct derivatives of DC heroes (Blackjak/Superman; Nocturn/Batman). Glory is a twisted derivative of Wonder Woman, but Supreme wasn't really a Superman derivative until Alan Moore came along. Before that, the only way Supreme paralleled Superman was that he had a cape and was obviously the most powerful being in Liefeld's universe of characters.
I mean, really, are Supreme and Glory more of a ripoff than Apollo (Superman) and Midnighter (Batman), Promethea (Wonder Woman), Tom Strong (early Superman), Pitt (Hulk) or Miracleman (direct derivative of DC's Captain Marvel)? And just how broad do you want to define "ripoff" or "derivative?" It could be argued that Deathblow is derivative of the Punisher (as was New Universe's Merc). In fact, the Big Two are copying each other all the time - Superman/Sentry, JLA/Squadron Supreme, Legion of Super-Heroes/ Imperial Guard, Green Arrow/ Hawkeye, Shang-Chi/ Richard Dragon, etc.
Liefeld hasn't really done anything that wasn't being done in the industry all along. I really think to accuse him of ripping off other creations - any more than other creators have done - just goes back to using Liefeld as the favorite whipping boy.
Don't get me wrong, Liefeld has his weaknesses. Chief among them seems to be promoting the heck out of a new idea, and then taking forever to get the book out, if it comes out at all. He's been in the business for twenty-plus years, and has convinced people like Alan Moore and Robert Kirkman to work with him, as well as convincing the holders of the Fighting American rights to let him use the character. His follow through is weak though, and he apparently had to pay Alan Moore by signing over Glory to him. Liefeld's mistakes have been more obvious (or perhaps more reported on) but he's managed to correct those things in one way or another. I honestly don't consider myself a big Liefeld fan, but I can look at both sides of things where he's concerned, and I do find the sheer number of characters he's created inspiring.

So, now that I've said all that, I think I have to reevaluate my position on whether I'm a fan of Liefeld, and say that yes, I am a fan of Rob Liefeld. Really, the most negative thing I could say about him here is that he doesn't get books out on time, and it's not like he's the only person in the industry to do that. Marvel and DC even put out late books now. In fact, late books have become an industry norm.

My chief admiration of Rob Liefeld is his prodigious amount of characters. Beyond that, everything I hear about the guy personally says that he's a genuinely personable guy. If you need proof of that, look at the huge names in comics that he has convinced to work with him, or do a search on "yellow hat guy," and see if you can come up with the video of the tittering Rob-hater that thought it was cool to slip Liefeld a copy of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, and run off. Liefeld's reaction was professional and polite, under the circumstances. Later reports on Liefeld's Twitter posts showed that it was really a non-issue for him.

So beyond "tiny feet" and late books, where does the hate for Rob Liefeld come from? Is it just a case of jumping on the bandwagon - everyone else hates the guy, so I will too? Considering that his flaws are rampant throughout the industry, it doesn't seem right to single out Liefeld as the whipping boy for them. So I'm gonna route for the underdog here, and say again that yes, I am a fan of Rob Liefeld.

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#1 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

Meh, don't stress, could be worse. You could be a fan of Siege.

#2 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@FadeToBlackBolt: LOL, nah, no stress to it.  Liefeld-hating's been going on for a long time, and I've never really seen the sense in it being as rampant as it is.  Just thought I'd rant about it. ;)
#3 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
@cbishop said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt: LOL, nah, no stress to it.  Liefeld-hating's been going on for a long time, and I've never really seen the sense in it being as rampant as it is.  Just thought I'd rant about it. ;) "
Haha, fair enough. I don't like him as a person (his smug smile annoys me), but aside from his feet and the occasional anatomical ludicrousness, I don't think he's as bad as everyone says. I'd consider Romita Jr to be worse, at least Liefeld's characters' designs had a bit of personality to them.
#4 Posted by .Longshot. (5264 posts) - - Show Bio
@FadeToBlackBolt: When Romita's drawing other people's characters, Spiderman for example, it looks fine. But still, I'd have to agree.
#5 Posted by Abnormally Warm Guy (1297 posts) - - Show Bio

My comment caused a rant! yeah!

#6 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@Abnormally Warm Guy: LOL, yeah, you pushed me over the edge, but in a good way.  I was leaning towards writing this anyway, but once I got your comment, I thought about it more, and decided there was definitley something to say here.  Thanks for the push. ;)
#7 Posted by Vance Astro (91196 posts) - - Show Bio
@FadeToBlackBolt said:
" @cbishop said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt: LOL, nah, no stress to it.  Liefeld-hating's been going on for a long time, and I've never really seen the sense in it being as rampant as it is.  Just thought I'd rant about it. ;) "
Haha, fair enough. I don't like him as a person (his smug smile annoys me), but aside from his feet and the occasional anatomical ludicrousness, I don't think he's as bad as everyone says. I'd consider Romita Jr to be worse, at least Liefeld's characters' designs had a bit of personality to them. "
JRJR's art is stylized..he doesn't leave things out or try to hide them in the picture with awkward poses and objects.I'm not a big fan of JRJR but he puts characters in the poses he wants to because he actually has the talent to draw them.He doesn't use shortcuts to compensate.I think the people who have been on Leifeld's back about his artwork are just amazed at the realization doesn't have down the basics has gotten so much work.I can deal with bad art.I don't like JRJR most of the time or people like Steve Dillion or Frank Quitely but at least they know enough about anatomy to create their own style.Leifeld just cuts corners.
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#8 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro said:
"JRJR's art is stylized..he doesn't leave things out or try to hide them in the picture with awkward poses and objects.I'm not a big fan of JRJR but he puts characters in the poses he wants to because he actually has the talent to draw them.He doesn't use shortcuts to compensate.I think the people who have been on Leifeld's back about his artwork are just amazed at the realization doesn't have down the basics has gotten so much work.I can deal with bad art.I don't like JRJR most of the time or people like Steve Dillion or Frank Quitely but at least they know enough about anatomy to create their own style.Leifeld just cuts corners. "

I could see the "cutting corners" complaint.  I have read somewhere that Liefeld spends a lot of time on video games, and other stuff that distracts him from his work.  If that's true, I could totally see him getting down to deadline time, and cutting corners to complete the artwork.  As for not having the basics down, I don't know enough about drawing to catch that unless it's really obvious (although I suppose "obvious" is relative, in this case).  It doesn't really bother me though, because I tend to get Liefeld's stuff late, which means I can usually get it from quarter bins.
#9 Posted by Vance Astro (91196 posts) - - Show Bio
@cbishop said:
" @Vance Astro said:
"JRJR's art is stylized..he doesn't leave things out or try to hide them in the picture with awkward poses and objects.I'm not a big fan of JRJR but he puts characters in the poses he wants to because he actually has the talent to draw them.He doesn't use shortcuts to compensate.I think the people who have been on Leifeld's back about his artwork are just amazed at the realization doesn't have down the basics has gotten so much work.I can deal with bad art.I don't like JRJR most of the time or people like Steve Dillion or Frank Quitely but at least they know enough about anatomy to create their own style.Leifeld just cuts corners. "
I could see the "cutting corners" complaint.  I have read somewhere that Liefeld spends a lot of time on video games, and other stuff that distracts him from his work.  If that's true, I could totally see him getting down to deadline time, and cutting corners to complete the artwork.  As for not having the basics down, I don't know enough about drawing to catch that unless it's really obvious (although I suppose "obvious" is relative, in this case).  It doesn't really bother me though, because I tend to get Liefeld's stuff late, which means I can usually get it from quarter bins. "
It was always my impression that he cuts corners because of his lack of skills.I have seen several pages he's done where feet and other body parts have been exaggerated past what his style will permit and poses that are anatomically impossible.I have also seen parts hidden behind objects.If you look at his "infamous Captain America" image...he's clearly hiding the rest of Captain America behind that ridiculous sized shield because he doesn't know how to draw him in profile like that.His anatomy is completely off.I've seen an image where someone mapped out where his actual body would be behind the shield and it's absolutely ridiculous.Leifeld has gotten better but even if you look at his more recent stuff on Cable and Deadpool,Lady Deadpool,Youngblood etc.You can still tell that even after all this time he still can't draw certain part of the body accurately.
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#10 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro said:
"It was always my impression that he cuts corners because of his lack of skills.I have seen several pages he's done where feet and other body parts have been exaggerated past what his style will permit and poses that are anatomically impossible.I have also seen parts hidden behind objects.If you look at his "infamous Captain America" image...he's clearly hiding the rest of Captain America behind that ridiculous sized shield because he doesn't know how to draw him in profile like that.His anatomy is completely off.I've seen an image where someone mapped out where his actual body would be behind the shield and it's absolutely ridiculous.Leifeld has gotten better but even if you look at his more recent stuff on Cable and Deadpool,Lady Deadpool,Youngblood etc.You can still tell that even after all this time he still can't draw certain part of the body accurately. "

Wellllll, I was supposing best case scenario there.  Like I keep saying, art is not my strong suit, so I don't really study others' art that closely (and probably wouldn't catch half that stuff, if I did). <shrugs> I like the characters the guy comes up with.
#11 Edited by Vance Astro (91196 posts) - - Show Bio
@cbishop said:

Wellllll, I was supposing best case scenario there.  Like I keep saying, art is not my strong suit, so I don't really study others' art that closely (and probably wouldn't catch half that stuff, if I did). <shrugs> I like the characters the guy comes up with. "

I didn't catch any of that stuff into it was pointed out to me but I always found something off about his artwork.Just couldn't put my finger on it.He's not bad at character creation.It's fine if you like him as an artist or whatever.I was just saying I can see why other people hate him so much.Art is an extremely important part of comics.In fact in my case it's 80% of the reason I read comics.I'm more likely to read a well penciled\colored comic than a well written one.I mean I read All-Star Batman and that was complete garbage.But  Jim Lee is amazing.
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#12 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt said:
" @cbishop said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt: LOL, nah, no stress to it.  Liefeld-hating's been going on for a long time, and I've never really seen the sense in it being as rampant as it is.  Just thought I'd rant about it. ;) "
Haha, fair enough. I don't like him as a person (his smug smile annoys me), but aside from his feet and the occasional anatomical ludicrousness, I don't think he's as bad as everyone says. I'd consider Romita Jr to be worse, at least Liefeld's characters' designs had a bit of personality to them. "
JRJR's art is stylized..he doesn't leave things out or try to hide them in the picture with awkward poses and objects.I'm not a big fan of JRJR but he puts characters in the poses he wants to because he actually has the talent to draw them.He doesn't use shortcuts to compensate.I think the people who have been on Leifeld's back about his artwork are just amazed at the realization doesn't have down the basics has gotten so much work.I can deal with bad art.I don't like JRJR most of the time or people like Steve Dillion or Frank Quitely but at least they know enough about anatomy to create their own style.Leifeld just cuts corners. "
That's a fair assessment. Personally though, I'd rather see mutant poses, weird anatomy and no feet but still be able to tell characters apart. Liefeld's women actually look like women, which is another reason I prefer him to JRJR. 
 
However, I also completely understand why people hate the guy. @Vance Astro said:
" @cbishop said:

Wellllll, I was supposing best case scenario there.  Like I keep saying, art is not my strong suit, so I don't really study others' art that closely (and probably wouldn't catch half that stuff, if I did). <shrugs> I like the characters the guy comes up with. "

I didn't catch any of that stuff into it was pointed out to me but I always found something off about his artwork.Just couldn't put my finger on it.He's not bad at character creation.It's fine if you like him as an artist or whatever.I was just saying I can see why other people hate him so much.Art is an extremely important part of comics.In fact in my case it's 80% of the reason I read comics.I'm more likely to read a well penciled\colored comic than a well written one.I mean I read All-Star Batman and that was complete garbage.But  Jim Lee is amazing. "
As for this part, I hate to wax off an old chest nut, but have you read Siege? Great art and... (I'm trying to think of a sufficiently negative adjective...bingo! Got one) Bendis' writing.
I read All-Star Batman as well, I think there was about two parts of that series that I actually enjoyed that weren't Jim Lee. I still take writing over art though; I'm just a huge Lee fan.
#13 Edited by Abnormally Warm Guy (1297 posts) - - Show Bio
@FadeToBlackBolt: I have met the guy. He is a complete and utter ass. My friend Oscar admired him and said "you're the reason I put a pen to paper and started drawing" Liefield responded. "Don't let anyone ever tell you anything you do is wrong. They're just b!£ches. I see their comments from one of my mansions. Where do they live? A bullsh!£ apartment that's where." 
 
Let's  put aside the fact that he paid for the mansion with siphoned money from image, criticism, in essence, is not a bad thing. It's how you learn to make you're work better. 
  
Now I agree, you can't let it hurt you and criticisms like "this is gay" or "fake" (OF COURSE IT'S FAKE ITS A DRAWING ha ha ha), but constructive critisim is not something you should just ignore.
#14 Posted by Tasuxeda (15 posts) - - Show Bio

siege was good read

#15 Edited by midnightmare (98 posts) - - Show Bio

I was kinda fan of Liefeld when he was drawing X-Force(90's), and his work hasn't much technique but it has a lot of personality. In that time, he was representative of what superhero comics where about. Later, in the 2000's he tried to do the same, whith volume 2, but time has pased and it seemed old. 
  Besides, Liefeld got to be watched by  different perspectives, as artist, creative, and executive. He's got great ideas whith characters, even if they qheren't original characters. Many of his ideas whith Youngblood and the Avenges where used by Millar at the Ultimates, but the latter knew how to aplicate them better. And teh original concept of Supreme, as an unholly version of Superman, being egolatric and mesquine was great, only he let it flown into bad directions.

   His whost mistake was being too ambitious, and create whole universe whith tons of characters and constantly making crossovers, that made most of them plane and created the need for reboots.

#16 Posted by PowerHerc (83401 posts) - - Show Bio

That's alright.  You can be a fan of and look up to anyone you choose.  Live how you want to live.
#17 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked his New Mutants work and was a big fan of Diehard as well.

#18 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio

@midnightmare said:

"His whost mistake was being too ambitious, and create whole universe whith tons of characters and constantly making crossovers, that made most of them plane and created the need for reboots."

 
Oh, that's no more ambitious than the rest of the Image guys at the time.  They were all autonomous of each other.  They tried to do unifying crossovers a few times, but so far, it has turned out that Erik Larsen was the only one really committed to it.  Even with Image United, I think the only reason that made it all the way through was because of Larsen and Kirkman.  They're all busy creating their own little universes.  Liefeld's universe was okay, but he appears to have lacked the focus to stay with it. 

@PowerHerc said:

"That's alright.  You can be a fan of and look up to anyone you choose.  Live how you want to live."

 
Hm, I don't know if "look up to" is the right way to put it.  I admire the number of characters the guy created, and some of the things he has managed to do, as far as who and what characters he has worked with.  Beyond that, I don't know the guy well enough to say I "look up to" him.  "Yes, I am a fan of Rob Liefeld" is said kind of tongue in cheek, as most people are too busy hating on the guy to find anything good about him. 

@turoksonofstone said:

"I liked his New Mutants work and was a big fan of Diehard as well. "


I had the whole New Mutants series as it came out, and a little of X-Force, but I don't have any of it any longer.  I am buying the New Mutants Classic trades though. 
 
Diehard intrigued me, until I noticed a scene that Rob stole from the THUNDER Agents.  Diehard's body was destroyed, and his essence (or whatever) returned to the lab with his spare bodies, and inhabited a new body.  A scientist tells him that the new body's ability's might be a little different from the old one's, and Diehard's response is something like, "Yes, we'll have to talk about that later," as he runs off, headed back to the action.  The exact same scene happened in a THUNDER Agents story of NoMan, and was repeated by DC with Wildfire of the Legion of Super-Heroes.  I was highly unimpressed with Rob using it for a third time.

#19 Posted by theiconic (924 posts) - - Show Bio

robs koo

#20 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio
#21 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@InnerVenom123: I had seen this before, but only this time took the time to read it all.  Wow, a lot of that's pretty bad.  He still draws better than I do though. lol
#22 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

Not a fan myself, but I do respect you standing by one of your favorites

#23 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@Emperor Gonzo Noir: Well, that was kind of the thing - he really isn't a "favorite," per se, but as I got thinking about my response to Abnormally Warm Guy, I realized that yeah, there are things I like about the guy's career - enough to call myself a fan. :)
   
#24 Posted by LP (675 posts) - - Show Bio
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" Not a fan myself, but I do respect you standing by one of your favorites "
#25 Posted by gravitypress (2069 posts) - - Show Bio

Writing............there's a pouch for that!

#26 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
@gravitypress said:
"Writing............there's a pouch for that! "

Hee hee :D 
 
Personally, I think there are greater offenders to the world of comic books than Mr Liefeld.  He's genuinely enthusiastic about comics, which is a lot more than you can see about some others.
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#27 Posted by Mercy_ (92685 posts) - - Show Bio

To each his own. I used to be a fan of Greg Land...still do like a good amount of his older stuff. 

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#28 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@gravitypress said:
"Writing............there's a pouch for that! "
 
lol 

@xerox-kitty said:
"...Personally, I think there are greater offenders to the world of comic books than Mr Liefeld.  He's genuinely enthusiastic about comics, which is a lot more than you can see about some others. "
 
That's my point.  Liefeld is the favorite whipping boy, but personally, I find myself far more offended by Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman.  McFarlane, because he helped found Image - a company that made its rep on "creators rights" - but hung onto his claim of owning Miracleman like a bulldog on a bone, rather than giving it back to the creators who made it great (much like DC & Marvel not making things right with their earliest creators).  Gaiman, because he sued Todd over Medeival Spawn just to get back at him... and inexplicably won.  In the name of "creator rights," Gaiman singlehandedly struck the biggest blow against them, with that case.  Those two offend me WAY more than Liefeld.  Liefeld may have siphoned money from the Image treasury (something I don't condone), but that's a civil/ criminal matter, not a blow against comics and creator rights.

@The Dark Huntress said:
"To each his own. I used to be a fan of Greg Land...still do like a good amount of his older stuff.  "

Greg who? ;)
#29 Posted by Mercy_ (92685 posts) - - Show Bio
@cbishop: You might know him as Captain Pornface? ;)
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#30 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:
" @cbishop: You might know him as Captain Pornface? ;) "

Who?  ;D (never heard of CP.  Heard of Land, but not familiar with him.)
#31 Edited by SuperXAsh (509 posts) - - Show Bio

He went through this weird phase in the 90's (like many artists did) where people began to not conform to the set "referrence guides" for characters' proportions, costumes, etc.  Really the whole "costume/character proportions is/are how i decide to interpret it" situation we have now seemed to stem out of this time period. So you got these overly exaggerated physiques, and the "big breast" explosion that occurred and so on. Unfortunately, he became the poster boy for this style, this approach, or because others aped his style, etc. and he got the blame for it. Hell, the same thing occurred with Todd McFarlane and John Romita.
 
If you see his earlier work, it was pretty good, (his Hawk & Dove days especially) and he's definately gotten better than he was in the 90's.

#32 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@SuperXAsh: I liked the Hawk & Dove stuff, but I think the Zombie Jesus article that Babs did shows a ton of improvement in Liefeld's work.
#33 Posted by Mercy_ (92685 posts) - - Show Bio
@cbishop said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" @cbishop: You might know him as Captain Pornface? ;) "
Who?  ;D (never heard of CP.  Heard of Land, but not familiar with him.) "
He is sometimes referred to as Captain Pornface because he frequently traces from porn. : / 
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#34 Edited by Trip74 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Very interesting to see the take of a Liefeld fan. It does offer some insight.
 
I'm not a fan at all. I collected New Mutants before he took over and happily sold his books for a profit when they were sky high at the time. I'd like to offer some perspective on what it is that people don't like about his work.
 
Keep in mind, that his popularity stormed in the early 90s (by this, I mean he had done comics previous to this, but the New Mutants, early in the year 1990, was when he really become a star). This was just before Image was formed and right in the beginning of the speculation boom, multiple covers, and "million sale" issues that sat unsold in comic stores. Rob Liefeld was one of the creators that rode and took advantage of this wave. He was hardly the only one, but was one of the least talented and most polarizing.
 
The big driving force behind creating Image was "creator rights." If you go back and read the interviews at the time, all of the principal creators of Image talked about how the Big 2 owned the copyrights to all of the big superheros and screwed the original creators out of royalties (referring largely to Batman and Superman-era heroes). I recall McFarlane even complaining about the Big 2 making big profits on figurines and statues made in the likeness of specific artists. There's a lot of truth in that, but keep in mind that everything following is based on this. "Creator rights" and "royalties".
 
So Liefeld "created" more superheroes than anyone else? I hadn't followed much of the comic industry since the early 90s, so it was amusing to read some of Liefeld's history in your recap. Unsurprising that every time he worked on a book, he introduced a new character. He wasn't some amazing fountain of creative knowledge, he was creating a royalty minefield. Why actually put effort into telling stories with pre-existing characters, when you can regurgitate them and collect royalties thereafter.
 
This is also why I found the disgust with Gaiman surprising in a previous response. I was disgusted with McFarlane at the time and to be honest it was clear how shallow most of the noble claims of Image were. McFarlane goes on interview after interview talking about how important creator rights are, how important it is for creators to receive their due. Then, Gaiman creates a wonderful character for McFarlane's Spawnverse and what does McFarlane do? In his best Liefeld impression, he regurgitates the character to capture all royalties for himself. But Gaiman's the jerk for protecting his creation, just like the Image guys said he should?
 
Probably the most surprising thing in all of this was the love for Liefeld's art. Many of the other Image artists were actually decent artists (probably better stylists than storytellers/layouts), with McFarlane generating quite a huge following with his work and rightfully so. It was exciting and brought a fresh view of the characters. But Liefeld... ?
 
I can get that he has a certain energy to his lines, that the busyness of it can look exciting. But it was sooo bad. I can appreciate stretching the limits of anatomy for style (McFarlane did this a lot with success), but Liefeld regularly showed a complete inability to get anatomy right at all. This doesn't mean he occasionally skewed anatomy for style or to make an impact; he was utterly incapable of getting anatomy right. He was also completely unable to tell a story from panel to panel and was often accused of making all of his pages splash-pages for Original Art resell value. Many artists may not have the most exciting style, but are able to progress a story from panel to panel and convey a sense of what's happening. Unless the progression was characters jumping through air onto a villain, Liefeld was completely unable to do basic layouts. His characters and situation changes from panel to panel. Character haircuts change from panel to panel. He places characters floating randomly in space to fit them all into a scene with no perspective. The lack of feet is just a running joke of one aspect of how bad he was.

In short, he was at best a pin-up artist. a bad pin-up artist.
 
But I'm most intrigued by the fact that the original blog was crediting Liefeld as a writer. I find that particularly surprising. What was he officially credited as writer on? When I was reading, he "created" a lot, but always had a writer that did the actual writing. (Speaking of which, I was always amused by Peter David's  blog, wherein he recalls how Liefeld rejects Louise Simonson's impact when creating Cable, but blames the utter failure of Youngblood on the writer). And as mentioned before, his art itself was completely unable to convey a story.
 
Anyways, no offense meant to anyone who previous posted. Even when I vehemently disagree with someone, I find their insight valuable and wanted to provide my insight. I hope you find it valuable.
 
Yikes, by the way, sorry for making it so long.

#35 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio
@Trip74: Hey, Trip', thanks for the response.  I have limited 'net access right now, and unfortunately, don't have time to respond to this properly.  You've made some points that I need to put a little research into, before responding to - I think you've busted me on a few inaccuracies. ;) 
 
To the Gaiman thing though: I stand by what I said.  Gaiman put Spawn in a Medeival setting, and called it an original character.  Nevermind that McFarlane created Spawn, he had also already established that there have been Spawns throughout history.  The idea that Gaiman illuminated one of those past Spawns, and it's somehow his creation, is ridiculous.  The idea that a horse riding Spawn couldn't have existed in the Dark Ages, because it's too much like "Gaiman's" Spawn is also ridiculous.  Medeival Spawn was not original - it was derivative of Todd's Spawn. 
 
For Gaiman to say that he can claim a copyright on a derivative Spawn is as ludicrous as when Marvel told Liefeld that Fighting American couldn't throw his shield, because they had trademarked that action with Captain America.  Since Cap's shield is often thrown like a large metal Frisbee, I think the Frisbee Corporation might have something to say about Marvel's claims. 
 
One is just about as ridiculous as the other to me.  The rest will have to wait until later.  Seriously: thanks for the response. :)
#36 Posted by Logan X (66 posts) - - Show Bio
@Tasuxeda: Yeah it was!
#37 Posted by SavageDragon (2252 posts) - - Show Bio

Good post i just read it. Personally I like (dont love) Liefeld. X=force with him on it for a while was cool and the Youngblood characters were cool, I dont care what anyone says. Hes got nothing on my my Erik Larsen but i respect Liefeld as a creator and moderately on his art.

#38 Posted by Vance Astro (91196 posts) - - Show Bio

You're allowed to like Liefeld.His lack of talent is evident though.

Moderator
#39 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio

@SavageDragon said:

Good post i just read it. Personally I like (dont love) Liefeld. X=force with him on it for a while was cool and the Youngblood characters were cool, I dont care what anyone says. Hes got nothing on my my Erik Larsen but i respect Liefeld as a creator and moderately on his art.

Erik Larsen is by far my favorite creator. Savage Dragon is my favorite book, and I've loved just about everything Larsen has worked on. ;)

@Vance Astro said:

You're allowed to like Liefeld.His lack of talent is evident though.

I like Liefeld for his creativity - as I said: for the sheer number of characters he put out there. I can see the errors in his art when they are pointed out to me, but I try not to malign an artist's work, because a) I don't think I draw well - certainly not better than most folks in comics, and b) even if he's bad, he's published, I'm not.

#40 Posted by TDK_1997 (14704 posts) - - Show Bio

Rob Liefeld is a guy that I can hate only for his artwork but in writing he is a great guy.A lot of great characters he created.

#41 Posted by nonfiction91 (1704 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop: So you like his stuff... because he put out a lot of it? So would you like the taste of coke zero just because theirs alot of cans out there and not because of its flavor?

#42 Edited by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio

@nonfiction91: Bad analogy. Every can of Coke Zero has the exact same thing in it. Every character that Rob Liefeld put out, while possibly derivative of something that came before, is different from the other characters he put out. He put out a lot of characters, and I can respect that kind of creativity. I don't think he's in the same league as these two, but that's one of the main reasons so many people love Jack Kirby & Stan Lee - "Look at how many characters they created for Marvel & DC."

I think I made a pretty clear statement of pros and cons concerning Liefeld. I admire the guy's creativity, and since I don't draw well, I don't complain about his art. However, I think his work practices leave much to be desired. That is, he's a bit self defeating. He gets on a roll, and then seems to lean back to coast on what he has done, only to crash and burn on deadlines and payments to his collaborators. I'm kind of waiting to see what's going to happen now that he's supposed to be back at Image, but has jumped aboard so many books for DC. Will he crash and burn yet again, or will he find his niche?

Over my years as a comic fan, I have really enjoyed exploring new characters as they came out. Loved Devil Dinosaur, Dial H For Hero, DC's Blue Beetle series, Blue Devil, Amethyst, and even stinkers like Crystar and Starriors. I explored Darkhawk for awhile, and was able to jump on at the start for New Teen Titans, New Mutants, and New Warriors. And plenty that I've forgotten. Not all of those were great, and neither were all of the new characters that Image introduced great. Not even all of the characters that Liefeld introduced. Still, I had fun exploring the new characters, putting the disappointments aside, and continuing with the ones that grabbed my imagination.

<shrugs> So yeah, I'm a fan because he put out a lot of characters. What of it? If that's not what grabs you, that's okay. That's what makes comics so fun - something different for everyone.

Btw, I hate Coke Zero. I much prefer the Classic or Vanilla. ;)

#43 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

Inventing characters is absolutely useless if you do nothing interesting with them. Liefeld does create a lot of characters and some of them actually stuck, mostly because in the 90's, EXTREEEEEEEME badass stuff worked. But did he actually write one good story? Is he a good artist? Hell no!

Poor writer, poor artist. In the end, what's to like about him?

#44 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio
Im not a fan but Im excited about his stuff on dc. With regards to ripping people's stuff off, may i just suggest that wolverine, captain america, sentry, iron man, avengers and xmen are all rip offs from dc. Marvel is filled with rip offs as do the thread on comicvine on the main page states. Not saying that dc didnt rip off anything from marvel but its not that uncommon to rip iff stuff from dc when u work in marvel.
#45 Posted by nonfiction91 (1704 posts) - - Show Bio

@DarthShap said:

Inventing characters is absolutely useless if you do nothing interesting with them. Liefeld does create a lot of characters and some of them actually stuck, mostly because in the 90's, EXTREEEEEEEME badass stuff worked. But did he actually write one good story? Is he a good artist? Hell no!

Poor writer, poor artist. In the end, what's to like about him?

this

I can churn out thousands of characters, just like an artist can sketch 30 characters in a minute, But if the same artist sketched those characters with the respect of giving each their own 30 minutes of undivided attention they would be great, and not just look like stupidly cross hatched, giant chested, pouch addicted fools.

Stan put out his characters one at a time, and had everything in mind before hand. he still has characters hemay never put out, simply because he may not be able to write them and because he thought out wether they would fit in his world. Liefield said it himself "About twenty years ago, it was like my mind exploded with ideas"

Exploding with ideas is what any creative person does when inspired. Choosing which or using them all is what separates the fool from the wise man.

You ask me, Liefield set the entire comic book industry back, making sure it was not taken seriously again until the x-men movie. And now, DC actually gave the moron my (at least when higgins was doing it) favorite book, Deathstroke, which I now dropped because he ruined Both deathstrokes dialogue and LOBOS'! seriously, how do you mess up Lobo? I could do his panels in the latest DS right now better than Liefield

goes from fraggin maggots to speaking like Doc Doom in one panel flat!

I can respect his ingenuity to stay in the buisness with all the crap he's put out, he MUST have a silver tongue. For that he gets a minute amount of respect from me.

#46 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio
Oh Im sure all he did was sketch those characters and did nothing to them.
#47 Posted by nonfiction91 (1704 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: no...he wrote the dialogue

#48 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio
i was being sarcastic bcos these two goons up here says all rob did in marvel was create new characters like cable xforce and all but did nothing to them.

@nonfiction91:

#49 Posted by cbishop (7570 posts) - - Show Bio

@DarthShap said:

Inventing characters is absolutely useless if you do nothing interesting with them. Liefeld does create a lot of characters and some of them actually stuck, mostly because in the 90's, EXTREEEEEEEME badass stuff worked. But did he actually write one good story? Is he a good artist? Hell no!

Poor writer, poor artist. In the end, what's to like about him?

<sigh> You again. ;^P Why does it have to be a deep reason? I like exploring new characters, and Liefeld put a lot of characters out there. I liked that, I find that inspiring, and so I call myself a fan. End of story.

If you must have a deeper reason, I sincerely appreciated the renaming of Bedrock to Badrock, to skirt Hannah-Barbera's ludicrous lawsuit threat, and I loved the fact that he was able to get Fighting American, when Marvel basically caused him to squash Agent America (but had no problem with DC's very similar Agent Liberty). I don't necessarily like what he did with Fighting American, but I love the nice symmetry that made to comic history. i.e.

Kirby/Simon create Captain America for Marvel > Marvel takes Captain America out of their hands > K/S create Fighting American to do what they wanted to do with Captain America.

later...

Liefeld creates Agent America > Marvel says "too close to Captain America" > Liefeld gets rights to Fighting American to do what he wanted to do with Agent America.

Very nice symmetry there. Separate reason from the characters he created, but a reason I like him, nonetheless.

@sethysquare said:

Im not a fan but Im excited about his stuff on dc. With regards to ripping people's stuff off, may i just suggest that wolverine, captain america, sentry, iron man, avengers and xmen are all rip offs from dc. Marvel is filled with rip offs as do the thread on comicvine on the main page states. Not saying that dc didnt rip off anything from marvel but its not that uncommon to rip iff stuff from dc when u work in marvel.

Meh, the "rip off" stuff doesn't concern me. There are so many derivative characters back and forth between companies, and sometimes even in the same company, it's silly. I just addressed it, because I knew someone would bring it up if I didn't.

@nonfiction91: I did state that I don't put Liefeld in the same class as Kirby & Lee. Just pointing out that most people don't take the time to point out much more about them than "they created so many characters."

#50 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio
i just think some people are being jerks with regards to this. "whats there to like about him" like uhm im sure there are quite a few people who liked his characters and art and story. to people that says stuff like that my reply would be "whats there to like about you since all you have done is bitch and whined for the whole year." gtfo tyvm.

@cbishop:

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