What's the Deal With All the Crappy Comics

While I was at work yesterday looking at comic book art I found out that there was a new series of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe out. I was so excited – I got the “deluxe” edition (i.e. the second series) and it was great. A new edition has been long overdue and I thought it would be a good way for me to find out what’s been going on in comics all these years. So I rushed over to RX Comics right after work (it’s 2 blocks away) and I saw several issues. I could have done better art than that. Seriously. What a turnoff. I was so disappointed. What looks like happened is that some art by original good artists have been retooled. Check out what Alan Davis writes on his forum:

The OHMU editor told me that he believed I deserved to be credited with any work which has been ‘resourced’ (traced or composed) from an image I had originally drawn. While I appreciate the good intention behind this gesture, as I explained in the posting on my website ‘Credit where Credit’s due?’, I don’t regard any image that does not utilise the original line work as my work– And I have asked not to be credited for the ‘swiped’ images in future. The Cerise image was drawn by Chris Marrinan and Audwynn Newman but mistakenly credited to me.

What an outrage! Unbelievable. Then I see they’ve collected the old deluxe edition into TPB volumes – only without the colour? Huh?!? I left the comic store, dejected and bewildered. I am really amazed that people like Stewie can sift through the mountains of crap at the comic store to come home with some goodies. My hat is off to you. And thank god for that ’cause I look stupid in hats.

Here’s some nice, clean, solid comic book art by Alan Davis:


2 Replies to “What's the Deal With All the Crappy Comics”

  1. i’m not going to say Never Buy Marvel but it certainly is buyer beware with those guys. now that DC is emulating the Marvel way, you need to be pretty leery of those guys too. they just reset their universe again so they could do something called 52 where they put out a book a week for a year. in the meantime, all the books still be printed jump ahead a year later. other books got cancelled (the Flash).

    i like Firestorm for sentimental reasons. i picked up the book and it started out really well. then it got caught up in crossover/crisis on infinite worlds bullshit only to finally jump a year ahead in the plot. not only was i forced to read tiny snips of the bigger picture (because i refuse to buy those crappy mini-series anymore) but now i have no IDEA what is going on because it is now a year later. i’m hoping they can fix this fast because i’m only going to give it a couple of issues before i bail.

    and that is life at DC at the moment. god knows what crap they are pulling at Marvel.

  2. The collected, old edition, black and white trades are part of Marvel’s ‘Essential’ line of books. All the Essential books are 500-600 pages, contain 20-30 issues of a series, and are relatively cheap (at least until you look a Marvel’s horribly outdated Canadian exchange rates). The bad news is that they’re all black and white and made of cheaper paper than is normally used these days.

    One interesting thing is that the volumes cover a large range of previous Marvel works from X-Men, to Godzilla, to Dracula, to Conan. And DC has recently started a similar line of books called ‘Showcase’.

    All that being said, I don’t like black and white art since it’s meant to be in colour. Though I do own a couple of the OHMU collections.

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