Friday, May 18, 2018

I’m Not an Artist, But… Lost in (ALL THAT EMPTY) Space!

The success of my two recent regular features "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" and "Separated at Mirth", has prompted me to add a THIRD such feature, which I call "I’m Not an Artist, But…". 

While "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" deals with my journeys through my comics long-boxes and the delightful oddities found within - such as THIS...

...And "Separated at Mirth" is a celebration of the many similar gags and other concepts found on comic book covers and their interiors, as presented by different artists and characters - as seen HERE...

"I’m Not an Artist, But…" calls deserved attention to things that... shall we say... could have been executed better!  Or, perhaps never attempted at all.  

But, being a WRITER, I've always been reluctant to criticize the work of artists... if only because I feel they have a far more difficult job than does the writer - and he or she is FAR MORE OUT FRONT in the comic book medium than is the writer!  

Oh, it's not as if I haven't taken certain things to task, such as this absolutely dreadful four-panel sequence by artist Kay Wright from the Now-Infamous-Because-I've-Made-It-So "Bird Bothered Hero" from DONALD DUCK # 127 (1969)...

...But now such items of infamy will have their own subset feature at TIAH Blog!  As is our way around here, we will not be needlessly critical, but will "give credit - or whatever serves as its polar opposite" - as circumstances dictate.   

Let's begin, shall we... 

WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 574 (1992), published during (what our friend Elaine has contributed to our lexicon as) "The Disney Interregnum" between the superior issues published during what we denote as "Gladstone Series One", and the lesser issues of "Gladstone Series Two"!

Even if the figure of Donald Duck was intentionally drawn maybe a tad "small" - to indicate the vastness of the mountaintops - why is he so noticeably to the right of center?  No political jokes, please!  ...And there's far too much empty space between the figure and the title-logo as well! 

My only guess is that, while the cover is already overburdened with clutter of a non-illustrative, non-title-logo nature, there may have been still more annoying promotional hype-copy intended for the center-left (...again, no political jokes) of the cover image!  

Whatever the reason, I’m Not an Artist, But… this cover simply could have been executed better!   

As an INAUGURAL BONUS for the "I’m Not an Artist, But…" feature, here's out First Runner-Up in the category of "Poor Space Management" - IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 8 (2015).

Just one of the many things IDW has done right with these comics is that, aside from a roll call of us creators, there is never any CLUTTER on their Disney comic covers!  

So, why not just ENLARGE the central image of Scrooge and the Jack-in-the-Box Treasure Chest, and REDUCE that needless empty space of SAND at the cover's bottom?  I’m Not an Artist, But… such a modification seems logical - and more aesthetically pleasing to boot! 

And it's not as if the great Carl Barks didn't already "show 'em how", back in 1953! 

Not a drop of wasted space ANYWHERE!  Way to go, Unca Carl! 

Indeed, as "I’m Not an Artist, But…" progresses, I'm certain we'll see little or nothing from the likes of Carl Barks, Harvey Eisenberg, Neal Adams, or Curt Swan.  The rest of you are FAIR GAME... especially YOU, Charlton!  

WOW! Speaking of CLUTTER! 

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