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by Josh

Regeneration One - Geoff Senior cover!

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Old 05-04-2012, 03:09 PM   #61
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Wow, Geoff has some nice stuff up there.

Anybody doubting his bots might want to check this out:

http://www.geoffsenior.com/artwork/gallery/g38.jpg
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:23 PM   #62
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To me, a lot of the criticism here seems to stem from people having very strict criteria about how Transformers should be drawn - in particular, the proportions of characters. There always seems to be a knee-jerk reaction when an artist approaches the Transformers' proportions in a more abstract or stylised way - prompting comments that the characters look "wonky" or "off". Such comments would therefore imply that there is a "correct" way to draw these characters. Newsflash: There isn't. An artist can draw these characters any way he or she damn well pleases.

Just because an artist uses abstract proportions doesn't mean that they don't have a grasp of the rudiments of drawing, or that they're using that technique out of necessity because they "lack the skill" to replicate more realistic proportions. It seems silly having to spell that out, but it feels necessary sometimes.
Equally silly to have to say it, but just because an artist chooses to use a stylized approach on purpose, doesn't mean that the work cannot be BAD. Just to point to the other side of the equation. Artistic choices are not necessarily exempt from evaluative judgment, of course. Sometimes people make poor stylistic choices. I've always maintained that "taste" is not purely "a matter of opinion", but rather the product of one's ability to reflect on the aesthetic object and support their opinions through credible discourse.

But yeah, I do agree with your main point, which is that stylization is also not an indicator necessarily of an artist's incompetency.

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Old 05-04-2012, 06:03 PM   #63
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That's a pretty good cover, with all the Autobots in the foreground in various contortions, like figures in a baroque painting. In an ideal world, covers should represent their contents, AND should have more compositional and artistic rigour than your average interior panel. However, the early interior Marvel art rarely rose above simple banality. Perlin was not bad, aside from his Transformers, but Delbo was dull, dull, dull, and mostly just copied Hasbro's concept art directly. Frank Springer was legendary for his speed, but it tends to show in his work.

My initiation to Geoff Senior (and Simon Furman for that matter) was the old UK Dragon's Claws series. His work is certainly stylized, but I wouldn't call it "simplistic" and in no way would I ever consider it more "younger audience" friendly... especially compared to the very simplistic, bland art in mot of the early Marvel stuff. Senior sometimes has a cartoony touch, but one that conveys a certain edge of grit, detritus and decay. Sometimes he streamlines the robots' designs, but in order to give them a more vivid, dynamic energy.

zmog
Have to agree 100% with you. Senior was always a personal favourite, he does have a distinctly cartoony feel but that is part of the charm. His artwork always had such an energy and a bold gritty look to it. His work on prey & target 2006 still look amazing. Although can fully understand those that don't 'get' his work.

Loving the Dragons claws reference, fantastic comic. Will have to go and dig out my old issues! All with the added bonus of Death's Head - yes?
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #64
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Yup, I remember that Death's Head issue fondly... it was when Death's Head got unstuck chrono-dimensionally and was hopping around to other titles before kicking off his solo book. Besides Dragon's Claws, I think he appeared in the UK version of Fantastic Four, and a Doctor Who book as well... but I think he was a good fit for the Dragon's Claws world. It helps that Senior was the original artist for both.

Dragon's Claws was a weird title, in retrospect. Somewhere between Blade Runner, The Running Man and The Warriors... good times.

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Old 05-05-2012, 02:50 AM   #65
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Yup, I remember that Death's Head issue fondly... it was when Death's Head got unstuck chrono-dimensionally and was hopping around to other titles before kicking off his solo book. Besides Dragon's Claws, I think he appeared in the UK version of Fantastic Four, and a Doctor Who book as well... but I think he was a good fit for the Dragon's Claws world. It helps that Senior was the original artist for both.
zmog
Yes that sounds right, I remember the Deaths Head appearance in Doctor Who, Furman & Senior created a really memorable & funny character, it's a shame that it hasn't appeared more since the Deaths Head series.

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Dragon's Claws was a weird title, in retrospect. Somewhere between Blade Runner, The Running Man and The Warriors... good times.

zmog
Yes it was, good times indeed! I'd add Mad Max into the mix or was that released as Warrior in Canada/US?
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:19 AM   #66
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Nah man, the warriors was a film about gang violence. Sort of like escape from LA without Snake.

Edit: Target 2006 is certainly his best tf work in my opinion, though he shines whenever deaths head is involved. That frame where Galvatron is kneeling on Magnus is immense, in fact all his depictions of Galvatron rule.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:39 AM   #67
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Needs moar speed lines!

I know we like to crow abt his UK marvel run, but his fill in work for the g2 comics is right there or even better. The inks were more robust n never seemed handicap like his original run at US marvel where yomtov colors made his stuff looked flat.

I also gotta disagree with urizen dude point on artist having liberty to draw how they want. That applies, yes, IN A VACCUUM. TF is not a creator owned property n publisher/editor has right in imposing a certain look of the art in line with readers taste. Dont kid yourself: artist take gig on TF title for money, not love. Weve only had fans draw for the title since the 00s with gus like figueora, khanna , guido et al who work almost exclusively for TF related stuff.

So as someone who draws myself, artist should have freedom of style/expression, fans are not wrong when they dislike something. And they can show their power thru their wallet. Id rather have continued sales with art i like less rather than preferred art style but declining sales.

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Old 05-05-2012, 07:45 AM   #68
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Artistic choices are not necessarily exempt from evaluative judgment, of course. Sometimes people make poor stylistic choices. I've always maintained that "taste" is not purely "a matter of opinion", but rather the product of one's ability to reflect on the aesthetic object and support their opinions through credible discourse.
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I also gotta disagree with urizen dude point on artist having liberty to draw how they want. That applies, yes, IN A VACCUUM. TF is not a creator owned property n publisher/editor has right in imposing a certain look of the art in line with readers taste.

So as someone who draws myself, artist should have freedom of style/expression, fans are not wrong when they dislike something. And they can show their power thru their wallet. Id rather have continued sales with art i like less rather than preferred art style but declining sales.
I could debate these posts for hours, but I'll try and keep my response brief! As someone who has worked in the graphic design industry, I am very aware of the need for careful application of style. Depending on the client/situation, it is often necessary to rein in one's personal artistic style in order to better fit the task. This is a compromise every artist employed by a business has to make. That said, in regard to a medium like comic books - versus working for an advertising company or similar business enterprise, etc - I feel this rule relaxes a great deal. I like to see artistic diversity in my comics, and I personally feel a more homogenised output, or "house style" type of approach destroys one of the key things that makes comics such a rewarding experience. At the end of the day, of course, a publishing house is a business like any other; it comes down to sales, and naturally they'll want to capitalize on what sells. Personally, I feel this has led IDW to play it a little too safe, and I'd like to see new talent on a more regular basis.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #69
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Nah man, the warriors was a film about gang violence. Sort of like escape from LA without Snake.
It was also a slightly cartoonish dystopian near-future, where different gangs are formed around costumed themes, and wage group-to-group warfare across an urban landscape. Which has some direct parallels with Dragon's Claws. Remember the Claws' rival teams were mostly based around a single gimmick and wore thematically-matching hokey costumes, and their matches were often in urban-industrial wastelands. I'd be surprised if The Warriors wasn't at least a small inspiration for Furman and Senior.

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That said, in regard to a medium like comic books - versus working for an advertising company or similar business enterprise, etc - I feel this rule relaxes a great deal. I like to see artistic diversity in my comics, and I personally feel a more homogenised output, or "house style" type of approach destroys one of the key things that makes comics such a rewarding experience.
I agree... comic artists do have a lot more freedom to express a personal style through their work. It tends to build one's reputation in fact. For an illustrator, it's always a push and pull between being versatile enough to do whatever comes your way, and establishing a "style" that serves as your signature, that gets you jobs (ideally).

However, my point was not to comment on whether style should be expressed, or to what degree. It was more about HOW it is expressed. I think a lot of us here are artists and while it's nice for us to "express ourselves", I think we can all agree that sometimes artistic experiments just don't work. There is a such thing as making bad artistic choices, and in that sense, I'm not just speaking in the commercial sense.

I'm not even applying that to this discussion. It think Senior's style is a great match for Transformers. I was just adding a caveat to your earlier comments about artistic freedom, to say that art is not necessarily above aesthetic critique just because it's a "style" (though of course, context does play a role).

zmog

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Old 05-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #70
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Nah man, the warriors was a film about gang violence. Sort of like escape from LA without snake.
Thanks, I'd never heard of it. Will check it out.

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Edit: Target 2006 is certainly his best tf work in my opinion, though he shines whenever deaths head is involved. That frame where Galvatron is kneeling on Magnus is immense, in fact all his depictions of Galvatron rule.
Yep, his work on Target 2006 is stunning. His Galvatron images are the still the best in my opinion.
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