Go-Bots #3 Full preview

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Lucas35, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Oooooh... shots fired! Watch out, beloved Transformers series from 10+ years ago! :lol 

    But you're not wrong. They are comparable, because neither this art, nor Transformers Animated art is "bad." Scioli can draw, and he knows what he's doing. However, both styles rely on a very intense form of stylization and simplification, and that often bothers people. It's a superficial simplicity... the underlying draughtmanship, design, and control over the medium is pretty strong in both cases.

    I can see why people are not crazy about this. I myself have never been a big fan of Jack Kirby's style. But there is an art to it.

    I think what a lot of people here are responding to is the very deliberate "naive" style that Scioli is using. This is especially clear in the visual storytelling... the stiffness of the dialogue and the panel layout (as I said before) seems to be very deliberately imitating a "childlike" style - maybe even inspired by Scioli's own childhood comics, but I also very much see the similarities with the old robot comics that me and my childhood best friend used to draw.

    However, does imitating a childlike style really engage adult readers? Is a brief flash of nostalgia enough to carry the book? Maybe not immediately, but I do recall that Scioli's GIJOE/Transformers got pretty weird as it rolled along.

    In terms of the "drawing"... I think it's odd but fine. I guess it could be said that layout is part of the "art" of comics, so in that sense, he is deliberately drawing "bad comics."

    I'm not sure I agree with you on that. I think this style still evokes Kirby's iconic 1960s style more than the earlier examples you shared.

    And in that sense, I'm not sure if it's really invoking a "primitive" 1940s style as much as the nostalgia of someone who grew up in the 1970s-80s, surrounded by old 60s-70s comics, and drawing their own robot comics. Or at least, that's my take on it.

    The question of what constitutes "primitive" comic art is maybe also debatable. What is the benefit of imitating the style of a renowned artist at the point where his style was most amateurish and least distinctive? What value or message does that convey? What is he saying with it?

    I think that's part of the reason I read 1960s/childhood into his approach here... because that's actually thematically more congruous with the subject matter and Gobots property.

    It's subjective and it's not. I think that we can still make determinations about "good" and "bad" art that are somewhat independent of subjective likes and dislikes. But it's true that's not how most people approach it.

    I think your comments about the writing are on-point, and that's actually where this suffers most. So far. I confess, I'm a little curious to see how he dumps the Gobots franchise on its head, here...

    zmog
     
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  2. PositivelyKen

    PositivelyKen One Man Gestalt

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    :lol 

    Edit: I'm not laughing at Dark_T_Zeratul; their comment made me double back and look at the image, and I had a legit LOL because that DOES look like Leader-1 with an afro.

    IT COULD HAPPEN IN A TOM SCIOLI COMIC
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  3. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    The sad part is Scioli's art is so bad it makes that "AW, YEAH! TRANSFORMERS" atrocity look like it was drawn by George Perez.
     
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  4. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    I originally thought the same - the Scioli linework is a lot like some of Kirby's heavy borders on his Marvel stuff. In particular, it reminded me of the linework in the old Hulk books.
    [​IMG]

    However, after looking into it I felt that the GoBots book resembled the 40's stuff more for a few reasons. First, I think the panel layout in Kirby's Marvel and DC books make much more sense than Scioli's. Aside from the panoramic/splash pages, from what I can tell Kirby's Marvel & DC work tended to have tight grids and panels as opposed to the spillover into other panels like his early work. Here's that one 40's page again next to some of Scioli's GoBot panels:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    However, Kirby did more grid-like work for DC/Marvel even when the art was just as dynamic:

    [​IMG]

    Another thing I noted was the overall pacing of the dialogue. Scioli's dialogue is choppy and short which resembles the way Kirby paced the 40's - 50's stuff. Compare that 40's dialogue to the text-dense Scioli page:

    [​IMG]

    His 60's - 70's stuff tended to be much more conversationally dense (as with the Marvel panels). I'm not an art or comics historian, so I can only talk about my direct observations. You might be 100% right (and I'm willing to retract everything I've said as uninformed ramblings), but from what I can tell, this is reminiscent of Kirby's older stuff, not his later stuff.

    So that said, I think what Scioli might be doing by turning back the clock is a commentary on modern comics just to see if it can be done. I misspoke when I labeled this as "bad" - but it's 100% deliberate whatever it is. He might be trying to Warhol this shit. Good for him, I guess. Not my thing, but it may beg the question: Can you still tell an effective, engaging story without engaging in modern comic tricks, especially in light of the "modern" subject matter?

    Once upon a time, simple art, simple plots and simple dialogue hit the largest audience. You could honestly crank out a borderline insane story about a super-man fighting a psychic worm and it was not only OK, it was EXPECTED.

    [​IMG]

    50 -60 years later, comics are crazy complex, with multiple branching story arcs filled with space monsters, evil twins, psychic compulsion and the usual drek that comes up whenever you change writers and/or reboot the series. I think Scioli's concept here is more or less a kind of pop art. It's "bad", 'cause it's kitsch. That's the appeal. It might even be the comic/literary equivalent to the monte cristo sandwich - sort of a direct response to everyone's demand for more "mature", "nuanced" or "organic" plots.

    At any rate, that's my take on it - something to be appreciated for what it is even if you don't like it and worth talking about as a generally fun exercise. Won't stop people from denouncing it as garbage, I suppose.
     
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  5. UltraMagnanimus

    UltraMagnanimus The Unknown Member

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    You may like it and appreciate the "retro" attempt, but dont insult Kirby by comparing his work to this Go-bots silllyness.
    Even as a "homage". Its not even in the same league.

    And that Captain Marvel shown above art is still done at a higher level of craft than the Scioli stuff.

    Also, I think its a mistake to take a "fun" notion like doing a retro style and wasting a whole series on it.

    Its like saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be neat if we made the next marvel movie in black and white?", just because the few creators in charge grew up liking black and white movies.

    It might tickle a few funny bones but its not going to be a commercial success. The idea is good for a one shot or short story at most.
     
  6. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    You know, I don't need to know the creative process of Ben and Jerry's coming up with Marlboro flavored ice cream to know that Marlboro flavored ice cream would be the nastiest thing on the planet. It doesn't matter WHAT Scioli was channeling, the end product is awful.
     
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  7. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    Oh no. I think the GoBots comic is terrible. Can barely stand it and I read it at the store rather than buy the thing. Still, it's an interesting concept/attempt. Someone is at least trying something different. Whether or not it sucks is something entirely different. However, I'd prefer to actually have some kind of discussion about this stuff as opposed to being "THIS SUX LOL." Post No. 4,211.

    At no point did I make a 1:1 comparison with Kirby's work. To wit: @SMOG disagreed with my interpretation of where Scioli's inspiration comes from for the GoBots comic. He thinks it's based on 60's-70's Kirby. I think it's based on 40's-50's. In response, I showed my work for my conclusions. That's it. Talking about inspiration doesn't mean I think he's on equal footing with Kirby. Scioli's stuff hits similar beats, but honestly I think his work lacks a certain level of soul.

    Yeah, but that's not the point. Okay. So the end product is terrible. Great. What can anyone learn from that? It can't be "how to make snarky comments about the terribleness" because clearly nobody needs any help with that judging from the comments on the board.
     
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  8. Fallout

    Fallout crack pipes needles pcp and fast cars

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    oh, so that's what dc stands for... Dictatorial Caterpillar. it all comes together.
     
  9. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    I think that version of Mr. Mind was from Fawcett Comics... but WHO KNOWS? Perhaps it was Mr. Mind driving DC's purchase of Fawcett's assets.
     
  10. misfire19d

    misfire19d Uniquely-minded Transformers fan.

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    If Scioli is trying to emulate 1950s art then maybe IDW should emulate 1950s pricing.

    I googled it. A 12¢ cover price translates to about $1 today.
     
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  11. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    I think we’d be having a different conversation if Scioli has chosen to homage the art and writing style of, say, CalArts-based toons.

    It just feels like this comic is being given undue pardons, because it’s poorly trying to harken back to a different era of comics. But that alone doesn’t grant a work any degree of quality.

    Just like the quality of the Bumblebee movie wasn’t due to the 1980s set decoration.

    Just like Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow wasn’t suddenly well-regraded because of its 1940s pulp sci-fi look.

    The stylistic choices may inform us as to what the comic wants to be, but that doesn’t grant it immunity from criticism.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  12. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    Nah. Same complaints, different complainers/frequency of the complaints. :p 

    At least if that was the case, it'd match the crummy dialogue. HEYOOO.
    [​IMG]

    Edit: And yeah, I agree with your edited points. I think his stuff is awful, and it's a fair point to discuss why that is. There's also nothing wrong with trying to contribute more to the discussion than "I think his stuff is awful" though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  13. Probe

    Probe Well-Known Member

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    It's really weird because yes, both of your examples happened. A lot of the positive reviews for Bumblebee cite its at times extreme indulgence in the time period as a factor in their positive feelings for the film. and trying to emulate the pulp look was one of the main reasons why Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow had such a positive reception and buzz after its SDCC premiere screening before it was properly released and flopped.
     
  14. GoLion

    GoLion Well-Known Member

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    People forget that this is IDW, stylized art is what put them on the map. Go take a look at the original 30 days of night. The art in that book wasn't conventionally good either, but it was entertaining none the less.

    Speaking to the... simplistic dialogue, I think that is very much a choice as well. This comic does read like a 1940s/50s book. I love it because of that.
    Today's issue especially felt like a 40s pulp-action comic.

    I actually kind of understand why some people dislike this book. It's definitely weird in a lot of ways. I have a suspicion that Gobots is going to be just as weird as the Transformers GI Joe book was.
     
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  15. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I think that Scioli's stuff in general reminds me of the more outlandish 60s-70s stuff - like The New Gods, which you mentioned, and his Black Panther run:
    RCO013_1469317876.jpg RCO014_1469424588.jpg

    I think you can see some similarities in these pages. Also, these are digital reprints, but Scioli really tries to capture the effect of old pre-1980s newsprint, which fades the palette (in other words, these Black Panther pages would have been much more muted in their original medium, more like Scioli's colours).

    The cramped panel count is usually a tendency of the old newspaper format, where they really had to cram the stories in. I suspect that Kirby opened up his space as he moved into longer-format 24-page comics.

    Obviously, we're still talking about the same artist, so the line drawn between styles isn't always distinct or impermeable. My theory is that Scioli is referencing the comics of that later Kirby period, as a nod to the comics of his own personal childhood nostalgia. I doubt young Scioli would have had much access to the older, more obscure Kirby stuff, and I'm not sure why he'd bother calling back to Kirby's early, less accomplished material. It doesn't dovetail with the material the same way.

    Scioli tends to place figures in his panels with much more space around them than Kirby ever would, and in less dynamic postures. I'd say there's a fair amount of Steve Ditko in there as well. And of course, Scioli has his own personal style that he brings to the table. We'd be doing a disservice to say that he's ONLY about imitating oldschool guys.

    Here's a couple of Ditko pages from an 80s ROM comic, just for comparison's sake...
    RCO020_1467166744.jpg RCO012_1467166744.jpg

    I'm really just re-posting this page because I think it's actually pretty awesome... :) 

    [​IMG]

    Hm. I don't feel that they are quite so similar. I'm not sure quite what I would compare this dialogue style to... but it is distinctive. The delivery feels very mechanical, with almost one sentence per panel, but it doesn't say "1940s" to me.

    Heh, I'm no comics historian either. I do have a history in art and art history, but I'm only basing my analysis of this stuff on conjecture and elements I take notice of in the artwork. My exposure to Scioli even is pretty limited, so I can't offer a really deep take.

    I'm maybe more generous in my evaluation. I don't think that the development of comics art is necessarily so 'progressive'. Treating it as an evolution means assuming that it's a linear climb from "primitive" to... well, something grander. I think that to look at it this way is to isolate comics too much from the larger discourse of art and visual storytelling, which was already well-developed long before the first "comics" as we know them. The tools change, but the skill levels of the artists vary as much as they ever did.

    Tastes change over time. I'd say comics reflect the temperament of their age more than the other way around. Probably the biggest shift within comics specifically has been the age range of the audience.

    In the case of Scioli, I think he's simultaneously courting that memory of childhood, with an ersatz or surreal overlay that makes it feel uncanny. His storytelling seems to take the most familiar elements of these old fictions, and place them in new unfamiliar contexts. It's not a 'mainstream' approach, certainly... but in a way, it makes them more novel than more direct adaptations of the old material. I'd rather read this than anything by 1990s darlings like Rob Liefeld or J. Scott Campbell, who have always been stylistically, unselfconsciously hideous, and utterly vacuous in their content.

    Could be. I think there's definitely some small hint of irony and postmodernism here, but I'm not sure if it's kitch (though definitions of that term will vary). Relegating it to pop art sort of implies that it's not really trying to be comics, or trying to tell entertaining stories... only be a commentary on the medium. I'm not sure if Scioli is quite so cynical or removed.

    Does anything stop people from denouncing things as garbage... ever...? :wink: 

    cheers,
    zmog
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  16. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Arguably, that's the only reason Sky Captain gets any props at all. It's not very good, but its measure of fame and appeal rests almost exclusively on its stylistic conceits.

    As a cartoonist, I think Scioli is fine. It's just not a style that we typically see applied to this material.

    zmog
     
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  17. Digger

    Digger Spreading peace, love and reasonable explanations

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    Jesus I just read this issue and I just got so fucking bored in it. I can’t find a single damn reason to care about this story. Everyone they set up is gone and it makes no sense and there’s a shit plot twist that means jack shit. And the art is nowhere near as good as GIJoe Transformers. This comic is absolute trash and I hate it. And I should’ve just dropped it at issue 2. As a gobots fan and general reader this disappoints me. I got better shit to do then read this bollocks.
     
  18. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    So I did some reading about Scioli. Apparently he's some kind of acolyte of Kirby's, so I think it's possible that he's trying to draw on the breadth and scope of the Kirby experience.

    I get that you feel that he's drawing on some kind of childhood experiences contemporaneous to the 60's, but there's an interview that clarifies it a little. I can't figure out how old he is, but there's this excerpt from an interview:

    "Thor was Scioli’s first Kirby, discovered in the eighties via a reprint edition, when the writer/artist was around middle-school age. Scioli said the work, which included mild-boggling adventures such as the Mangog’s attempt to get his mitts on the Odinsword, “blew my mind — I read it over and over and over.”
    KIRBYOLOGY: Talking Kirby and Thor with Tom Scioli

    That suggests he was 11-13 in the 80's, which would make him roughly between 40-50. I did some fact checking and Mangog didn't show up until 1968, which is definitely a point for you. That said, Scioli published his first comic in 1999 and broke into mainstream comics closer to the mid 2000's. By that time, I think it's possible he had access to Kirby's older works. This article specifically discusses Scioli digging around deep in the DC catalog, reaching back into the 50's. Super Powers Companion – American Barbarian

    In the end, I think we're looking at the same thing and seeing the elements that jump out to us more despite the possibility that Scioli's artwork may be such that he's trying to mash multiple Kirby eras into one page - something that might actually be the source of some of the issues people have with his work. Ultimately, this might be a case of us seeing different things in the same work, which is what art is all about I suppose.
     
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  19. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Yeah, we are admittedly approaching it with a pedantic degree of specificity that is probably itself at odds with the organic nature of artistic production. It's less of a debate than a discussion.

    I'm now curious enough to give this Gobots series a closer look, if only to be more decided on whether I think it's good, bad, or... something else. :lol 

    zmog
     
  20. ProtectronPrime

    ProtectronPrime Subjectively Objective

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    Yeah, but it's nice to discuss something on this board and get into the details without devolving into pointless, mean-spirited name calling. Heck, I definitely learned something looking into Scioli's work, so there's that. I'll continue to read the comic just to satisfy a certain morbid curiosity too. If anything, it's the only GoBot thing we'll get in a while, so might as well.
     
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