Transformers: RID Issue 18 - the worst art in IDW history?

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by TheSuperion, Feb 21, 2019.

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  1. TheSuperion

    TheSuperion Die mad about it.

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    So, this has been a subject that has been on my mind ever since I first read volume 5 of Robots in Disguise. In case you've forgotten, issue 18 was the only issue in the entirety of IDW that was drawn by an artist named Dheeraj Verma. And well, for all the complaints people have against Livio Ramondelli, there is one thing he has over this guest artist: he doesn't blatantly trace his panels.

    So, let's start with the most obvious example of this in action: in this issue, and this issue alone, Hardhead is blatantly Robocop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The wiki claims that he looks like this because the artist didn't seem to have access to much of a character model for Hardhead... but the more logical explanation is that he fucking traced over drawings of Robocop, and possibly even movie stills.

    There are other giveaways though. Two in particular are towards the end of the issue. The first is the panel of Jihiaxus in his ship with Bludgeon. Notice something peculiar?
    [​IMG]


    In case you can't figure out, Jhiaxus is traced over Optimus Prime in his own ship at the end of the Death of Optimus Prime one shot.

    [​IMG]

    And then there's the most hilarious example on the immediate next page. Monstructor, riding on top of Jhiaxus's ship, has suddenly taken on the proportions of a gorilla for seemingly no damn reason.

    [​IMG]

    This out of context would seem bizarre, but with what we know about the artist, there's a very good reason he looks like that: because he fucking traced over the part in the Beast Wars cartoon when Optimus Primal rides on Rhinox:

    [​IMG]

    Now granted, Verma's tracing isn't nearly as blatant as a certain Greg Land. But that's because he's drawing transformers instead of sexy superheros with identical proportions. And so he has to stray quite a bit from the lines he's tracing. He seems to use shots more as a reference than outright tracing them line for line (with some notable exceptions, like Robocop Hardhead and the aformentioned Jhiaxus panel). Unfortunately, this means his art is also awkward as hell. Seriously, go read the issue sometime if you don't believe me. There are so many panels where the characters look awkward as hell, because the artist has no idea how to adapt the blocky transformers anatomy to the panels he's tracing over.

    I can't be the only one that has noticed this, can I?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  2. Dire 51

    Dire 51 Line Stepper.

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    Can you post a few more samples of the robocop claim?
     
  3. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    Yeah, I'd love to see examples.
     
  4. TheSuperion

    TheSuperion Die mad about it.

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    Sure. I've edited the OP to add scans from my personal volumes.

    (Also, I realized I goofed, and the issue I'm talking about is actually issue 19. Sorry about the confusion.)
     
  5. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    This art sucks, but you are so wrong about this tracing thing it's not even funny.
     
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  6. PositivelyKen

    PositivelyKen One Man Gestalt

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    Agreed. It's one thing to use another image as a reference for a panel layout or a character design, but tracing is something else entirely. The Jhiaxus/OP example is sort of similar, but I'm not convinced that the others are actual tracings -- unless there are specific pieces of artwork you can point to as the source.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  7. Yoshimon7

    Yoshimon7 Potion Maker

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    As an artist myself, i can kind of see the influences between the different artworks, but it's definitely not "tracing".
     
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  8. Nocturne

    Nocturne Professional Ginger

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    It's not tracing. Not by a long shot.
     
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  9. GWolfv2

    GWolfv2 Deathsaurus - A name you can trust for peace

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    You’ve clearly never read Heart of Darkness
     
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  10. Murasame

    Murasame

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    I don't think you know what tracing means.
     
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  11. TheSuperion

    TheSuperion Die mad about it.

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    You're right. You're all right. It was a bad choice of word. I did explain though that I don't think he's actually tracing drawings line for line, for the most part. I just have a distinct feeling that he is compensating for a lack of artistic ability by relying HEAVILY on reference images.
     
  12. Nocturne

    Nocturne Professional Ginger

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    I mean... Artists use references all the time. Maybe he's relying on them a bit much but it's not the end of the world.
     
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  13. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    It's not tracing.

    Angles and the perspective on the characters in all examples you posted are different.

    Tracing leaves exactly same angles and perspective and often even character details between the images.

    Google Greg Land to see what's the actual tracing is.


    References are used all the time by the artists, though.


    I wouldn't even say that this Hardhead design is copied off Robocop, but for sure the artist's style isn't well suited for Transformers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  14. TheSuperion

    TheSuperion Die mad about it.

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    You're a bit late. I already admitted that tracing was a poor choice of word.
     
  15. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    Doesn't even look like copying anything without tracing because all the things mentioned were very generic. Hardhead helmet shape is simply rounded, riding or mounting rockets also happends in fiction and even this piloting pose is fairly generic.
     
  16. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    My thought coming in was Spotlight Prowl, and the issue of the ongoing by the same artist. But this admittedly comes close in my mind. Although not seeing the tracing so much as very heavy influence
     
  17. megatronski

    megatronski Mr. Low attention span

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    The most disappointing part about those issues is that they were drawn by E.J Su, who had done a good majority of art for the Furman era IDW stories, and his art was just fine back then, only for his style to pretty dramatically change in the stuff he did when the Ongoing started.

    Hell, now that I'm thinking about it same thing happened to Don Figueroa, his pre-AHM stuff was great and then his style turned into that weird G1/movie hybrid when the Ongoing started.
     
  18. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Okay, yeah, that's definitely a disappointment. I'd have not put the two together.

    Don's pseudo movieverse look bothered me less but at the same time I agree that I preferred his earlier work.
     
  19. Joey Slick

    Joey Slick Whirl is a Transformer.

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    The worst art moment in IDW history is when Kup returned from the Dead Universe in MTMTE #25 and ol' Livio Ramondelli decided it wasn't too important that readers actually be able to recognize him as Kup.

    kup.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. 19892005

    19892005 Well-Known Member

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    Livio Ramondelli is an interesting topic I could bring my self to read the on going issues with his art.

    I loved seeing new designs of characters but livio I don't think I could make out half of it.

    Shocking how the art can effect the enjoyment of the story
     
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