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March 17, 2008

Comments

Brian Disco Snell

WCA did have some good covers during the Byrne run...but yeah, those early ones sucked pretty hard.

Mark Engblom

Yeah, I should clarify the Byrne covers were well done...and a refreshing change of pace from the dreary run of covers preceding them.

stephen

All you really had to write in this worst cover ever was...GRAVITON RULES!

Comicology

LOL. Those sure are ugly covers.

Captain Average

Wow,it's amazing how bad some artwork is when you really look at it. You're giving me a greater appreciation for good work. As for these examples:
1. First of all,"the Defiler"?? Never heard of him, but it sounds like his power is sexual impropriety.Creepy.And where are they fighting? Purgatory? Limbo? A blank page?
2.This cover actually would have been better if they just posed two action figures and snapped a pic. At least the positioning would look more natural.
3.It's funny, looking at Wonder Man's costume gives me the same expression. Did Iron Man break a hip there?
WORST.COVERS.EVER.

George C

Well, I liked Iron Man's red and silver suit. But it has to be said, many artists could not draw it well.

Does Graviton have Tigra on a LEASH in that last cover? Kinnn-kee!

Mark Engblom

Yup...that's Tigra on a leash....looking like a dog squatting in the park (which lends credence to my "constipation ray" theory).

Wes C

I think the Defiler must be some sort of time traveler. He looks like he just popped in from the year 1994!

I tried, I really did try to stay with the WCA but after enough bad covers and even worse interiors, I just had to say "enough".

Not to knock Milgrom or Machlan, but I think it's a tip-off that the art might be lacking when you cant even make Moonknight or the Zodiac look cool.

But these books were put out on time.
So I can at least appreciate their professionalism.

Kyle

2. This cover actually would have been better if they just posed two action figures and snapped a pic. At least the positioning would look more natural.

Actually, my first thought when I saw that cover was that Wonder Man had to have been drawn using an old G.I. Joe action figure as a model. Between the stiffness of that dwarfed right arm and the way the left arm is stuck straight out, looking like the shoulder has been popped out of socket...

Not sure what he used as a model for that Abomination, tho. Maybe a half-melted Stretch Armstrong?

Kyle

Heh. Just took another peek at those thighs on Mockingbird. Looks like she's been hitting the ol' carbs a little too much. Or been dining out on the Blob's meal ticket. And the expression on her face... looks like she's been sucking on lemons or something.

Another thing I noticed on the issue #38 cover: look at the angle of Wonder Man's legs versus the trajectory of his belt rockets. He's flying practically sideways, and has his torso twisted at a bizarre angle to his legs. Good thing he's thick-skinned, or he'd be nursing a roasted right buttock and thigh. (Are we allowed to say "buttock" here?)

Mark Engblom

"But these books were put out on time.
So I can at least appreciate their professionalism."

That's true...although in this case, maybe a few extra weeks would have helped those covers.

"Actually, my first thought when I saw that cover was that Wonder Man had to have been drawn using an old G.I. Joe action figure as a model."

That cover looks like zero reference material was used, G.I. Joe, Stretch Armstrong, or otherwise. My guess is that Al was winging it (like most comic book artists routinely do).

Mark Engblom

"Heh. Just took another peek at those thighs on Mockingbird. Looks like she's been hitting the ol' carbs a little too much.

Or a few times too many through the buffet line.

Another thing I noticed on the issue #38 cover: look at the angle of Wonder Man's legs versus the trajectory of his belt rockets. He's flying practically sideways, and has his torso twisted at a bizarre angle to his legs.

Yeah, those hip rockets have always looked incredibly dangerous to me...even moreso when they're drawn as such bizarre angles.

Good thing he's thick-skinned, or he'd be nursing a roasted right buttock and thigh. (Are we allowed to say "buttock" here?

Let's see...let me check with the Comic Coverage censorship board.

(pause)

Yes....it's okay to say "buttock". But not too many times, mind you. ;)

suedenim

I've often felt kinda sorry for Al Milgrom, who's a good inker, but a not-so-good penciller, something not helped by what seemed to be his usual sort of assignment.

Which is something like "Hey, we've got an emergency, and need you to draw this issue of Secret Wars 2. Only 50 different characters in this one, so it shouldn't be a big job. Oh, and we need the finished pages in 3 hours."

I'm sure it's good to be a guy who can turn out a reasonably competent job under such circumstances, but it can't be good for your overall artistic reputation....

James Meeley

Yeah, those were all some pretty bad covers, but there's only two things i could about after reading your piece, Mark:

1) Iron Man's red-and-silver armor was totally awesome. I don't care what any whiney cranks have to say about it. It was totally sweet!

2) Tigra on a leash? Man, if the comic book feminists had the Internet back in the 80's, I bet we'd have seen Al Milgrom reviled as one of the worst misogynistic creators this side of Dave Sim, for that one. ;)

- James

Mark Engblom

"I'm sure it's good to be a guy who can turn out a reasonably competent job under such circumstances, but it can't be good for your overall artistic reputation...."

Well, every design/art studio always needs a steady, reliable (if not especially flashy) guy to simply "make the sausage" when the deadlines and assorted pressures make it necessary to get it out the door. Milgrom (and others) seemed to be that guy at Marvel, though I'm not sure why his non-flashy covers were used for so long on the West Coast Avengers title. A spin-off title already has a big uphill battle to gain the attention and loyalty of the original's fan base, and sub-par art and story don't exactly help that effort. Still....the title lasted an entire decade, so they must have been doing something right....or found just the right "niche" market to keep it plodding along (much like today's Spider-Girl title).

"1) Iron Man's red-and-silver armor was totally awesome. I don't care what any whiney cranks have to say about it. It was totally sweet!"

"Whiny cranks"?! Why I oughta....just kidding. I don't dislike the armor's design as much as I do the red and white coloring. Despite being called the "Silver Centurion" armor, the coloring never really suggested "silver" in an effective way.

Hube

Count me with the other "Silver Centurion" lovers, Mark! I thought the suit was awesome, and I think you'll find many an Iron Fan dig the armor. (Trust me, after editing and writing for Advanced Iron for many years, I know how that suit is viewed!)

At any rate, great calls on these covers. Milgrom's art was, in a word, brutal.

Hube

Bad link above. Here's a better one.

Brian

Oh, the West Coast Avengers...sigh. I loved this book when it first came out (and I was twelve): the previous year's miniseries (by Roger Stern and Bob Hall) was excellent, and as a big fan of Iron Man and Hawkeye, I eagerly looked forward to a regular series.

Looking back on it all these years later, though (I looked at a few issues a couple of months ago), it's a horrible 80s memento. The miniseries holds up (Stern is an underrated pro), but regular series writer Steve Englehart, so good in the 70s, just lost his way on this title, and Milgrom (whose work on the East Coast Avengers in 83 and 84 is pretty soild) can't seem to get any of these characters right (He makes Iron Man look like a red-and-white Juggernaut in the interior of the book). A great idea, badly executed.

Wes C

Sounds like you might have a Civil Warâ„¢ of your own getting started right here!

Red & Gold vs. Red & Silver.

You don't have to be a "whiny crank" to dislike the Silver Centurion armor
(though it does help)!

I don't like the design or the coloring.

The "classic" armor stuck around for about 20 years. The Silver Centurion was around for how long? 1/4 or less of that time?

To me the Red and Gold armor is an incredibly good shorthand for POWER.
It just exudes might.

The Silver armor looks weak in comparison.

Just my little opinion of course.....


Speaking of Milgrom; I was very impressed with his inking on the Superman, Hulk team-up you spotlighted awhile back. That's the best work I've ever seen from him

paul saether

Re: Abominable poses.

A similar body contortion appears on the cover of ASM#106.
What's your artistic opinion of Spidey's pose Mark?
His chest is facing the wall and his head and his knees are pointing away from the wall.
That's impossible, surely?
How could someone as good as John Romita senior draw something so badly?
How come no-one spotted it before it went to press?

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