19 July 2011

Comic Art Tuesday: Brevoort is Right (Dorkin, Sale, and Jones)!

Recently, Tom Brevoort, Senior Vice President of Publishing of Marvel Comics, stated an opinion regarding the differences between DC and MARVEL Comics:

"I don't think I really have the space to do this topic justice here. But to try to make a start of it: there's a fundamental difference in the way the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe are oriented. By its nature, the DCU has a more optimistic outlook on the world, and the Marvel U has a more pessimistic outlook. Now, that doesn't mean that bad things don't happen in the DCU and good things don't happen in the Marvel U. But it does mean that the DCU is a place where people look up in the sky and admire Superman, whereas people look up and shake their fists in anger at Spider-Man. But in a world of rampant cynicism, it's easy to scoff at an optimistic outlook, and harder to make "sexy", so DC seems to constantly try to make their world more pessimistic. But this clashes with the natures of most of their central characters--it's an ill fit in the world of the Justice League. So it feels artificial, in the same way that you can only have an optimistic Heroic Age in the Marvel Universe for so long before things need to start coming apart again in some ways. To put it in other terms, the DCU is Aaron Sorkin's "The West Wing"--it's not how government actually works, but it's the way you wish that it worked, the way you'd like it to be--idealistic, passionate, energetic, spirited. And so I wish that the DC hierarchy would spend more energy and effort embracing those qualities in their characters. Some of their key creators certainly do--Grant Morrison's ALL-STAR SUPERMAN is a very optimistic work, for example, and that's one of the reasons why it functions so well. And even something like DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, which is gritty as hell, is at its heart about a heroic ideal, a larger-than-life figure who rises up to champion the city in its time of need. But too often, DC seems to try to turn away from their core viewpoint, to make their characters darker or more dystopic or more downtrodden. And it just doesn't play in the long run."

I agree with statement, especially with respects to the BATMAN FAMILY and this week's Comic Art features.

Evan Dorkin (World's Funniest, 2010)
EVAN DORKIN writes the hell out of stuff, be it SPACE GHOST COAST TO COAST, MILK AND CHEESE, or the SUPERMAN ANIMATED SERIES.  For my money, Evan embodies the optimism of DC Comics is my two favs of his work, BIZARRO COMICS and SUPERMAN AND BATMAN: WORLD'S FUNNIEST.  His comics take the absurdities of Silver Age characters (and Modern Age sensibilities that dictate animosity between Superman and Batman) and spoofs them with perfect pitch.  Do yourself a favor and grab these books for some summer fun reading!  I was pretty banged up when I got a text in the hospital with this image and it did the trick!

Tim Sale (Catwoman, 2011)
There is no better October Batman reading than a Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale Batman story.  THE LONG HALLOWEEN is a wonderful example of a tragedy, which would suggest the Marvel-oriented pessimism at first glance, but is a testament to Batman's strength of character and perseverance.

Tim Sale's Catwoman is the best design of the purple-jumpsuit era of the character, and Jeph Loeb maintained a great friction between The Dark Knight and the Cat of Crime.  I love the Sale Gotham, with varied examples of watercolour texture to the gothic architecture.  There are only a handful of artists who created an entire visual world of villains, supporting cast, and scenery and Tim is one of the best.

Steven Jones (Huntress, 2011)
I love the idea of Batman and Catwoman having a daughter who might be a little... strong-willed and I adore the BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD ANIMATED SERIES.  Artist Steve Jones is responsible for the designs of several characters, including the Bat-Bot and Huntress for the show.

Simply put, the show is possibly the single greatest embodiment of fun and adventure in the Batman mythos.  Huntress is not Batman's daughter in the show (the character's origin has been changed innumerable times.  I think she might be the daughter of a mob hitman these days...), but rather possesses a crush on the Dark Knight Detective. 

I bought an iTunes subscription for the show and it's been great fun watching them with the kids.

Take a close look at the picture because you'll be seeing it pop up again soon...

Same Bat Time,

Same Bat Channel!

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