Tag Archives: copying

Shame Day: Shia LaBeouf

Writing the first Shame Day of 2014 is a difficult position to be in. The topic must be the source of some terrible wrongdoing, but must also have committed that wrongdoing in a way that truly incenses us as decent human beings. All that being said, let me present today’s subject, Mr. Shia Saide LaBeouf.

Now rest assured, dear readers, I have reasons for targeting the former child star and lead in Disney’s Even Stevens and repopularizer of the word “no.” Believe me, I wouldn’t willingly put myself through having to check and recheck that I’m spelling his surname correctly otherwise. To begin with, midway through December of last year he released a short film titled Howard Cantour.com.

The film follows the titular Cantour, an internet film critic, and received a pretty hefty amount of critical acclaim. Not only that, but it starred my number one favourite stand-up comedian who almost exclusively jokes about food, Jim Gaffigan. It was also a near shot-for-shot adaptation of the comic Justin M. Damiano, by Daniel Clowes.

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Shame Day: Greg Land

As you probably know by now, comics are very important to me. It’s good art and good writing coming together as one, the creation of a medium that’s unique among all others. The ideal combination is a skilled creative writer coupled with a hard-working, attentive artist. This pairing doesn’t always happen, though. Sometimes a writer is forced to work with Greg Land.

If you type “Greg Land” into Google the second search result that comes up is the site known only as “LAAND!“, though the name of the url more than makes up for the possible vagueness. The site is a tumblr dedicated to the man’s “generally bad artwork and the sexist ethical repercussions to hiring him nowadays.”

To put it plainly, Greg Land doesn’t draw, he traces. This isn’t all the time, but the fact of the matter is that he does it so blatantly and conspicuously that it is impossible to ignore. The following gif will do more to convince you of this than a thousand pages of my writing.

There is seriously no ignoring that. Clicking the image links to the blog JIMSMASH!!! which catalogues many, many more instances of his copycatting. Another fantastic gif’d example is one where, and this is practically mindblowing, Land rips off of himself. The image on the right transitions back and forth between Jean Grey and Black Canary, both drawn by Land [and for competing companies, too].

Here’s a pretty great image. It’s “The Many Faces of Ben Grimm drawn by the talented Greg Land.” He is a man who knows how to recycle.

Now all that I’ve mentioned is pretty atrocious, but here’s where it gets unbelievably worse. Observant comic fans have noticed that a lot of his references appear to be directly taken from porn films. There isn’t an argument more convincing than this picture:

What’s most upsetting [and there is a lot to get upset about] is that Greg Land continues to get work.

Marvel NOW! is the company’s decision to take their best titles and switch around talented writers and artists, creating combinations that will take their characters in new and exciting directions. Somehow Greg Land was assigned to Iron Man with writer Kieron Gillen who had this to say about him: “That’s the thing with Greg Land: his photorealistic style really pops and it’s a glamorous book in that way.”

That’s the thing, Kieron. They look photorealistic because he has traced actual photographs.

And right away, with our first look at the book’s interiors, we can already see that Land has ripped off of photos of a cosplayer, and from actually talented artist Adi Granov.

The saddest part is, Greg Land doesn’t even really know how to draw people anymore. His knowledge of anatomy is paltry at best, as helpfully illustrated in the post “Hips Don’t Lie: Pelvis? What Pelvis?” He may have been a legitimate artist once, but he’s traced so much and so often that when he does draw something freehand he can barely recall how to.

I understand that deadlines need to be made, and that in the world of comics this is not always easy to do. That should be taken into account, but this has gone on for so long it hardly stands as a defence. Greg Land should feel bad. His work is absolutely nothing to be proud of.