Tag Archives: Iron Man

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.

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Fame Day: Kris Anka

Today’s Fame Day post is dedicated to the artistic genius of Kris Anka. I’ve been following his work on the superhero redesign blog Project : Rooftop for some time, and was thrilled to see him get the recognition he deserves on ComicsAlliance yesterday.

Apparently Anka had been hired by Marvel to design the costumes for the new Uncanny X-Force series, and he puts his own spin on the new roster of Storm, Psylocke, Spiral, Puck, Lady Fantomex, and their nemesis Bishop.

The biggest changes are in Psylocke losing the unitard for more of a full body suit, and Storm reverting to her 90s look with a fantastic-looking mohawk. Utility was definitely prioritized, and story as well. Working with Uncanny X-Force writer Sam Humphries it was decided that the grey in Spiral’s outfit should be opaque. This fit with the knowledge that Spiral was a character was “a little more confident in her sexuality,” without making the costume’s raciness over-the-top .

Anka’s design philosophy for the team is as follows:

The costume themes were something from the very beginning that I wanted to strive for. I felt that every costume should not only highlight the personality of the character it is wrapped around, but also of the function that the costumes will serve towards. At the end of the day, these costumes have to look like they can get into a tussle, and actually be able to handle it.

This certainly translates over to the many other redesigns that can be found on his various art blogs, and one I want to highlight is his version of the  Avengers.

From left to right: Iron First and Crystal, Ares and Ms. Marvel, Iron Man and Venus, Bucky (Winter Soldier) and Thor.

In another illustration, entitled “avengers – dont f-ck with us,” the entire team is explained in the description, with the idea that he wanted his Avengers to be “a family first off.” Ms. Marvel acts as leader, Venus as a strategic asset, Ares carries Stark-designed weapons that can collapse in on themselves. Every design point has a reason, and it all adds up to clean, recognizable  costumes.

His redesigns for DC’s trinity [Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman] are images I go back to over and over. His vision of the the Last Son of Krypton shows that you can do away with the red shorts over blue tights, provided you break it up with a little bit of colour [the yellow buckle, the red lines on the side]. I’m looking at you, costume designer for Snyder’s Man of Steel.


All in all, Kris Anka is a name to look out for. In the ComicsAlliance interview Humphries admits that “My only wish is that we could keep going until we redesigned the entire Marvel Universe!” If only that were true.

You can find Kris Anka on various places on the internet:

deviantART: http://anklesnsocks.deviantart.com
Blogger: http://anklesnsocks.blogspot.ca/
tumblr: http://kristaferanka.tumblr.com/
twitter: https://twitter.com/kristaferanka

And don’t forget to search for his stuff on Project : Rooftop!

Why I’m Okay With The Mandarin

This is part of a multi-blog series about Race and Comic Books put together by RodtRDH. Justin Tiemeyer has written the first of many such posts [about black comic book characters] on his blog, Cavemen Go.
                                                                                                                                                                  

One of my favourite blogs [you can see it in the sidebar] featured an article sometime ago titled “On Marvel, Mandarin, and Marginalization.” The gist of said article asking why an Asian villain like the Mandarin is being portrayed before any Asian American lead heroes. I’m going to start my defence with the quotes racebending.com used:

“There are certain fears and certain strengths the character evokes that are applicable, but of course you have to completely remove any of that short sighted cultural ignorance that leads to any sort of bigotry in the storytelling. That isn’t to say those fears and shortcomings of Iron Man as relating to that character aren’t relevant…He was based in China which was then mysterious because it was Red China. Today China is mysterious in other ways because it’s Global China.”

– Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man and Iron Man 2 to CHUD in 2006

“You have to do The Mandarin. The problem with The Mandarin is, the way it’s depicted in the comic books, you don’t want to see that.”

– Favreau again, to MTV in 2010

“The Mandarin is a racist caricature.”

– Iron Man 3 director Shane Black at Long Beach ComicCon, October 2011

I’m not going to skirt around the fact that the character was indeed rooted in the “yellow peril” that was rampant at the time of his inception, but the following images should paint a picture of his evolution since that time.

From left to right: The Mandarin as he first appeared in the 60s, then the 90s, and the present day.

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