Rob Beschizza at 9:17 pm Fri, Jun 15, 2012
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The long-awaited sequel to the 40 worst Rob Liefeld drawings of all time is upon us. Here are 40 MORE Of The Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings. [Progressive Boink]
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MORE: anatomy do you speak it • art • Comics • liefeld
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The one on the left just needs plunger lips and he’d look like half the women in Rancho Mirage. I think that nose/cheekbone combo was on discount special one year.
From the article’s description of that image:
“Cannonball looks like Morgan Fairchild looked into the Ark of the Covenant.”
How do these guys floss?
I’m starting to feel really bad for the guy. I think like anyone who has been deeply into comics since his time of eminence and before and who spent time at cons or bullshitting with shop owners I have a few stories of Rob being a dick, which has a lot to do with the momentum criticism of his art has (let’s face if, there are plenty of art/style choices that revered parents of the industry are know for but we don’t break balls all the time because Kirby drew people with goofy blockheads, etc); but from a recent conversation with someone still connected to retail and publishing Liefeld is actually a nice dude now who has made efforts to mend bridges he burned when everyone was saying he was Jesus on toast (and he was listening and believing all of it).
Don’t worry, a lot of the criticism has transferred to Greg Land now.
Yeah well thats life. They will find something else to whine about that they have no knowledge of later.
That dude could do a mean Micheal Jackson print.
What are you talking about? That picture of Guy Pearce is spot on.
Oh, this is totally unfair. We all know the worst Rob Liefeld drawings are all of them.
I don’t understand. Are comic book artists supposed to draw with photo realism? Every comic I’ve ever read had artwork that was caricature to some degree; sometimes slight, sometimes exaggerated. I’ve never encountered this artist that I know of (I’m in my 40s and laid off the comics, for the most part, in the late 1980s), but I see nothing wrong with his work. If this is his worst, it’s pretty good.
True, but when you take a look at Liefeld and then compare him to artists such as Phil Noto, Cliff Chiang or Fiona Staples you can see that there’s caricature…and then there’s caricature.
I would think that someone of Mr Liefeld’s standing would at least be able to draw a foot correctly. It looks as if he hasn’t done much in the way of life drawing. Either that or he’s under the pump to rush out as much as he can in as little time – which I know is the downfall of many an otherwise decent artist. Sometimes it just becomes easier to draw everyone with the stock face and body when you’re facing a massive looming deadline.
“…Phil Noto, Cliff Chiang or Fiona Staples “…thanks for those name drops. That’s some awesome art this comic book dunce has never seen.
There is a difference between caricature (and stylization) and poorly-drawn anatomy: The former is calculated in precise ways for a specific effect and the latter is haphazard.
Yupgiboy: Did you look at ANY of the drawings other than the one heading this post?
Yeah. In fact, I went to both links and perused them. I don’t get it. His is a style, like any other artist. Maybe It’s because I used to read Heavy Metal back in the day, but his style doesn’t bother me in the least. In fact, I do see beauty in it. People bitch about this and not something like, say, Aeon Flux? Strange world.
I actually agree about the style in general. When he really really tries it can be quite interesting (Like the first reboot of Youngblood at image.)
When I first saw his art on New Mutants I was really excited because it was really fresh and exciting looking. He just never seemed to get any better as an artist as time went by.
I really think it is possible to see the places where actual amaturish mistakes take over and can’t be attributed to “just the way he draws.” When he draws a character and his accessories completely differently in 4 different panels that are all on the same page, I don’t think that it’s on purpose and part of his style.
I read both the articles. In some cases the author criticizes what are deliberate (though perhaps misguided) stylistic decisions as mistakes. But there are just as many others where some plainly awful Liefieldism is passed over in silence, because there is just so much badness going on.
I don’t get it?… Looks like he can draw better than most people. Some artists rush their drawings because its their style and they want to convey a hurried tone. I have no idea who this guy is, but they are not horrible… The coloring and proportions are off on some, but overall I get the sense of what was being conveyed. Nitpick much, comic geniuses?!… Hey, that Picasso sure sucked! His works didn’t even have proper sized eyes! Leonardo couldn’t even draw a horse! We are so much better than them because we type things. Yes, I looked at all the examples.
It depends on what you expect to get when you buy a comic book from Marvel. Do you want a proffessionaly drawn product or just something that is “better then what most people can draw”.
You can’t just brush it off as caracature or a fast style. For an artist to pull that off he/she needs allot of knowledge about basic human anatomy to know what looks good when you exadurate it. With Liefeld you get allot of utterly bizar looking characters, a mess of muscle and contortions with tiny feet, that look more horrific then cool. And it doesn’t need to be like that as there are plenty of other artists that work for Marvel.
So the problem isn’t that he’s mediocre, but that he works for Marvel? The blog should be titled “Marvel Sucks for Hiring Rob Liefeld.” Either that or “Rob Liefeld’s Creative Genius Has Yet to Be Realized.”
He isn’t working for Marvel right now. He’s drawing a book at Image and writing a couple for DC.
And, say what you will about his art – I personally can’t stand it – he’s by any recent account a nice guy. He dotes on fans at conventions and will respond to emails and tweets in a timely manner. He catches a lot of shit for his bad anatomy and inability to use basic perspective, and most of that shit is earned. But he genuinely loves comics and works hard at helping others enjoy them too.
He used to not be a nice guy. He used to be an arrogant prick who wouldn’t talk to fans unless they were sucking up. Or paying.
No, the point is that people have to pay for his work and as such he should be expected to be held to a higher standard. If it was just somebodies Deviant Art blog, then obviously it would be weird to critize him for making something sub par.
They have to pay? Surely the only ones who have to pay are the ones who like his art. No one’s forcing anyone to buy the comics.
The point is that people who pay for his work do so by their own choice. I don’t, but he seems to get by without my money just fine. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
Here’s a Picasso self-portrait, from when he was 15.
My 8-year-old could do th… oh wait.
He looks like he’s already drinking heavily and sleeping around.
Not every mistake can be explained away as stylization. His idea of drawing people is to draw a pile of lumps and then put detail lines and crosshatching on it until it looks like a real drawing at a glance. He can’t draw feet. He can’t draw swords in perspective (they always come out bent unless they’re perpendicular to the ‘camera’). He can’t draw guns. He can’t draw mouths or noses. He can’t draw women. He can’t draw teeth. He can’t draw things to scale with other things, or things in front of or behind other things. He can’t draw people holding things.
If all those things somehow magically disappeared (which seems unlikely, since he must know that he can’t draw feet – that’s why everyone’s always en pointe or standing behind things or cut off at the calf), he’d be about on a level with the two or three best artists in my high school art class when I was seventeen.
And he’s a millionaire because where others only drew their women anatomically improbable, he drew them fully impossible, where others had revealing necklines he had tits hanging out of bondage gear, where others drew twenty-pound guns and six-foot swords he went for 200-pound guns (even if they were just rectangles with two holes in one end) and fifteen-foot swords (bent). We only like Ed Wood because we feel he’s a noble failure. If Plan 9 From Outer Space had made $380M (adjusted), I doubt we’d think as fondly of him.
You realize that we may get bored of this series by the time it reaches part 362, don’t you?
Man, it looks like a cat (cats?) tried really hard to scratch those dudes’ eyes out.
I have drawn comics myself and I try to avoid photorealism to get my point out. If the character is evil or mad you may draw the eyes bigger, tilted down, and even crooked to give the reader a sense of disconfort. I once got the comment from someone that complained that my drawing skills were bad since the eyes where crooked, I did this intentionally to play on peoples emotions, when looking at a percieved ugly face it is easier to convey that the character is evil or mad. The ancient greeks used this intentionally on their statues to convey beauty; they would make the sholders of a god 10 % wider than is natural, this tricks the mind that you are looking at something beautiful, but if you go too far you might trigger a discust emotion since the human mind is triggered to see unatural shapes in the human body. If someone is smart in a comic their head may be drawn bigger, a powerful person is draw taller than his/her underlings etc. These are all tricks that many comic artists make use of to trigger emotions in the reader. So, you see that many comics are not supposed to be naturalistic from the beginning. I love the arts of Rob Liefeld, he has a distinctive style in a field that has many copycats.
You don’t need photorealism, but getting the basic anatomy correct (putting a right hand where a right hand should be, not just drawing in a left hand because you like it better) and posture really gives something to even very cartoonish styles. Of course that requires being really good…
Example from a belgian master, Franquin
Everything is caricatured, but notice how convincing the motion is and how good the postures are (even though they are also caricatured and taken over the top).
You don’t need to understand french to understand the story being told…
(another one from the same series)
Gaston deserves a revival in Boingboing, the palace of geekdom!
Is is me or all his young male characters look like Lukka Rocco Magnotta?
I can’t tell, I need to see if they are holding a bottle of Blue Ice
No wonder I don’t like comics, I must have seen some of his work before, I can remember those strange bent swords and messed up proportions, after watching that who would care to read the “story”.
I don’t have a problem with caricature or distortion, but his drawings as the article points out is just plain BAD, really bad, the characters don’t match up with their surroundings, hands are ugly and feet either elephantine, fingerlike, or nonexistent.
He really has a problem with the female figure and anatomy in general, in my view much of very bad manga is way better than his work, and at least some of the comics that I have read like “Batman, The killer joke” or “Punisher the beginning” are way better.
Also classic animation like bugs bunny with Tex Avery or Dr. Seuss
Not too sure why this guy is being treated like a pariah when I consider Todd McFarlane’s work to be just as wretched. Todd McFarlane might have a bit more structure & style behind it, but I consider it the same visual noise nonsense that highlights the worst aspects of 1990 fanboy comic book world.
Also, I grew up with the 1970s comics that were geared towards a more general audience. John Romita was a genius to me as a kid and the definition of classic super hero style in the Marvel universe. I mean, I liked Kirby & Ditko as well, but that was my childhood. And yes, I am invoking my childhood. But my point is the 1980s & 1990s were a period where comics really shifted from a mainstream medium that had a fan base to a pure fanboy culture in comic stores. And I genuinely hate comic stores. Not for the depth of what they provide—which is the only redeeming factor I can find—but for the OCD/cultish way ANY comic property is treated. It’s all geared towards the OCD fanboy & nobody else.
Which brings me back to Rob Liefeld. His artwork might be horrible, but honestly it is valid because it was accepted far more than rejected by the comic world he existed in. And for better or worse, it completely represents the world his professional career grew in. I mean, if he weren’t around—and for that matter Todd McFarlane as well—someone else would have created the same crap. Because in the 1990s comics like this ceased to really be a non-fan effort. Art like this is like drug to an addict. And the 1990s were quite possibly the worst era of superhero comics ever.
I agree. We all dislike Liefeld’s style for the same reasons, but I think, historically, his style was a necessary evil of the ”eXtreme 90s!” to bridge a gap between old skool comics and what we have today. I think from Bob Kane to Romita1 there was only incremental growth in terms of artwork. With the cultural excess of the late 80s needing something “more” to rejuvenate the comics world, Liefeld came along and supplied that something more. His over the top style, as well as Mcfarlane’s sketch-like style, gave a much needed boost to comics and the medium was huge in the late 80s and 90s. We diss on Liefelds big guns and big chests, but you have to admit, that stuff was snatched up like crack back in the day. But eventually the trend said “whoa – TOO much” and the Liefeld stlye went by the wayside. Now we live in a happy middle ground – charatcers are more detailed than the Silver Age but restrained from the Liefeld madness.
You don’t know how much is too much until you go there. Now that we’ve been there, hopeful we won’t return. So that’s my 2 cents on Liefeld. Too much – but strangely, a neccessary stop in the evolution of comics.
>the Liefeld stlye went by the wayside
His imitators learned to draw better, but he’s still drawing like that!!
I have never seen a 1990s comic book that made me not want to wretch. Not disrespect, but 1990s comic books & tribal tattoos go hand in fugly hand.
This guy is bad, but Clowes is good? Color me lost.
They have totally different styles, but by all means, please provide 80+ examples of Clowes drawing something remotely as bad as what Liefeld has put out, and then an equal amount showing that his writing is just as bad.
80? Pick any book of his. In my opinion they both draw like mildly talented 8th graders.
That’s an apples/oranges comparison, though. You might as well complain that Charles Schultz’ drawings of children aren’t realistic, either. Clowes is not attempting to draw in a “hyper-realistic” form the way Liefeld has been, and yet Liefeld seems to not grasp basic anatomy and/or physics in some of the most rudimentary ways possible. Clowes is drawing in a much more cartoon-based form, and while it’s far less realistic, his basic skills are far beyond what Liefeld possesses in terms of things like composition and basic mechanics of illustration. I’d wager very few 8th graders could pull off what Clowes can, yet I’m sure quite a few can muster up the scribbly, bendy, millions-of-lines-covered nonsense that Liefeld continuously puts out.
But that’s just me.
I actually like Clowes art more than his writing. He’s a decent illustrator.
I disagree, but I don’t expect everyone to share my tastes. I think Clowes is on par with Liefeld. Neither draw characters that appeal to me or feel real to me. I’m not talking photo-real either; Calvin felt real (and I miss him)
Have you spent any time with Alice Otterloop and her family? If not, you should.
I LIKE Alice; she’s real!
Perhaps that’s the crux of the issue here – the criticism being dealt towards Liefeld is not whether or not his characters “feel real” but rather that he constantly is breaking rules of logic in basic illustration terms, creating some incredibly bizarre creatures that he is clearly trying to pass off as photo-realistic. His knowledge and application of both anatomy and physics are severely lacking, or if he does have that knowledge, he certainly isn’t letting it get in the way of his work (which, by the way, has made him quite wealthy).
If Clowes is on par with Liefeld in regards to whether or not you connect with his characters, so be it, but you simply cannot claim that Clowes is a worse artist, because there is ample evidence to the contrary, especially when you look at work that Clowes has done that he has attempted to make photo-realistic (as opposed to his more common cartoonish style). It’s just better done, plain and simple, and it’s a silly comparison to make based on the valid (albeit super-snarky) criticisms that website is making.
And frankly, to not be able to connect on a “real” level with anything Liefeld has created is beyond the point as well – who the hell could connect with a 700 pound, 9-foot-tall, half-metal or covered in spandex mutant hero who carries around a gun the size of the average human being and who has feet the size of dinner rolls? Or a woman whose spine has at least four right angles which taper off into five foot long femurs? I don’t know anyone like that (nor does anyone else), but I’ve certainly come across a lot of people who are like Enid from Ghost World, or Jerome from Art School Confidential, etc.
Are you saying you couldn’t connect with the Iron Giant, or Rudolph’s Humble Bumble? What about the Sean Connery dragon? Strangeness doesn’t preclude connection.
I’m not a fan of either Clowes or Liefeld. I just find it hilarious that BB is childish enough to razz one while shilling for the other. As I said before, consume the art you want, but don’t expect quiet agreement when you diss one chump over another.
I like Bugs Bunny as an example of good proportions. Cartoonish, exaggerated.. nearly as non-photorealistic as you can get. Yet Bugs Bunny has exquisite proportions, is drawn with real skill, the anatomy of the series is generally really well done..
Just getting the proportions right allows the artist to do crazy things. Funny, or dark and violent, it doesn’t really matter, the foundation is all in the anatomy and mechanics. Do that well and you can get away with anything.
These examples of Liefeld’s work show none of that. No understanding of anatomy, framing, or the mechanics of motion. Just a bunch of motion lines and badly drawn hands and feet.
I can still remember when he took over New Mutants. It had been my favorite book, but it had gone through a long phase with no real creative staff. Liefled took over and I remember I just did not get it, I hated every panel. Then Lee took over X-men he was nowhere near as bad Liefeld, but I could see the direction comics where going and X-Men #1 was pretty much the last comic I bought for close to two decades.
What people are also missing here is not only did the art work take a horrible turn, the writing took an even bigger horrible turn. Notice how every character looks the same and they all have swords or staffs or some other weapon?
That’s part of what people who don’t read comics are missing here. Yes Liefelds art is fucking terrible, but there is more history to it. He came on board and was the poster boy for the artist driven pretty but empty crap collectors phase.
His writing and art were terrible but stylish and came with 18 different covers. He was the self taught young blood who was saving the industry. Sure the storyline in New Mutants was horrible but it also set sales records. Let’s make tons of pretty covers with huge tits that kids can keep in bags, hell let’s sell them in sealed bags, no one wants to read this crap anyway. The industry was using him to play the Mcfarlane game only unlike Mcfarlane he had no stories and Mcfarlanes Spiderman #1 had already killed the industry.
He is the face of everything that went wrong with comics in the 90′s.
Agreed. Thank heaven for Alan Moore, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis.
>X-Men #1 was pretty much the last comic I bought for close to two decades.
You’re me almost, except I never actually bought it.
It would be interesting to learn to draw imitating this terrible style, then learning to do it better. After all, it takes a while to reach “terrible” then one builds from there. Why not jump right into terrible?
the one thing i remember about rob liefeld back in his prime was… why did every superhero team need to have at least one hero with wolverine hair? it’s like they knew those pointy tips were all they needed to sell the book.
I did not realize until I read this post, that it was exactly when this guy started drawing the X-Men that I was done with them forever.
If you enjoy his artwork, or think that there is no difference in his artwork than the work of other more respected artists, visual art may not be for you. Stick to music, or food, or rocking back and forth in your chair, but stay away from visual art entirely.
Yeah, I’m going to have to be honest here. Finding out that this kind of art was not the only thing comics and graphic novels had to offer made all the difference in the world to me.
At the same time though, they really don’t offend me.
Translation: If you don’t share Capital_7′s taste in art, you are wrong and you should leave art to those of us who are superior yet not at all pompous or arrogant.
You keep missing the point. There is nothing about taste or style here. Go back look at the pictures and actually read what they are pointing out. The guy makes basic and fundamental mistakes, like having partsof costumes that should match perfectly attach themselves at different points of the costume in the same frame.
No one is talking about style here, they are talking about very very basic skills here. like not giving characters two left feet.
C’mon Rider, you’re getting deep in the weeds here. Capital_7 was being a pompous twit, insulting anyone who liked art of which Capital doesn’t approve. That kind of arrogance has a long history with art and self-appointed critics.
No you keep posting the same crap reply over and over again not reading what is actually being said.
“…visual art may not be for you. Stick to music, or food, or rocking back and forth in your chair, but stay away from visual art entirely.”
That it what I am replying to. That was Capital_7′s comment. You want to talk about “posting the same crap reply over and over again” without reading what someone said, try scrolling up a few replies to Capital’s comment and reading it. If you can’t do that, I think we’re done here.
Oh, he may be undiplomatic but he’s perfectly right. If you can’t tell the difference between Liefeld’s version of the 90s cheeseball Xtreeeme Superhero look and the same thing as done by someone who can draw, looking at things is unlikely to be a rewarding leisure activity for you. It’s like being unable to tell the difference between Ricky Martin and William Hung and insisting that it’s all about the latter’s unique style.
Translation: I know what will make you happy better than you know what will make you happy, so you’d better just listen to me and ignore your own tastes.
I love you sidewalk superintendents who have it all figured out and can tell us what is and isn’t art. Twas ever thus.
Alternately, you can have the kind of taste that you usually get from sucking on your feet and apply it to your comic book habits, like Diogenes there.
He’s no Travis Charest.
I’m very late to the party, but, I had to include my favorite drawing, which wasn’t on either of the lists.