Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Comic Book Art 3

The longer that I’ve looked at it the
more I’m actually impressed by it. I don’t know where to go from this. He
really does have some bizarre art and I don’t mean that as a pun.
He’s just an illustrator without animation training who can animate
better than most animators. He’s just that good here’s the jot notes version
of this series if you’ve never seen an episode before. It’s kind of like a
ripoff of Corridor Crew and LegalEagles react videos but with a focus on
illustration and looking at comic art from some top tier professionals to
learn what they’re doing right in some of their best art and learn what is
occasionally going wrong in some of their less-than-stellar art. I’m
Christian Pierson I’ve been a professional illustrator and animator
for about seven years now and while I’m nowhere near the skill level of most of
the artists that I talk about on this show, people seem to be finding my
analysis and breakdown of their work to be pretty interesting so looks like I’m
gonna keep doing it. And yes as much requested I look at some manga art later
in this episode. Let’s get into the first piece of art. (Eric Canete and Andre Mossa) I mean it is pretty weird-looking. I found this image framed by a lot of people as being some of the
worst professional Spiderman art that they’ve seen and when I looked at it I
didn’t quite think that far I did think it was weird looking but with this one
the longer that I’ve looked at it the more I’m actually impressed by it. With
comic art one of the first things that people will look at to judge if it’s
good or bad is Anatomy because that’s a big part of superhero comics. It’s easy
to look at just the anatomy of this one and say “ew that’s gross” but what I
think is kind of important to do with this one is look at what the anatomy is
doing. Even though it’s stretched and warped it’s doing that in a way where
it’s helping accent the movement. This almost looks like a smear frame from an
animation which is a frame of animation that acts kind of like motion blur. If
you look at it on its own as a still frame it looks pretty unusual but when
you see it in movement in the animation it makes the whole movement feel more
smooth and fluid. But obviously this is a comic and we are supposed to look at
this as a still frame. I mean I personally, admittedly, I flipped through
the comic that this is from and I think I would want to read a whole comic
in this art style, but I really respect the skills that have gone into making
this image. I definitely would not call it bad art. Just even look at the
composition itself the way that lady stilt man’s leg is really helping sell
the the trail that your eye is supposed to go down. Presumably your eye would
start up in that first Spider-man panel of just his head and then go down on the
lady stilt man’s hair followed down through her leg to spider-man’s body go
up through his body to where the webbing and his leg and her leg meet and come up
the rest of the way and it’s just such a fluid movement filled piece and
everything in it including the wonky anatomy is helping sell that movement.
But to be fair you don’t need to warp anatomy to make something really look
like it’s moving. (Dexter Soy) This frame is gorgeous. I want a poster of this frame it’s just so
beautiful and it feels like a paused moment during the action beat of a movie.
You can really feel the movement and what what I also find really cool about
this one is he’s good at making the different levels of movement be felt. For
instance Captain America’s shield is moving a lot faster than Captain America
because he’s just whipped it at Absorbing Man and he’s jumping to the
side but he doesn’t have as much of a blur to him because he’s moving a bit
slower than the shield would be moving and the fastest moving thing is
Absorbing Man’s wrecking ball which… that impact you can really feel. And it’s got
the most sort of blur to it and on its chain and I love how angular the chain
is and I’ve seen few artists that can sell motion better than Dexter Soy. He’s
just he’s so good at it and something this is kind of a a side note but
something I found really interesting about his work I saw this video of him
working and he actually uses an Intuous style tablet. When I think of most
professional comic book artists a lot of the time I imagine them either working
traditionally or on a screen like this where you actually draw on the screen
but he has the kind of tablet where you’re drawing on the tableau on the
table and looking at the screen I don’t mean to bash anyone using intuos tablets
you can make just this fantastic artwork with them. I just thought it was kind of
interesting Dan Mora Chaves is just phenomenal. If you’ve watched the
previous episodes you probably know exactly what I want to say about how the
snake is guiding our eye through the image because it really takes you down
to the snowmen makes you look at this awesome
axe over Klaus who’s the main character of this series and then up to the snake
and as the snake’s body is going through it’s getting more saturated and vibrant
red and it’s got such an awesome head design and I love how its body not only
is guiding us through the image but is also framing a lot of stuff in the image.
Like, the snake’s body is even framing its own head and to help sell the
framing even more the moon or oh it’s that’s got a bit of a ring around I
guess it’s probably not the moon I haven’t read this issue but that
planet in the background is even help framing the characters. So, I’ve talked
before about how a lot of industry professionals when they’re doing a comic
for Marvel or DC or whoever they’ll do the penciling and then someone else will
do the inking and coloring or maybe just the coloring or whatever else there’s
usually a team of people with Dan Mora’s work on Klaus he was doing everything
and that is personally I think him at his peak. One of the shots has just
burned into my head it’s a big sweeping shot of Klaus looking out over this town
and the buildings are nicely rendered and everything is just beautiful it’s
one of my favorite in comic panels I’ve seen. I’ve read to his work on Power
Rangers as well and in that he’s just doing the penciling and Raul Angelo is
doing the coloring for him and that looks really great as well but when Dan
Mora is coloring his own work… and this is me being very biased because he’s one
of my favorite artists, but I think some of his work on Klaus is just unbeatably
fantastic. Okay now we’re gonna move on to some manga and while there is a ton
of really fantastic art and artists that we’re gonna look at in this section I
feel like I have to start with by far the weirdest art thing
I’ve ever had to research. (Yaoi Anatomy) I don’t know which one I should start with. A lot of
these I feel like I don’t really need to say too much right? I mean you can see
the giant hands tiny heads really long legs sometimes kind of wonky perspective.
These images are from different artists in the same genre I was recommended this
genre by a bunch of people in the last video it’s called Yaoi and I was told
that it had some really weird Anatomy I was told to just Google
Yaoi Anatomy and I was warned that there might be some not-safe-for-work stuff in
there and just gonna show the PG stuff but basically Yaoi is a romance genre
specifically for romance stories between men but it’s a genre that’s targeted at
women and written and illustrated by women. Which sounds like a very niche
thing but I guess it’s big enough that there’s a whole genre based around it
and so much of the art in this genre has such weird-looking Anatomy. But, the thing
is it seem it seems so consistently weird between a bunch of different
artists all working in this one genre all doing the same kinds of weird giant
hands and sometimes really big lips so I thought ‘okay maybe this is just a part
of this genre. It’s part of the visual language of these kinds of stories and I
just don’t get it.’ So to test that theory I went and looked
up some of the most popular manga in this genre so I looked at some art from
a series called ‘Like The Beast’ and from a series called the “Escape Journey” but the
thing is in those stories the anatomy all looks like pretty normal manga art
the anatomy is all fine. So that I don’t know if that blows my theory out of the
water… and I was literally just googling why is Yaoi Anatomy so weird and the
only answers I was finding were people’s theory is that it’s just a lot
of bad artists. I don’t know where to go from this I honestly just think it’s
kind of fascinating and I wish I had some answers so if you’re a fan of yaoi
and you know why so much of the art has these
crazy giant hands and weird proportions and stuff please let me know in the
comments because I am incredibly curious. I am very very skeptical to think that
it’s just a bunch of bad artists working in this genre it’s too consistent for
that so please somebody tell me what’s up. Let… let’s just move on to something
that I can wrap my head around a little bit more. (Kentaro Miura)
I love how high contrast this main character is against that background and
with all the trees kind of pointing in like look at this guy. It’s a high level
of detail over the whole thing and I love how Kentaro Miura managed to make
this creature very detailed but also keep him very obscured now I haven’t
read “Berserk” it looks really fantastic and I might have to start reading it but
I’m assuming that the characters haven’t seen this creature in full yet or at
least that Kentaro Miura wants to keep it obscured just to make it more
menacing looking, but if it was just kind of solid black it might not fit in with
how detailed and rendered out everything else is so a good way that he’s kept the
creature detailed is just drawing lots of streaky lines on it which not only
helps obscure it and keep it looking more menacing and in the dark but it
also helps emphasize the movement on the character because it’s really flying
forward and framing it the way it’s framed, if it didn’t have something like
that, it could end up looking like it’s just stuck there with no movement to it.
So that was a really smart idea. Hear me out on this when I first looked at this
image my eye started in the upper left went down the wing and stopped on that
high contrast point near the head of the creature and I just stared at the
creature and for the first few seconds I was looking at it I didn’t even realize
that there were characters down here, but keep in mind that the target audience
for this series, at least the initial target audience, is Japanese and
so if you were raised Japanese or in any kind of language that reads from right
to left you’re inherently more likely when looking
an image to start on the right side of the page and the writing here, presumably
being in Japanese, registers immediately as language that you can read whereas to
me, I don’t read Japanese, so it kind of fades a little bit more into the trees
if it was English writing my eyes probably would have gone there quicker.
So those two things combined would mean that a Japanese audience is more likely
to start in the upper right read down these words look at the characters in
the bottom corner and then they’re all looking up at this creature so you’re eye
would go up there and then stop on the Beast. So basically I’m just saying a
Japanese audience is more likely to read this image in the order that the artist
intended. Although, I guess to be fair, if I was reading this image in the context
of the manga because you read manga right-to-left I would be more likely to
look at the image properly even though I was raised reading in the other
direction. So that kind of negates my point, but for artists let’s still a good
thing to keep in mind if you’re making solo image work like a poster or a
painting or something like that. That sort of idea of people reading an image
in different directions is one of the reasons that artists early in their
career or schooling are encouraged to flip their artwork, so either looking at
your art in a mirror or if you’re working digitally just flip the canvas.
Because then you’re kind of looking at the character in a different way and
you’re more likely to catch some of your mistakes. Yeah this page right here
is some of the coolest manga I think I’ve seen. I really love it. (Yusuke Murata) I mean this
is just incredible and to clarify what you’re looking at these are both sets of
panels drawn by Yusuke Murata for the ‘One Punch Man’ manga and people have
taken the panels out and put them in order as an animated looping gif. But
what’s even more mind-blowing about there just being animations that work
inside a manga if you take them out and put them frame by frame… they’re all
spinning camera move shots! This is the hardest kind of thing to animate! Even in
the 90s when 3D started becoming a little bit more viable Disney would use
3D environments so that they wouldn’t have to animate big sweeping camera
movements because then you have to draw the environment in
every single frame, but if you 3d animate it you just have to draw the characters
which takes a lot less time. And here he is doing it in a comic where people
aren’t necessarily going to get to appreciate that his work just works as
an animation. And I went looking to see if he had some kind of animation
background and he doesn’t! He’s just an illustrator without animation training
who can animate better than most animators! It’s crazy how incredible his
spatial awareness is because he also wouldn’t be able to look at these frame
by frame. Usually an animator doing frame by frame animation will be able to flip
on a light table or something between their previous shots, but if he’s doing
these on a comic page one after the other he can’t do that! And he wouldn’t
have been making this thinking that people were gonna test him on it and
take these out and put them frame by frame so he didn’t need to make them
work perfectly for an animation but they just do! He’s just that good!
That is just next-level stuff. (Hirohiko Araki) The colors on this piece are just wild! It’s all so
vibrant and it could almost become chaotic if it wasn’t for the fact that
he keeps our focus by having a big pink triangle through the image going from
the ground up into this biggest character who’s mostly in a pink outfit.
There’s so many weird things in this image and there are things that, looking
at it from a different artist in a different image, I would almost want to
call mistakes but because it’s Hirohiko Araki and he kind of leans into this
weirdness… it just feels like it works. For instance, if you look at this
character that’s largely yellow he’s very clearly in front of this tree
but leaning back as if he’s leaning on it. And then it’s also just an unusual
choice having these three characters going from small to bigger to biggest
when they’re all on a similar sort of plane, but I guess that also does kind of
help emphasize the triangle. I love… the texture of these clouds
is so weird. They all kind of look like… I don’t know
squids or a big clumps of whipped cream that have gotten a little bit crusted.
It’s so bizarre but so hard to look away from. And then I love these horses the
level of detail on them is so well chosen and I looked through a bunch of
the interiors from “Steel Ball Run” and they were really great, I just had more
interesting stuff to say about the covers, and one thing I noticed was how
fantastic he is at horse anatomy. The horses were just so well rendered and
what I think he does a great job with, as mentioned on this cover, is deciding how
much detail to use on them when they’re going farther into the background. And
that’s something every artist has to kind of learn how to do, especially when
making a comic, is deciding the amount of detail on something in relation to how
close it is to us. A really good thing to look at in Western comics for this is
Spider-man. A lot of the time the artist has to decide ‘okay, is Spider-man far
enough away from us and small enough in this panel that we shouldn’t draw his
webbing on him?’ Because that’s a detail that a you wouldn’t really be able to
see in real life from a distance and be can be too distracting if you add the
extra level of detail to a character that’s really far back. He really does
have some bizarre art, and I don’t mean that as a pun, it really is just some
bizarre work. But, I’m starting to get why JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has so many
hardcore fans. All right everybody, that’s all for this episode there’s so many
more artists that I’d love to talk about tons have been recommended I love the
enthusiasm! Leave more suggestions in the comments below whether western or manga
whatever. I’m thinking of making this a series that I’ll do once every two weeks
or so at least, you know, until people get sick of it. Also one correction from the
last episode, but apparently Salvador LaRocca did that iron man meme image. All
the other images I talked about when talking about Greg land were his, but
that one might actually be Salvador LaRocca. I haven’t been able to 100%
confirm that, I looked through a bunch of both of their comics that they’ve done
Iron Man and I couldn’t quite find it. If anyone
does find it I’ll make sure to put it in the pinned comment in the description of
that episode, but yeah, thank you all so much for watching be sure to check out
some of my other videos my animations and illustration videos I’ve got
tutorials I’ve got weird mashups… Anyway I’m Christian Pearson this is PopCross Studios home of the nerdiest art videos on YouTube. Monday is part two of
this month’s community redraw episode so I’ll see a bunch of you there goodbye


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