The anticipated Uncanny X-men # 500 could have done perfectly without Greg Land!
I just read Uncanny X-Men # 500. It’s one of the eagerly anticipated issues in Marvel comics. I mean, wow, it’s issue 500 and a lot of ground-workfor the future of Marvel’s premiere mutant team will be established in this issue.
I won’t go on for a detailed review of the issue here. I just wanted to get this off my chest – issue # 500 is great except for Greg Land’s artwork. He gets to do the art for half of the entire issue, the other half being from Terry Dodson.
Terry Dodson’s well-known for his depiction of soft, buxom women as seen in his covers for Wizard magazine, Darkhorse, Marvel and DC. His inside art folio ranges from DC’s Harly Quinn, Marvel Knights’ Spiderman, Storm, and Wonder Woman, among others. Artwork for Uncanny X-Men # 500 would have been sooo great if only one artist did the whole issue – and that would be Terry Dodson. Just take a look at how he did Emma Frost (err, how he drew her):
Well, you see fine artwork when you lay eyes on it – especially when it’s inside art for comics. You get a grasp of how the artist creates the character from imagination and inspiration, while you’re sifting through the pages he’s drawn. There’s consistency in how he draws each face, each body type. With Land’s Emma Frost – there IS consistency: she looks like a delighted whore with something stuck up her a$$.
Oh, wait. It’s not just Emma Frost. It’s ALL the characters in the issue! (take special note of the lady Mayor – she just CANNOT stop smiling! She’s on an LSD trip all throughout)
But when you see Greg Land’s work, it’s pretty quick and easy to spot the inconsistency in his style – details from one panel to the next are so awkward, you can immediately get the feeling that they’re all drawn from different references. Hence characters never look the same (well except when they share the same traced template).
Anyway, issue 500 is a rollercoaster ride. And I’m not talking about the plot. Greg Land exchanges pencil chores with Terry Dodson every two to three pages. It’s annoying how the art changes abruptly. Land’s art does not convey the plot in each panel – all the characters are always posing for a magazine photo shoot. Men, women, senior citizens – they’re all striking a pose. Maybe it’s got something to do with the X-Men moving to San Francisco? Hmm, isn’t the hippie story arc over already.
I hate Greg Land’s style. He traces, sure. He gets the job done, fine. He may beat deadlines, ok. But how can you possibly respect an artist that lacks so much inspiration and resorts to recycling more often than necessary…
For the “history” of Greg Land’s artwork, I stumbled upon a thorough compilation of his notoriety on ‘light-boxing’.
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ViolentDream waded through college working his ass off in a university newspaper as an Editorial cartoonist, and writer for 4 years. He went into 3D design and animation right after he graduated, juggling between 3D and 2D multimedia design for another 4 years up till the present.