Friday, May 13, 2016

Flashy Art

I've been waiting to post until the much-anticipated "Rebirth" of the DCU.  Little reason to fuss over the details of DC digging its universe out of the mud it drove it into in just five years.  Better to wait until after it's been through the car wash.

But I have been seeing good signs about what's coming, I am heartened by most of them.  In Batman, limbs have been sewed back on and the Bunnyman suit is in a glass case in a darker corner of the Hall of Trophies.

"If only we weren't all drawn by Curt Swan, we might be able to recognize him!"

Green Lantern will be getting by in its time-honored way: avoiding Hal Jordan, and focusing on someone else instead.

He's a car thief with a gun obsession; she's a paranoid crime vicitm. 
Together they fight crime as if they're on a '80s teevee show.

There's a plan for putting Superman back on track; it's weird, but then again, Superman stories are ALWAYS weird, when you come right down to it.

Don't knock it till you've tried it, Lo-Lo.

Wonder Woman is back in the hands of team that made her enjoyable for me, and frankly, I don't care how ridiculous you may think it is.

Rule 41, baby.

Green Arrow is, well, Green Arrow will still be stupid, but at least recognizably so. 

We don't know either, Ollie. Something about werewolves.
Let's just all move on, shall we?

Lord only knows what will become of the Martian Manhunter.  Maybe they're going to let me write him and their email to me got lost; yes, I'm sure that's it.

If so, you WILL see Mr. Moth again. 
Possibly in a team up with Dr Light or Killer Moth.

But the real current surprise for me is that the previews for Flash have OVERWHELMED me.  And in a way completely uncharacteristic of me:

The art.

Comics are a marriage of two media, drawing and writing (plotting, really).  As comics goes, I'm a 'writer person' not an 'artist person'.  It's not that I don't LIKE art.  I used to work in an art museum, in fact.  It just seldom makes as big an impression on me (in comics) as the writing does.

Well, the forthcoming issues of the Flash are a strong and welcome exception.  

The art matters in all comics. But it matters more in some than others.  It's easy to imagine just reading a text story about Batman, Superman, or even Aquaman. But Flash?  No; superspeed is a power you need to SEE.

And these Flash pages are so full of genius, it's hard for me to discuss, because I feel that, as a non-artist, I may not even have the talent required to understand how good they are.  Obvious high points are the mastery or framing and composition within each panel and across them.  The clever use of panel sizes and color in the second page.  The intentional 'swipe' of the Flash's classic on-the-run pose. The amazing tricks used to distinguish background from foreground in a more realistic yet artistic way than I have ever seen in comics.  Most important is that all the elements are not gratuitous artistry; they are clearly being used to tell the STORY.

Carmine DiGiandomenico and Neil Googe, my hat is off to you.  I look forward to your upcoming work on The Flash.