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This is the one-hundred and seventy-second in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and seventy-one. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
Warning: This week’s installment in extremely graphic intensive.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Joe Madureira snuck a complaint about Roger Cruz into an issue of Uncanny X-Men.
Comic artists swiping each other is certainly nothing new. Heck, most of the early appearances of Batman are made up of swipes by Bob Kane.
However, modern readers tend to get a bit more irritated at the practice, and the case of Roger Cruz and Joe Madureira was a particularly interesting one, for a few reasons.
1. Madureira, the guy being swiped, was barely in his 20s when he was doing the work that was being swiped – usually, it is a classic artist (a Jack Kirby, for instance) being swiped.
2. Madureira’s highly manga-influenced artwork stood out from Marvel’s other artists, so when Cruz began drawing in the same style, it stood out more that he was swiping Madureira.
3. Since Madureira was so young, his art output was not that large by 1994/95, so when Cruz began swiping him, people could fairly easily identify the swipes, because there were only a half dozen or so comics drawn by Madureira to flip through for comparisons.
Cruz (who mentions on his web-site that he taught himself to draw BY copying artists) was in his early 20s when he broke into the comic industry, as well, and in those early days, he swiped from Madureira and Jim Lee fairly often.
Cruz was featured often on the Swipe of the Week website in the late 1990s, which is sadly defunct. Luckily, the nifty blog, ADLO! Novelti Librari has archived most of the Swipe of theWeek website, so here are some examples of Cruz swiping Madureira (Madureira is always the first artist shown):
This last one is a great example of how swiping usually works – Cruz here takes panels from FOUR different comic pages and combines them to form one comic page.
In any event, even if you wished to argue that Cruz did not intentionally copy Madureira on any of these drawings, you can bet dollars to donuts that Madureira FELT that Cruz was swiping him.
Therefore, in Uncanny X-Men #325, Madureira got a small measure of revenge…
Check out the headline on the newspaper…
Cruz, as far as I can tell, no longer swipes, and he has been doing a great job on X-Men First Class, so all’s well that ends well, I say!
Thanks again to the nifty blog, ADLO! Novelti Librari! And thanks to readers Mario and Tawner for the question (and note that commenter Lawrence also replied to Tawner before I could nab the comment) – they oddly both sent the question within a day of each other. Serendipity!!!
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