web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #172

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.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Joe Madureira snuck a complaint about Roger Cruz into an issue of Uncanny X-Men.

STATUS: True

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.

Finally,

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!!!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Michael Golden disappeared from comics for a time while he was on the lam.

STATUS: False.

When I first was asked about this a few years ago (soon after beginning the column), I dismissed it out of hand.

Then I was asked about it some time later by a different person.

Then later, by a different person.

Finally, just the other day, a reader asked me about it, and you know what, while it is silly, I guess I might as well address it – but rather than really addressing it, I will address the fallacy that is at the heart of the question.

Anyhow, the other week, reader Chris asked:

This is one that’s interested me for years, and has been both confirmed and denied by a few different people, concerns Michael Golden. He vanished from comics for a while during the eighties and nineties, and I’ve heard that the reason for this is that he allegedly killed a man who was having an affair with his wife, and went on the run. Further to this, the victim was a corrupt policeman! It seems bizarre and improbable, but I’ve been assured by a few people that it’s true.

I have not actually posed this question to Mr. Golden, but I can tell you its not true because of the fallacy that is at the heart of the question, and that is really why I’m answering it, because while you don’t need me to tell you that Michael Golden did not kill a man and then go on the lam for a number of years, what DOES “need” to be stated is that Michael Golden has never STOPPED drawing comic books.

I see it often, too – “Michael Golden returning to comics,” etc.

It has never happened, because Golden has never actually LEFT comics.

To demonstrate, Michael Golden began drawing comic books in the late 70s. In 1979, he began doing Micronauts for Marvel. Here, then, is one comic book work from Michael Golden for every year from 1979 to 2008 (the 1999 cover is by Cary Nord – Golden only did interior work that year):

So while Mr. Golden can officially debunk the “killed a corrupt cop” story, I’m glad to debunk the notion that Michael Golden has ever stopped doing comic books.

Like Golden said himself in an interview last year at Newsarama:

Newsarama: A lot of people from your generation are having trouble breaking back into comics, have you encountered any trouble like that?

(Michael’s agent) Renee Witterstaetter: I don’t think Michael was ever out.

Golden: Yeah, I was going to give some snide remark about explaining the context of your question because there’s been no difficulty breaking back in because I don’t think I was ever really out or conversely, I wasn’t in enough to where it was relevant whether I was coming or going. [laughs] I always have done my own thing no matter if it is comics or otherwise.

So, yeah, that’s about that.

Thanks to Daniel Robert Epstein for the above interview!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Snapper Carr was named after George Lucas.

STATUS: True

Snapper Carr was with the Justice League of America from their very beginning, when they were hanging out in Habby Harbor.

He was the League’s mascot for a number of years.

That ended in 1969 when Snapper betrayed the League (he wasn’t exactly appearing in a lot of stories anyways at the time)…

For the next decade plus, Snapper made extremely rare appearances in DC Comics, but in one of them, they finally addressed something odd – no one had ever actually given Snapper’s real name!!

So in Superman Family #195, in the Supergirl story in the issue (where Snapper had been appearing for a few issues), Jack C. Harris was tasked by Julie Schwartz to come up with a name for Snapper.

This being the late 70s and Harris being a comic book writer, he decided to pay homage to George Lucas, of Star Wars fame.

So from then on, it was Lucas “Snapper” Carr.

Thanks to H from the awesome blog The Comic Treadmill and Back Issue magazine for this neat information.

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for this week’s covers!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

See you next week!

82 Comments

Those cruz swipes are outrageous! great column, as usual!

“Extremely graphic intensive”?

What an understatement of the year!!!

Pretty sure the Heroes for Hire #12 cover is by Pascual Ferry, not Michael Golden.

Wilbur, you’re both right. From the Grand Comic Database:

Heroes for Hire #12 (June 1998)

Cover Credits:
Michael Golden (layout), Pascual Ferry (Pencils) Pascual Ferry (Inks) Robb McNabb (Colors) ? (Letters)

Looks like Ferry drew the interiors of that issue too:

Credits:
John Ostrander (Script), Pascual Ferry (Pencils), Jaime Mendoza (Inks), Joe Rosas (Colors), Jonathan Babcock (Letters).

the Phantom-Longbox

September 12, 2008 at 6:02 am

Actually, a few of those covers are NOT by Golden.

The DR STRANGE cover isn’t (he DID draw the corner-box illo, but that had been used since the mid 80’s).
HEROES for HIRE isn’t (that’s Ferry)
MUTANT X # 12 isn’t. (I can’t tell or sure about # 23)

PLUS, you forget that Golden had two different stints as CREATIVE DIRECTOR / ART DIRECTOR for both MARVEL and DC.
So, even when he wasn’t drawing much more than covers, he was VERY active in the field.

Then, you have to add the work he did for OTHER publishers (Continuity comics and such) as well as his work doing comic-character action-figure design.

The man has never been out of the field.

If you ONLY read Marvel or DC (and didn’t read both OR indie stuff) it DID seem like he vanished for awhile.

X_the_Phantom-Longbox__

Just wanted to say that I just love Golden’s G.I. Joe covers, as well as his story in Yearbook #2, the one contained in the second Joe cover you see here. His art is very detailed, yet still dynamic and animated looking. He also likes to draw large breasts, which is helpful in a comic book artist’s career.

Incidentally, I was a big fan of the cancelled too soon Hourman series that starred Snapper Carr. It was a very different kind of series with a weird sense of humor. Just sayin’.

I couldn’t see all the covers using my phone, but I’m sure they look beautiful on a monitor.

I have nothing but respect for Michael Golden. A terrific artist and, better yet, a terrific person. But I do hope he regrets that COPS cover, which does about as much for female empowerment as (em)Power Girl.

Back in the early days of the Silver Age, I always found it interesting that the JLA (who’s members included Robin, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, Jimmy Olsen, Speedy and Kid Flash as sidekicks) would choose to allow a non-powered civilian as an “honorary member”, while telling their respective sidekicks they were too inexperienced to join the League, or at first – even start their own team. Shouldn’t the early Teen Titans have at least been able to hang around the JLA headquarters as observers? Can’t you just imagine Dick Grayson telling Batman “Why him and not me! I understand the reason behind it, of course. The powers that be at the time believed it was necessary for American youngsters to associate with a team member. Snapper was actually the reader. However, it didn’t make much sense beyond the initial “I used lime on my lawn so I’m immune to Starro” mission. It made much more sense for Rick Jones to be an Avenger. He was the leader of the Teen Brigade, a group of teenageers that provided a communication network via ham radio, often reporting crimes to the authority (as well as the applicable monster rampages). As far as danger..within a few issues Rick Jones would begin training with Captain America. Oh yeah, he also used to hang with The Hulk. In all sense of the phrase, Danger was indeed his middle name.

The sad thing about the Cruz swipes is he actually improved the art in several of them…

The Cruz swipes make a good case for requiring writers to be more specific in their page and panel breakdowns, and for the editors to enforce that as well. Not that everyone needs to be Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore, but a bit more direction would likely discourage blatant swiping, and probably improve the storytelling quite a bit as well.

Actually, Michael Golden’s first comic book work was before 1978. I believe his first professional work was probably the Man-Bat feature in BATMAN FAMILY. He illustrated Bob Rozakis’s story in BATMAN FAMILY #15, which had a cover date of Dec/Jan 1977 and came out on September 26, 1977.

It’s possible that he had some other professional work even earlier than that.

"O" the Humanatee!

September 12, 2008 at 7:49 am

I just wanted to add that there’s nothing unusual about an artist’s – especially a comic book/strip artist’s – learning to draw by copying other artists (at least in large part). And copying the work of other artists has always been a part of classical fine arts education. It’s how you learn how other people have solved artistic problems, and replicating other people’s work focuses your attention on details of technique that you can miss if you try to learn simply by looking.

That said, by the time most artists are doing professional work they hopefully have assimilated their influences enough not to depend on copying (though many do it from time to time).

I believe that Golden’s first artwork was the Pit and the Pendulum (not sure of the issue number right now) issue of Marvel Classics Comics.

I’m an older gentleman in the IT field these days, but waaaay back in 1975, I got my real first job out of high school as a jewelry designer for the Biagi and Pierre Cardin lines at Swank, Inc by creating a portfolio of artists swipes from Marvel comics. I got a summer factory job at Swank (in Attleboro MA) and received an interview for the design department. I was asked to bring in my portfolio. I was an aspiring artist back then, but didn’t have a thing I could show them. I spent the better part of a week swiping character poses from my Marvel books and put them together in a portfolio. The department head was horrified of my full page drawings of The Thing, Hulk, Conan and the rest, but suggested he saw talent and I may just bring a fresh perspective to the line. I was hired on the spot and served as a designer for over 5 years.

On a side note, it was common in those days to name a jewelry collection (necklace, bracelet & earrings). Competitors would have a set called “The SOHO collection” or “The Chicago Collection”. I was asked to come up with some appropriate names and decided to name the sets after the women of the Dark Shadows afternoon horror soap opera. The show had gone off the air a few years earlier, but the names were unique and exotic. So we presented “The Cassandra Collection” and “The Angelique Collection” among others. The idea became a huge hit and for several years, customers would forget part numbers but still remember the names.

” I just wanted to add that there’s nothing unusual about an artist’s – especially a comic book/strip artist’s – learning to draw by copying other artists (at least in large part). And copying the work of other artists has always been a part of classical fine arts education. It’s how you learn how other people have solved artistic problems, and replicating other people’s work focuses your attention on details of technique that you can miss if you try to learn simply by looking. ”

That, and the character poses that Cruz copied are hardly original to Madureria. It seemed like every artist in the era of early-Image superhero comics drew characters with contortionist bodies, inflated muscles, scowling faces, and women in positions that thrust their buttocks outward to the audience’s ” pleasure “. Madureria just incorporated manga elements into it.

I’d hardly call Cruz’s art in those days original or even good, but a new artist in his early twenties doing derivative work doesn’t bother me that much considering. Now, if you’re an industry veteran who’s in the Top 10 regularly and still swipe from every source imaginable, like a certain CURRENT Uncanny X-Men artist who will remain nameless…

Actually, a few of those covers are NOT by Golden.

The DR STRANGE cover isn’t (he DID draw the corner-box illo, but that had been used since the mid 80’s).
HEROES for HIRE isn’t (that’s Ferry)
MUTANT X # 12 isn’t. (I can’t tell or sure about # 23)

PLUS, you forget that Golden had two different stints as CREATIVE DIRECTOR / ART DIRECTOR for both MARVEL and DC.
So, even when he wasn’t drawing much more than covers, he was VERY active in the field.

Then, you have to add the work he did for OTHER publishers (Continuity comics and such) as well as his work doing comic-character action-figure design.

The man has never been out of the field.

If you ONLY read Marvel or DC (and didn’t read both OR indie stuff) it DID seem like he vanished for awhile.

Yeah, I noted the Mutant X one, but thanks for the Doctor Strange one – I swapped it with a Marvel Fanfare cover from the same year!

And yeah, Golden’s Art Director positions were big, but I just thought it was a bit more visceral if I could show a comic book he worked on from each year, ya know? :)

Not every source Nitz – the amount of times the “artist” in question reuses the same poses, right down to the faces, implies he goes back to the same scrapbook for copies time after time…

Actually, Michael Golden’s first comic book work was before 1978. I believe his first professional work was probably the Man-Bat feature in BATMAN FAMILY. He illustrated Bob Rozakis’s story in BATMAN FAMILY #15, which had a cover date of Dec/Jan 1977 and came out on September 26, 1977.

It’s possible that he had some other professional work even earlier than that.

That’s right, I actually have that issue! :)

I believe 1977 was his first year (he was doing commercial art until then), but I’ll just change it to “late 70s.” Thanks!

I just wanted to add that there’s nothing unusual about an artist’s – especially a comic book/strip artist’s – learning to draw by copying other artists (at least in large part). And copying the work of other artists has always been a part of classical fine arts education. It’s how you learn how other people have solved artistic problems, and replicating other people’s work focuses your attention on details of technique that you can miss if you try to learn simply by looking.

That said, by the time most artists are doing professional work they hopefully have assimilated their influences enough not to depend on copying (though many do it from time to time).

That said, by the time most artists are doing professional work they hopefully have assimilated their influences enough not to depend on copying (though many do it from time to time).

Oh yeah, copying is a normal way of learning art – it’s just interesting to see Cruz reference it when that is what he’s been “accused” of over the years of doing in his published work.

Hmmm..I’m pretty sure that Madureira ‘s Storm up there (with the super high heeled ankle boots) are swipes from early Ron Lim (Ex-Mutants era).

I’d hardly call Cruz’s art in those days original or even good, but a new artist in his early twenties doing derivative work doesn’t bother me that much considering. Now, if you’re an industry veteran who’s in the Top 10 regularly and still swipe from every source imaginable, like a certain CURRENT Uncanny X-Men artist who will remain nameless…

Yeah, let me stress again – this is not at all meant as a “Roger Cruz is a bad guy!” deal.

We’re talking about a year or so of swiping when he was in his early 20s over a decade ago.

He’s been working, as far as anyone can tell, sans swiping for years now, and doing a fine job with it.

So this is not “Roger Cruz – you are bad!” so much as just giving the background for why Joe Madureira felt the desire to sneak a little dig at Cruz in an old issue of Uncanny X-Men.

Everybody got thier fav: Check out the cover to ROM #10. It is still on my wall.

And here I’m trying to break into comics by drawing from scratch. I guess I should invest in a light box.

Golden’s first comic work was in ’76… I just finished reading the interview with him (conducted by Michael Eury) in Back Issue #24.

This (working on an 8-page Logan’s Run story, an 8-page Iron Man story, and The Cask of Amontillado) was late ’76, the winter of ’76. In the spring of ’77, I moved to New York, and that’s when I got “Man-Bat”…

The Poe story didn’t come out until ’77 in Marvel Classics Comics #28…
Logan’s Run wasn’t published until ’81 in Bizarre Adventures #28…
and I don’t see a date for this IM story…

But, yeah. So Golden was drawing comics in late ’76. :)

Thanks, Schmakt!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the now defunct message board of the “www.joemadureira.com” website where Joe used to log-in and post messages, I read that Cruz was asked to copy from Madureira. What I don’t remember is if it was Joe who wrote that.

I never thought much of those Roger Cruz swipes when the comics came out. I always kind of figured that Marvel was encouraging Cruz to swipe or just be as much like Madureira as possible, since he was the hot item, and Cruz was always doing fill-ins for him on X-Men issues. Surprising to hear that it actually bothered Madureira.

personally, I prefer to think of mr. golden as an outlaw hunting outlaws, a renegade.

i feel like such a chump for enjoying first class knowing the shenanigans cruz got up to in his early career. if i were joey mad i’d have been furious

I was just a kid but even back then I knew Cruz was swiping and I loathed him for it. I was probably madder about it than Joe was. You could do a whole piece on 90’s style thieves, like Al Rio and Luke Ross ( who is awesome these days). Maybe even a “where are they now” and see how they have improved. Even Ed Benes started out in a “style school” . I’m glad those days are (mostly) gone.

Golden’s first DC work was probably Batman #295.

here’s the thing. a lot of artists copied other artists to imporve their own art. true.. but DON’T copy another artist and MAKE MONEY off of it. this is wrong and i’m absolutely surprised at the amount of people that are ok with artists blatantly swiping other artists and getting paid for it. half the work is layout out the panels and compositions and by swiping another artist’s work is basically taking care of that part of the process. not only is that just plain lazy but you’re having the swiped artist basically doing half the work for you.

it’s ok to copy. but only if it’s for personal work and for improving your own art. NOT for making money off of.

One of the reasons that whole page layouts could be swiped (like the one sample above) was that both of those pages were from Image books: there ARE no editors. In regard to the Marvel pages, I believe stories were still told in the “Marvel” style, where the writer only gave a loose breakdown of what had to happen in each page, and the artist went to down.

I used to look for Cruz/Madureira swipes all the time in the 90’s. In retrospect, I am sure the editors told him to copy his manga-ish style in the same way that they told Erik Larsen to copy McFarlane’s big Spidey eyes and knotted webbing. But still, there is a huge difference between borrowing elements of a style and copying entire poses. And Cruz swiped in his Image Comics work- faaaaar away from Marvel editorial influence.

Not enough covers…

On the swipe issue….It must have at least been known to editorial at the time, and not that huge an issue for them, to allow that newspaper headline “Cruz Swipes Again”. That’s pretty tough to miss. If an editor could miss that…next thing you know, they’ll start missing things like profanities in a Batman comicccccc..oooooooh….never mind. :)

i appreciate the warning

To be honest, Cruz’ art usually looked BETTER than Madureira’s in those days. Compare the rushed look of Mudureira’s Age of Apocalypse work to that of Cruz. Cruz did a great Jim Lee impersonation as well, when Jim Lee was hardly able to put out a monthly book. Later on Cruz did excellent versions of J. Scott Campbell and even Humberto Ramos on Brigade and Youngblood. As a kid I knew he didn’t create the styles, but he usually IMPROVED on them. What I couldn’t stand were the lesser talented rip-offs. Cruz’ protogees like Luke Ross, Al Rio, Manny Clarke etc., These days Cruz does his own stuff and that’s fine by me.

In the early days of image though there were TONS of copycats. Most of whom luckily developed their own style latyer on. Speaking of which, whatever happened to Anthony Winn? He was the closest to Marc Silvestri in style (closer than David Finch even), even switched from Extreme Studios to Top Cow and then disappeared.

Almost forgot Renato Arlem! Another Cruz’ protogee.

Ron Adrian too.

Don’t forget Fabio Laguna.

I noticed that ‘Cruz swipes again’ thing recently when I was looking through X-Men 325. Funny.

Atleast they are good swipes. Cruz was a solid fill-in on such books as X-Men: Alpha and the like.

Here is a question:

Snapper as a betrayer. Was that the first time in superhero comics that writers wished to remove a “silly” element and came up with a “gritty” explanation (like, let’s make Snapper depressed and angry at the League for “ruining” his life) ?

Yes, Stan Lee killed Bucky, because he never liked sidekicks, but the way Bucky died was quite dignified.

Huzzah! I’ve been mentioned in Comic Book Urban Legend Revealed! All my commenting has paid off!

@mcdowall

Wow, I gotta disagree. While I am actually a fan of Cruz ( I started collecting X-MAN because of him), I always considered him an easier to spell, poor man’s version of Maderiera. Mad’s style was visually consistent and his characters “moved” while Cruz characters were always shifting in body mass and looked stiff. Although I know this is all a matter of personal taste.

That being said, Cruz has really become his own artist since then. I remember seeing a preview of the X-men: First Class mini and thinking the art was brilliant only to discover it was Roger Cruz! The guy has totally reinvented himself. So if it took copying Mad for him to get his art where it is today, I guess it was for the best.

What I find so funny about the swipes issue is that Madureira has an artistic style influenced by manga, a genre that has very little originality in it, yet would complain about swipes. Hell, many of the junior/senior high school girls I taught in Japan some years back were adept at reproducing images of nearly any character in manga….

I don’t know if Madureira was the first to incorporate the manga look into his art, but to complain about someone copying him, when the manga genre is full of copycats, seems rather silly to me.

And I don’t get the Michael Golden comic book cross-reference… When saying you chose “one comic book work for each year…”, in what capacity is that? If Michael Golden was the artist, many of the covers shown, especially the ones with the interior artists listed on the cover, do not indicate that he was involved much at all… Was it the cover he did, or some other function? Could you please clarify???

About the swipes… Some commenters are right, many times swiping is a way to learn and apply different techniques, but when a swipe is found inside a pro work, that’s just unethical, since the employer is paying the artist for original art, ad hoc.
However, in some cases (and I daresay most cases during the 90s) the employers themselves encouraged, directly or indirectly, the “swipers” to “forge” another artist style!! (Marvel Comics post-Image artists exodus, for example, or the Image Studios themselves, hiring artists similar to the ones of the studio heads)
I’m sure that the “fidelity” to certain styles shown by Roger Cruz is what got him the job, actually.

Yes, I know my English sucked in this particular post, but I just arrived from work, and I couldn’t leave without commenting :D

Rolf P: The first artist using a manga-like style I recall is the recently deceased Carlos Meglia, one of Argentina’s greatest artists, creator of Cibersix and main influence of Humberto Ramos.

Anyone ever slip “Rich Buckler swipes again” into a comic?

Luke Ross was a Cruz protegé and a swiper? That’s surprising to read, if we are talking about the same penciler that Iron Man had when Jim Rhodes took first took over the armor. That was an early 1980s storyline, after all – and Luke Ross was already a solid artist with a style that was way ahead of the 1990s Imagey style. Indeed, he was a far better storyteller than most early Imagers.

Speaking of swipes, has anyone commented on the circunstances of John Byrne’s swipe of Neal Adams already? I am very curious about why Iron Fist #10 had such a blatant (and, frankly, ill-fitting) swipe of Avengers #96.

I love the way on that Justice League of America cover, Aquaman looks like he’s complaining to Faust, like “Why does the freakin’ mascot get to be on a, you know, finger-finger with the rest of the League while I’m down here on a thumb? How does that work?”

Luis, the guy you’re thinking of is Luke McDonnell, not Luke Ross.

cruz also swiped from chris bachalo. i dont feel like digging through my massive collection to come up with examples but there are clear swipes from bachalos gen x run. cruz was a regular fill in artist at the time for the x-men books, so it was really easy to see his swipes from other x books that recently came out.

I remember Cruz swiped a few panels from J. Scott Campbell. He’s a pretty talented artist though.

I also think I’ve seen every pane of that Vanguard comic swiped somewhere. It was pretty cool comic the art was nice and it was fun story. That’s was one of my favorite single issues of the early Image era.

When saying you chose “one comic book work for each year…”, in what capacity is that? If Michael Golden was the artist, many of the covers shown, especially the ones with the interior artists listed on the cover, do not indicate that he was involved much at all… Was it the cover he did, or some other function? Could you please clarify???

Just that he was involved in some capacity, be it the cover, the interiors, whichever.

Seems to me that finding things to swipe for every single panel of a book would be more time-consuming than just thinking up things to draw from scratch.

damn, I just love reading your stories each time!!!

Luke Ross was a staple of Mike Deodato’s studio. Same as Joe Bennett & Joe Pimentel.

Thanks, Dr Bob. You’re right.

There´s another message to Cruz in that page. In the second pannel, near the PIZZA add, you can read CRUZ (wich means cross in spanish) with a cross over the name.

It´s funny that you bring the subject of those who swipes from Madureira. Just a couple of months ago in my country Uruguay we have a very serious case. In our annual convention, Montevideo Comics, they give awards to amateur illustrators. The winner gets important scholarships and his illustration became the poster of the convention.
And the winner of this year swipes one of Madureira´s concept art for the DragonKind videogame. They took the award from him, but it was too late for the posters and the convention magazine, and it was printed with MAD´s art…

I’ve never even heard of either Cruz nor Madurieraraiera (whatever), but had to shake my head at this story…. if you’re going to swipe, why swipe from a completely inept cartoonist? Sheesh, what a load of crap! Oh, he swiped from Jim Lee as well? I rest my case.

Overstreet lists the Marvel Classics Comics as Golden’s 1st published work.

I wouldn’t consider Jim Lee inept. Or Joe Maduriera for that matter. You may not like their style but they do have talent.

To Brian; I apologize if I came across as arguing with you. Just that ” swiping ” is such a heated topic for artists audiences, and I wanted to dissipate the inevitable Greg Land comparison before someone else used it to disparage Cruz.

To Luis: Luke McDonnel is the artist for the Rhodey-as-IM era of the book, and he did it marvelously. He was an exceptional storyteller who managed to convey the emotions of a guy in full-body metal armor excellently ( note how he didn’t even use the gimmick of having Tony or Rhodey’s eyes bulge out of the mask ).

To Somebody: The homogeneity of 90’s superhero art is such that Cruz is hardly the only perpetrator. Having a style based on Madureria may have been unusal, but aside from the speed lines and big manga eyes, those poses and expressions can be found easily in other examples of the sea of crap that defined the early-Image period.

To Anonymous: Lee and Madureria are not inept, but their art styles are so exaggerated and over-the-top that it’s hard to take their work seriously. They both basically take the Lowest Common Denominator aspects of superhero art ( muscles, anger, contorted posing, women with large chests, etc. ) to the Nth Power; I personally think it would take more skill for an artist to find a new direction, as opposed to just taking what’s there to its most ridiculous excess.

Grant (Forgot to write his name)

September 13, 2008 at 5:46 pm

To Nitz: I’m not arguing that. I just think it’s unfair to call them inept. Both are fairly skilled even if they make questionable stylistic decisions to either pander to the lowest common denominator or out of laziness. I do think both artists are capable of much more then what they usually offer us (Madureria especially) and it would be nice if the challenge us a little more.

At the same time they do occasionally pushing stuff in a new direction. For better or which both artist redefined the look of the X-Men books from Lee’s hypekinetic Neal Adamsesque style to Madureria’s manga leanings. It is style over substance but it does have a certain amount of appeal. And they know how to lay out an exciting page which sadly is becoming a rarity these days.

Either way I take issue with the ineptness criticism. I wouldn’t call either of them my favorite artists but both guys have a certain degree of skill and put a lot of effort in their work and to say they are inept is just lazy criticism. I think Alex Ross and George Perez is guilty of the same level of pandering and I wouldn’t call them inept.

love the topics this week and the artists. agree remembering Golden in Batman, too, before micronauts.

it’s off-topic, but re: Golden’s Avenger Annual in 82, haven’t seen anyone reference this–it was Madelyne Pryor’s appearance (yea, not a myth)

“And here I’m trying to break into comics by drawing from scratch. I guess I should invest in a light box.”

No kidding, Supprego. Say what you want, but those Cruz swipes are pitiful. It’s pretty lame that his editors where even letting him get away with that.

And, NO…there are plenty of artists that don’t resort to swiping other artists. Of course, you’re influinced by people, and you adapt a lot of other people’s stuff in your style, but that’s outright tracing. I understand he was young and probably on a tight deadline, buuut…. c’mon.

I had a rivalry when I was a kid with the new kid in school who “could draw the best superheroes.” He actually forced me to really push myself cause I always liked being the best (girlies thought it was cute and such). Then one day I stumbled upon his tracing setup and realized he’d just been tracing comics I’d never seen . I personally always felt it was like pimping out your wife or something. Just a really trashy thing to do with your talents. Like if you just draw dicks and boobs all day. Lame.

I think this is a good way to demonstrate why Land is so irksome to many readers – because he doesn’t do what Cruz did.

Land’s big problem isn’t that he swipes, it’s that he often swipes from inappropriate sources in an obvious manner, and doesn’t clean up after himself. Look at that full page of Cruz’s swipes above. I wouldn’t look at Cruz’s page and think, “wow, what a hack” unless I knew those other panels, because at least Cruz is consistent with redrawing the characters. With Land, you see glaring page-to-page and even panel-to-panel differences in how characters appear, and “team” covers where everyone seems to be superimposed on each other. Give me the sort of blissful childhood ignorance in which I enjoyed Cruz’s swipes any day over Land’s jarring porno faces.

Did Michael Golden ever try to kill a dude for swiping his art style instead of banging his wife? Maybe Joe MAD could hire Golder to put out a hit on Roger Cruz and as a bonus take Rob Liefeld with him!!!

Damn, Bert Duckwall, if you only could’ve worked Snapper Carr or George Lucas into your question, you’d have won the $10 weekly prize!!

Yeah, those aren’t swipes; they’re out and out stolen art. Doing a cover, as part of an homage, is one thing, but going that far to blatantly stealing other people’s work, panel by panel, just shows a lack of talent, more than anything. That’s pretty sad

I have a new book, called “The Tale of Two Towns”, and it begins, “It was the greatest of times, it was the worst of times…” Man, I’m brilliant. I improved on…I mean, I’m totally original.

“Heck, most of the early appearances of Batman are made up of Hal Foster swipes by Bob Kane. ”

Hmm? Has this already been featured? I’d like to hear more.

JimmydelaKopin

March 4, 2009 at 11:23 am

Swipes are how an artist learns to draw people in various poses. Even in his later years, the famed Wallace Wood maintained a swipe file whenever he thought of a good pose for a character in a story.
That being said, the artists usually use the original as a foundation on which to build their own style. They add their own details, their own nuances, to make every drawing their own.
To not only copy poses but facial expressions, hand placements, and so on, where (before color is added) only a few lines differentiate the original from the swipe is rather unforgiveable.
I imagine it was hard to Cruz to develop his own style, as doing swipes that exacting become more of a crutch than a cane (that is, restricting your own capabilities rather than helping them).

I don’t really mind the swiping that much. Look at it as flattering. Songwriters incorporate little bits from their heroes’ work all of the time. Blues music has been swiped ad nauseum since its beginnings. The Beatles were masters at it.

I remember that Rich Buckler, one of DC’s best artists from the 70s & 80s, used to swipe Neal Adams all of the time. These swipes were blantantly obvious to even a casual Adams fan. But I always thought that he was swiping from the best, and loved Buckler’s artwork anyway.

What ever happened to Rich Buckler anyway? Here I go to Google and Wiki

Honestly I’ve been viewing..”Swipes” all over the place. Wow…where do I start….just look at the Tattoo industry and the tons of Fanboys that are getting their favorite character put on skin. The entire process involves tracing.(no disrespect to the art of tattooing) So yeah, to me Swiping has layers of meaning….There’s even one guy I knew personally (in the comic industry) and told me the best way to learn in Comics is by copying to build up your hand. Well the guy made it….so yeah to any aspiring comic book artists out there, Get yourself a lightbox….it’s a good move. Dangerous…but good. (LoL)

[…] stylization and visual storytelling remind me of generic early to mid-1990s comics art (think Roger Cruz back in his “swipe-tastic” days or middle-shelf Dreamwave Studios art) and has the all hallmarks of a method honed largely by […]

Mychael Darklighter

July 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm

sean: but when a musician cross from influence/homage into swipe, you get a lawsuit. look what happened recently w/the men at work flute riff.

I remember Cruz suddenly changing up his style to mimic Madureira but I never realised the shocking extent of his swiping! Wow, many of them look straight-up TRACED. This is a despicable practice which, speaking as an artist, would have infuriated Madureira. Cruz is a bum.

[…] from animation (both Western and Japanese) and manga—found welcome reception among readers and spawned numerous imitators. In 1997, Madureira joined Wildstorm Comics where he created Battle Chasers, a solid […]

“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!”

WTF? Ripping someone off to the point that you gain financial security and stability is ending well? Maybe I should push some old women off there crutches and steal there money, hey once they get that hip replacement surgery they’ll be fine. All’s well that ends well!

I was in Brazil at the time Roger Cruz, and the whole artcomix crew began working with Marvel/ DC. The classes they taught was openly stated:
“SWIPE. Find an artist/style you like and swipe you ass off.”

One can argue against it, certainly not the best point of artistic growth but end of the day Marvel and DC never denied givingwork to these guys.
There is a thing about professional work where meeting deadlines comes first and talent second. The audience never really get it but are the firs onest to complain about late comic books

The industry can’t live out of the Brian Bolland type who is great but takes a year to draw 40 pages. You need the people who draws with a basic, maybe unimpressive or swiped, style that is not great but delivers and meets the deadline.. Then the monthly comics can support thesophisticated artists who take forever.

It is simply the practical reality of day to day business

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives