Marjorie Liu x Phil Noto: The Glory of Creative Teams

February 27th, 2012 Posted by david brothers

One of the nicest things about the complicated mess that is the production of mainstream comics is watching creative teams grow comfortable with each other and up their game. Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s duties evolved over the course of their classic run on Daredevil, Walt Simonson worked with Sal Buscema on a lot of his Thor. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov. Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso and Trish Mulvihill. Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke. Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke. Garth Ennis and John McCrea.

You know what I’m talking about–you can tell when people are really in sync and just black out on a comic. The other day, Marjorie Liu said something that got me really excited to see a comic. “The last issue of X-23 is going to be entirely silent, thanks to @philnoto’s magnificent visual storytelling skills.” Consider my interest piqued.

Noto, of course, barely needs any introduction at all. Not if you pay attention to ill artists. He’s the guy who drew these shots of Sharon Carter, X-23 & Jubilee, Luke Cage & Storm, the best Robin, this smile, Domino, and Black Widow. His style is super clean, and if you aren’t a fan, you need to get like the rest of us who know from good.

Liu, on the other hand, has quietly turned into one of Marvel’s best weapons. She turned X-23 into a character worth checking in on, and she did her best work on that book while working with Phil Noto and Sana Takeda. For her to feel comfortable enough with Noto to make the big finale of a series she’s guided from inception to execution a silent issue — something that I’ve rarely seen done well — is great. That makes me want that comic.

That’s exciting, and it’s exciting in a way that I’m rarely experiencing with cape comics these days. The writer/artist relationship is one of those things I associate with cape comics above all, mainly due to their assembly line nature. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes it crashes and burns to an absolutely absurd extent. And sometimes, things like this happen. It’s one of the most pleasurable things about reading cape comics.

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Fourcast! 25: Blast from the Pastcast

November 16th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

There may be a few audio hitches in this one. I tried to even it out, but some of them were unavoidable. Recording problems blah blah blah, it should be fixed for the show after the next.

-Intro drop: Jamaal Thomas of Funnybook Babylon. And he does like comics. He liked Luke Cage Noir, the recently ended Marvel miniseries set in Harlem.
-Theme music: 6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental
-The Shield: I was surprised I liked it, and try to get across a little of why I did.
-Batman & Doc Savage Special #1: I was surprised I didn’t like it, Esther was surprised that Batman grabbed a boob, and we gab about it for a bit.

Some visual aides, words by Azzarello, art by Noto:


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