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X-Men with O-Faces

March 15th, 2008 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marvel’s panel on the X-Books at Wizard World Los Angeles just ended. Check here for Newsarama’s coverage, here for CBR’s. The most interesting news? Matt Fraction is joining Ed Brubaker on Uncanny X-Men as co-writer starting with issue 500, with rotating art duties by the Dodsons and Greg Land.

Wow. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Fraction and Brubaker are two great tastes that taste great together, and the Dodsons are fine artists, but Greg Land? Seriously? Haven’t people caught on to his plagiarizing ways yet? Why is he on a comic that matters? He’s going to make that book annoying to read at best, unreadable at worst. Just look at the cover for issue 500 alone:

uncannyxmen500_cov.jpg

Let’s play “Spot the Ripoffs”!

- Warpath, Cyclops and the guy behind Cyclops have exactly the same body. Land has used it at least once before.
- Tattooed guy on the left and Colossus have exactly the same body.
- Wolverine and long-haired shouting man in the background on the right have exactly the same body, only Wolverine’s head is different. Land has used it at least once before. I distinctly recall Ultimate Namor in this pose as well, but I don’t have the relevant issue at hand.
- Land has used Cannonball’s body at least once before.
- Land has used Rogue (is that Rogue?)’s body at least once before.
- Land has used Storm’s body at least once before.
- Land has used Pixie’s body at least once before. It also happens to be the one with that ridiculous porn face made immortal by Ultimate Scarlet Witch. Very appropriate for a sixteen year old girl!

This is from spending maybe five minutes looking at this image and skimming through four issues of Ultimate Power. I could probably find a lot more if I spent effort on this. Maybe I’d even find the photographs he traced these from. Come on now. This is absolutely ridiculous. Why can’t we have an artist that actually draws?

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30 comments to “X-Men with O-Faces”

  1. I can’t tell who Cyclops is. Unless he’s supposed to be one of the guys flying. But I didn’t know that Cyclops could fly.

    And at times like this, I remember the ’90s. Porn faces or Liefield?


  2. I guess there are only so many poses you can do with a human body…

    Though I’dd like to think there are more than six too <_<


  3. Wow, now he copy-pasting on the same piece of artwork as well?

    Why the heck is Cyclops flying anyways?


  4. JSmith: Cyclops is the guy flying with the jetpack to the right of Wolverine. I’m sure there’s going to be a reason for that in the comic.


  5. “Forge, my life is pretty awesome. But it’s not JETPACK awesome.

    PS Make one for yourself, Jetpack Buddy. .)”


  6. He’s really sure no one is giving a shit about him being a hack if he’s copying from splash pages for covers. I wonder when he’ll be brazen enough to swipe from one cover to another.

    Not sure about image sharing etiquette, so here is an animated link as to why Greg Land is totally a hack. http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/6936/uncannyxmen500covcf1.gif


  7. Breakworld Leader Guy: What other lies do you tell?!

    *Cyclops smiles*

    Cyclops: WHEEEEEEE!!


  8. At this point, I’d take Liefeld over this fraud any day. Yeah, Rob used to swipe poses, his anatony is out of wack and he has problems with facial expressions, but at least he actually sat down and drew the shit.


  9. wolverine is standing on beast :(


  10. [...] I’m with Hoatzin. [...]


  11. Where the hell are Wolverine’s claws coming from? I think one is coming out of his thumb. Wait, I think his hand is just on backwards. He is also very happy to be standing on Beast. And the Cyclops jetpack is pretty awesome. “Okay, life checklist: Sweet car: check. Hot, kinky girlfriend: check. Leadership of an entire race: check. Jetpack: No. Time to get me a jetpack.”


  12. Hey, stop making fun of Greg Land. He’s the best tracer Marvel has on the payroll!


  13. I really don’t see a problem here. So an artist has a vocabulary of poses and forms that he pulls from when he draws. That isn’t plagiarism or copying and pasting, it’s an artistic pallette/toolkit. That seems perfectly reasonable to me. If a pose works, why not re-ust it?


  14. NJFuzzy: In many cases, Land has taken an advertisement or photograph from wrestling or movies or whatever and literally traced them. The sources have been found (I’m too lazy to find people who’ve done so, but they’re out there), which IS plagiarism. He then reuses the exact same pictures over and over again, often leading to very strange things where, for example, characters’ hair will change between panels (which is to say, length will increase or decrease, bangs will disappear and reappear, hair will be straight on panel, wavy the next, and so on), and things like that. Hell, on that very page there’s THREE people flying in the exact same pose. People also have suggested that he uses porn photos, based on the faces characters have. I’m not sure if that’s ever been proven, but it seems likely. From a storytelling point of view, it tends to pull me out of the book if all I’m seeing are O faces all over the place. It can also make it difficult to tell people apart if he’s unable to make them look at least somewhat unique because he only has a handful of faces he draws from.


  15. Greg Land’s history of plagiarism is well-documented. While I admittedly can’t find the exact sources of the original images as seen on this cover, it’s reached the point where you can safely assume he rarely ever draws anything original anymore. You reap what you sow.

    Land doesn’t have a vocabulary. Jack Kirby had a vocabulary. Kirby’s poses were iconic and appropriate for the subject matter. Land on the other hand has a folder of stock images, that he uses in only vaguely appropriate situations. I mean, just look right here, where David with the help of Solenna and David Uzumeri expand on the subject. Those aren’t just stock poses, they’re exactly the same images, just altered to resemble the characters they’re supposed to resemble.

    And don’t tell me stuff like this looks natural and appropriate. Or anything but ridiculous.


  16. Hehe Ant-Man is punching Wanda’s vagina.


  17. [...] as how Hoatzin and hermanos have been getting so much attention for the criticism pile-on for Greg Land in light [...]


  18. I totally concur with Endless Mike and Hoatzin. An artistic pallette/toolkit is to be able to draw anatomy and orginal poses due to an internalized, well-practiced knowledge of the human body. A bunch of photos or porn stills you trace- or tracings of your previous tracings for that matter- is not an artistic pallette/toolkit.

    Not only that, Land doesn’t even bother to choose models appropriate for the characters. He’s a joke. A sham and a joke.


  19. I’m not actually against photo referencing. Lots of artists do it, and in the vast majority of cases, it’s invisible to the reader. The difference is, most will take their own photos for a specific pose (many times using themselves), and use it as a guide to ensure something is natural, and don’t constantly reuse the same exact pose over and over. Land not only reuses the same references over and over, he takes them from popular media, and largely seems unable to find appropriate photos for this. A woman fleeing from zombies should not appear to be in the middle of an orgasm.

    The saddest part is that you can occasionally find cases where it’s clear he took one of his stock poses and changed it a bit for a slightly different pose, leading to some exceptionally poor anatomy, which is really inexcusable when you’re tracing photos, anyway.

    And I’m still trying to figure out Wolverine’s front hand there. Did he put it on backwards?


  20. Too bad Land used to be really good at one point (pick up an old Nightwing or Birds of Prey trade and see what I’m talking about).


  21. Right there with you, Endless Mike. Many of my faves use photo reference. They’re just not enslaved to it to cover up mediocre drawing skills. Appropriateness is also a factor. But even when he wasn’t a photo-tracer, Land frequently used swipes from other artists. Here in Japan a publisher cut a popular series because the artist used obvious photo ref from fashion mags.

    The artist suspended herself in disgrace and apologized. And she didn’t even trace!

    In America, Land blatantly traces and swipes and nothing happens. If anything, he’s become more shameless. And still has defenders. I always thought lying and theft were bad things. Guess not in comics.


  22. Oh, and I don’t think he was ever “good.” Adequate despite the swipes seems right. Middling fair, slightly better than mediocre. But that’s subjective- there were actual drawings to judge by at least. Now he’s beneath contempt.


  23. There’s nothing wrong with referencing a photo, it’s an excellent way for an artist to get the details right, especially when they’re dealing with unfamiliar territory, like real-world machinery or vehicles. Bill Waterson’s said that he’d make funny expressions in the mirror in order to get his faces right in “Calvin & Hobbes”

    But tracing? It doesn’t matter what the source, it’s just wrong for an “artist” to collect a paycheque for work that wasn’t his.


  24. [...] This is a HELL of a lot better than the Greg Land fiasco. [...]


  25. I was looking for others that were fans of Land, and by gum I found ‘em! I really liked the “Birds of Prey” stuff from years ago, I haven’t bought many comics over the past ten years, but recently I have bought a few of the Ultimates and Ultimate FF collections. I bought the Ultimate FF collections to see the Zombie stuff. After reading a few, I started getting the opinion that Lands art was not only cold and lifeless, but it sometimes doesn’t match the script.


  26. [...] the 4thletter blog, contributors Hoatzin and David Brothers spot something awfully familiar about Greg Land’s cover art for Uncanny [...]


  27. I gotta say, this is the first I’d heard of Greg Land and plagiarism. I was actually a fan of his work. While I didn’t buy any comics specifically for his artwork, I thought it really helped some stories. In particular, his first run on UFF (the zombie one that lead up to Marvel Zombies) was great. He really captured the mood of a city overrun with zombies.

    Seeing this proof that he does reuse his own work and presumably copies from well known other work is very disappointing. I had no idea an artist would do something like that. It’s a huge letdown. Hopefully, he’ll rethink what he’s been doing and get on a better track soon.


  28. wow! nice article. thanks for sharing


  29. Wolverine’s head is from Land’s cover for Wolverine Origins #26, which is a trace of a poster of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The appropriate pictures can be found here: http://jimsmash.blogspot.com/2008/06/more-greg-land-tracing_24.html


  30. Great article! And a good eye, as well.

    “Tattooed guy on the left” is, I think, Gentle. But I can see how for the purposes of the article it’s easier to call him tattooed guy so that readers can spot him faster.