Saturday, August 4, 2012

Action Comics #11

Even though I've been reading comics for virtually all my life (not counting the first six years, about which I remember little anyway), I have to admit I have no idea how long it takes to actually create a comic book.

When I was a kid, it seemed simple. Every month, Stan and Jack (or Stan and Steve or Stan and John or Roy and Neal) would crank out at least one and sometimes several comics - always on time.

Which brings us to Action Comics, the first 11 issues of which have featured sharp, clever, inventive stories by Grant Morrison - and art by a small army of artists.

The primary artist has been the talented Rags Morales - but apparently he can't turn out enough artwork to fill a monthly comic. As a result, the credits include a crowd scene of artistic talent. For this issue, it lists pencillers Morales, Cafu and Brad Walker, and inkers Rick Bryant, Bob McLeod, Cafu and Andrew Hannessy.

The end result is something of a hodgepodge, with excellent panels of art running side-by-side with panels with poor anatomy, odd layouts and confusing designs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Morales - I just wish his work filled the issue.

Times are different and styles change, and maybe that's why so many of today's artists seem to struggle with the task of keeping up with a monthly comic - but if Kirby and Ditko and Byrne and Kane and Adams could do it, surely there must be artists out there who can keep up with the demand.

Art by committee just isn't getting the job done here.

Oh, and Morrison isn't completely without blame - the resolution of this issue was silly.

Grade: B


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