Most Underrated Creator of 2007
Doominator says: Jeffrey Brown!
“Clumsy” is absolute garbage, but everything he’s written since then has been good in a way that makes me feel uncomfortably emo. Feeble Attempts may be one of my favorite finds of the year. His interpretation of Jesus almost makes me a prayin’ man again.
Fin Fang Doom says: Salvador LaRocca!
I honestly couldn’t think of someone that was really under-rater in 2007 I until I read Jim Doom’s entry below. Ivan Reis is a great artist, but I’m not going to write about him again. But pretty much all of Jim’s entry reminded me a lot of another artist: Salvador LaRocca.
LaRocca’s been one of the utility players at Marvel for about a decade now, always churning out above average work at an above average rate. In 2007, despite not having a regular gig, LaRocca really took his game to the next level. He has begun to make each and every character he draws look unique and realistic. LaRocca’s work on Uncanny X-Men last year really stood out to me. His Storm stands out to me as probably the best representation of the character in the dozen or so years I’ve been reading X-Men comics.
LaRocca’s spent most of his career jumping between high profile books like Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man, but I don’t think he’s ever been considered part of that elite group of artists that for some reason are allowed to get by just drawing a few dozen covers or three issues a year. Maybe that’s a good thing, though.
Jim Doom says: Ivan Reis!
Ivan Reis is an amazing artist, and as I said in a previous entry [actually, it’s a future one-Fin], I think he is largely responsible for how great The Sinestro Corps War was, but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard him uttered in a list of the best artists out there.
He doesn’t really have weaknesses. He can draw many different male and female faces, which is a talent not shared by supposed “greats” like John Romita Jr., John Cassaday or Michael Turner; he can draw sexy yet realistic female bodies; he can draw awesome aliens; he can draw super-huge battle scenes and subtle facial expressions – yet he seems to be under-praised.
Maybe I’m just missing the fanfare, but the only reason I knew who he was when he started drawing Green Lantern was because I recognized his art from the Rann-Thanagar War.
Hey! CHeck out what we had to say about under-rated writers and artists in 2006!
Oh, hey, Jim, I mentioned Ivan Reis on my list last year, so there’s that. He is so fantastic, and, yeah, he remains underrated as hell.
Fin, I swear the two of us exist to balance out the universe. Larocca’s art in the “Shadow King” issue of Ultimate X-Men was probably some of the worst art I’ve seen all year, perfectly suited for one of the stupidest issues I’ve read all year.
I think he was good about 8 years ago, but the Ultimate Daredevil / Elektra series is where I started thinking “Hey, didn’t this guy used to be good?”
I think the reason he doesn’t get much praise anymore isn’t because he’s underrated – it’s because he sucks.
You suck! And you’re probably just hoping Larocca will google himself and go on a John Romita Jr.-esque rant in out comments.
I looked again at that issue last night, which is awful, but I think something that makes it even more awful is that it’s just pencils with the contrast cranked up instead of inks. Maybe Larocca used to have good inkers that could hide his mediocre-at-best-ness, yet now he’s naked.
I would agree that LaRocca was better when he was inked, but I still say he’s good. Forget Ultimate X-Men, did you see the Uncanny arc?
Which Uncanny arc? Doesn’t Billy Tan do the Uncanny pencils?
LaRocca did an arc after the Shi’ar storyline ended featuring Storm, Hebzibah, Warpath and Caliban hunting for the Morlocks.
Wanna know something funny? I stuck with Uncanny X-Men all throughout that blasted year-long Shi’ar nonsense in spite of my lack of respect for Billy Tan and whoever was doing the fill-in issues. I read one issue after that and thought “This art is even worse. I’m done.”
Now I know who that artist was! ;P