Bonus Post: Guest Artist Week Beginneth! (@#$% You, Rob Liefeld)

Not a sketch by Rob Liefeld.

Not a sketch by Rob Liefeld.

As readers know, I really wanted to get Rob Liefeld to draw a page for Adequacy. Even if he were taking commissions that day, I discovered that his pricing would be simply stratospheric, and not really worth the effort. I’ve been bummed about it.

I had the thought though…I rip on Rob’s art all the time. Couldn’t I draw a page in Rob’s style, more or less to demonstrate that I didn’t need his damn art anyway? It was a pretty interesting idea, a challenge. It is one thing to criticize someone, it is another entirely to try and fill their shoes. Scott Koblish, on the Deadpool book (ironically a character created by Liefeld) has been knocking it out of the park on his various “retro issues” drawn in the styles of artists of different eras, as if the issue were actually from that time. Koblish himself is pretty cool, as a person, so this doubled the incentive.

The art above is a direct result of that effort. I’m pretty happy with it. Making an image of our hero alone, in her Rob Liefeld designed outfit, revealed a subtle problem with the illustration that got lost in the shuffle of all the “Rob Lines.” On her right side, the hard to understand detailing on her early 90’s era image suit comes closer to the meaningless metal disk than on the left. Granted, the whole thing is asymmetrically designed, another Liefeld favorite, but it bugged me when I found it. Inking and coloring that revealed it. It’s subtle.

I also had a hard time incorporating absolutely everything that I hate about Liefeld design. Yes…her outfit is a french cut one piece bathing suit with metal hanging off of it and giant shoulder pads. Yes, he has kneed pads and shin armor for no reason. Yes, she has no pants. Yes, she has metal accents on the outfit for no reason, and it isn’t symmetrical.

I couldn’t add all the Rob Liefeld ‘face lines’. Couldn’t bring myself to have the meaningless pouches, although she does have a garter. Could not give her the Image Headgear, which even Rob’s X-Force characters wear. I left out the irrationally sized guns, and preponderance of knives.

Even with all that left out, I still came up with something “of the time and style” that our hero would never wear.

Much less comfortable than a t-shirt and jeans.  Lacking color, the flaw that bugged me still isn't that clear.

Much less comfortable than a t-shirt and jeans. Lacking color, the flaw that bugged me still isn’t that clear.

Looking at this, quite happy with myself, I was thinking…what would this look like in color? Liefeld’s books are always color, never black and white. It captured my imagination and shook it around a bit, demanding some attention. With that, I made a copy, and got out the colored pencils.

In the early nineties, this would have been so cool.

In the early nineties, this would have been so cool.

Again…I don’t even mind the small flaw. You look at Rob’s art, sometimes there are confusing anatomical fails that make no sense, or random floating heads and arms. By comparison, that minor design flaw only makes it more like Rob’s art….it’s almost a positive considering the intent.

Thusly, as We begin guest artist’s week, starting with Bryan L. Mon tomorrow, I can safely say, “Who needs Rob Liefeld art anyway?”

I was able to ape it sufficiently, while even making the same kind of flaws. It’s like having it…but cheaper. Even down to putting the speech balloon below her, because Liefeld can’t, or hates, drawing feet.

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