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Archivos D for Defense: Enero 2012

29 de Enero 2012

D for Defense #36


Boy can old Rob design a costume!  Let’s see, half-jacket, turtleneck, matching dance troupe gloves and oh yes GIGANTIC AREA.  Apparently the background artist for this panel was Harold, who was kind enough to lend his magic crayon to the scene.  Hey, no feet in this one!  Score!  Oops, still managed to fuck up Deadpool’s hand pretty bad, though.  Oh well, I’m sure too many people will be unable to tear their eyes from that bulging gray package to give a shit.

Let's start by saying that ROB! is, among other things, a Cool Hunter and a trend creator. His risky and innovative designs may scare those that prefer the old spandex look but ROB! has always been unique and managed to give his clothes a unique personal brand.
 

ROB! in this design conveys that this character is in fashion as he has carefully combines both colours and complements:

On one hand his red blazer (tipical of the time) combines with his gloves and, probably, with his boots. On the other hand, the marks on the jacket in a metalic grey tone is the same as the collar, arms and belt pocket in his leg.

We must admit that the character's crotch is notably highlighted. But seeing Deadpool's pose and seeing that he has a "light hand" (pun intended) we prefer to assume it's just the heat of the moment and not an error of our defended.


 
(additional defense by Myca Vykos)

We all know that ROB! rules. That he is a fucking genious of the drawing pen is public domain. But what most of the populace may not know is that ROB! is one of the greatest fighters for freedom of speech and censorship in comic books.

ROB!'s ideas have always been clear. You can't limit art. And the rigid Marvel was not the best place to express freely, that's the main reason he funded Image (not like that greedy TODD!, we all know he did it exclusively for the dough). In Marvel ROB! wanted to make more adult stories but Bob Harras wouldn't go with it. Time always puts everyone on it's place and Bob ended up in Wildstorm, under JIM! Lee's orders.

But during his ternure in Marvel ROB!, as any other GENIOUS, would still camouflage his art to draw whatever he wanted. And if he felt like drawing bizare sex, he would have it, independent of what his bosses wanted.



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A superficial view of the image makes you think that Garrison Kane is a cyborg that has launched his left hand towards Deadpool's neck. But that is not the case. If there's something that ROB! masters it's kinetic lines. Let's clean the image and see where the hand comes and where is it heading.


 
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There it is. The hand comes from the center top and goes to the center bottom. Think of where this hand has left and where it's heading. How can a fist come from "there"? Of course. Haven't you seen Kane's scrotch? Why should there be any limits in cyborgs design? 

Yes, gentlemen. The dialogs may say whatever they want but this pannel shows clearly what the sexual practices between members of the Weapon-X Project are. Cyberfisting, gentlemen. Top this if you can.

(And for those wondering where Kane's right hand is there is an easy answer: it's taking a beer with his right foot)



 
(Be here next week for this:
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22 de Enero 2012

D for Defense #37

(by Uriondo)
 

The image that we are sharing tonight is, like any other from this author, a composition prodigy that not always is valued like such by certain bigoted critics. "Why does Rob Liefeld think that guns should have two holes?" argue opponents of Rob!'s work. It's very simple, smartass. Because it makes MORE sense!

I still remember, years ago, when it was mandatory the use of one rearview mirror in cars. The other one was optional. "Why the hell would anyone want a second one?" was the thought shared by all of us not touched by innovation.

Otto Octavius thought that two arms were not enought, and no one discussed Stan Lee's mastery over anatomy. Of course he knew that normal people only have two arms. But extraordinary people have the right of choosing as many arms as they feel like.

In fact, unbelievers can now see how USA's weapon industry has learnt Rob!'s lessons.



They also complaint against the yellow background and the ilumination. Why are these characters confronting their enemy with a yellow background and an intense zenithal light? And it's here where we find the allegorical that puts Rob! above the average artists. The yellow colour simbolizes in english fear, while in spanish it's more common to use it as a symbol of bad luck. The critics having underestimated Rob!'s talent only consider (if so) the first meaning while our artist focuses more on it's second. Rob! is not afraid of bad luck and reminds us that he was brave enought to create his own company. If we counterpose this yellow background with the clear red present in the

clothes of the characters we find a dynamism very infrequent nowadays. It's easy to enfatize a bright colour over black and white as  Frank Miller o Spielberg do. But doing it in the 90s? Boy, that wasn't easy at all.

Last but not least, we must highlight the wordplay made by using our character's names.

BloodShoot

DeathMate

YoungBlood

Blood4You

It's here where Rob! shows his love for literacy. Not everyone would know how to make an alliteration like him. It reminds the refreshness of a fresh drink (blobloblo). It's a young and vibrant sound to win over youth.

And with that I rinse my tears of admiration and say goodbye for today, friends of Rob!'s work.



(Be here next week for this:
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15 de Enero 2012

D for Defense #38

Following the old Marvel tradition, the third comicbook the series that made ROB! the rockstar he is now would include the crossover of the Amazing Spiderman, with who X-Force would confront the terrible Juggernaut, one of the most powerfull mutant foe. How can we represent this menace, the power of a railway engine out of control, in just one image? It is not an easy task and only an artist of Rob Liefeld's talent could sucessfully accomplish such a feat.

To do so he uses a dynamic composition, to make clear that the Juggernaut is unstopable, a force of nature. Most heroes become mere spectators of this show; the only one standing in his way, Shatterstar is passed over, not even giving him a chance to use his lethal swords. Juggernaut crosses through cover with dynamism. His right arm is used to highlight the comicbook's title and to emphasize the colossus direction, if you follow it you can also see Cannonball, whose tiny size indicates his remoteness, not even him can reach the Juggernaut.

Also, to prevent the viewer to get distracted from what's really important, Liefeld leaves out any kind of background or scenery, that get's reduced to a boulder that serves as a pedestral for the terrible villain. But Liefeld does give us a few clues about the localization of the characters: the presence of the most newyorker of heroes and his pose, hanging from a tall building, reveal that the action takes place in New York. In his pedestral, the dust storm indicates that the Juggernaut's run is size of a cattle stampede. Also, compositionally, it allows the inclusion of texts without hiding any of the characters.

No doubt this would be a sure buy for anyone who saw this atractive cover in his usual comicbook shop.



(Be here next week for this:
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8 de Enero 2012

D for Defense #39


It is said by art scholars that the portrait is probably the most dificult task for an artist. Painting a still life or a landscape is reasonably easy, painting an everyday scene or one composed of several characters is something more dificult, but the portrait is the maximum expression for both the portrayed and the author as it equally reflects a lot from both of them. A lot has been written already and will still be written about this portrait:


 
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The Gioconda, of Leonardo da Vinci, also know as the Mona Lisa (no doubt this was the typical nickname given during the Renaissance). In this painting everything has been analyzed, from the use of colours til the time of the day it was painted, but most especially there has been a lot of focus in the enigmatic smile. It's never been completely certaint who was the portrayed (although the most extended thesis is that she would be Lisa Gerardhini) but it has never being important because a complete study of the painting can tell us everything we would want to know about her.

... Wait a minute... This is a comicbook blog, what are we talking about?

A little patience, I'll get to the point in a minute.

During an artist's life he can produce thousands of pages, hundreds of thousands of panels and huge ammounts of characters in all posible postures, and while in lots of panels the character may appear in a close shot or multiple splash pages it's fairly uncommon to find him in a portrait that equals (if not surpasses) the previous example.

Yes, it's ROB!


Look carefully at the ilustration and don't get distracted by the inopportune lettering prevents us from comtemplating the image in all it's glory. Because this isn't the typical character reveal that the world of comics has gotten us used to. It's an ilustration that combines the pictorial  and comic book tradition, adapting it to the awesome 90s.

In itself is more of a portrait in the classical term of the word. Liefeld's precedents are many other portraits featuring kings, noblemen or even intelectuals that inspire at the same time respect and fear. Focus on the dark face, in how he holds his helmet as if he were a warlord, in his weird pose halfway between upright and relaxed in his throne, well, more like his captain's chair.

But before we continue let's put the image in it's context. We are talking about the closing image of the 100th issue of New Mutants, the comic that evolved through Liefeld's art. Thanks to Rob the new alumns of Xavier's School would mature under the leadership of Cable until they even emancipated from the bald guy to start their own X-Force corps. Strife would be one of the vilains to beat during this stage.

The same art schoolars that I mentioned at the begining of this text maybe would not completely understand this image, maybe they would even consider it ordinary or a bad executed portrait. But they don't know what they are talking about. Liefeld is, over any other thing, a visionary and has updated the art of portraying adapting it to his own style, capturing completely the essence of Strife.

In first place, judging from the use of shadows if the light comes from the left of the character (as we can see from the colour) how do we know his face is darkened? Is it a bad use of lights and shadows? Nothing could be further from the truth. His darkened face reflects Strife's soul. Liefeld is explaining to us that although he looks the same as Cable, as there are shadows on his face it means he is the bad guy. By the way, notice the detail of the right eye's shape in the shadow.

In second place we should consider the lines. While some may argue that for a portrait they are not necessary, Liefeld uses them as they are one of his most particular traits. Lines = dynamism, and someone who is dynamic will maintain this characteristic while sitting or running.

In third place I would like to address the point of the open mouth. The brief explaination is that it's a plot requirement. At that precise instant Strife is talking so it would be entirely justified that he had his mouth open. Nonetheless we all know what perfect teeth mean in ROB!'s methodology only we are not going to talk here about teeth but the mere mouth gesture indicating his authority.

In fourth place let's focus on the left hand. Look at it it, can you see something weird? Exactly! The index finger is longer than any other one. The anatomic knowledge of our artist has always been doubted, critics talking that he put muscles where there weren't any, that he didn't draw any feet, that his knees weren't realistic. Well, this example here shows an absolut knowledge about body part simbolism, directly inspired by palmistry and eastern iconography. The index finger is a simbol of authority and power, if it's also long it represents ambition and pride.

My fifth point: the helmet. How does he hold the helmet with his hands in that position? Is it a fault or cunning trick of the artist? As I said before the portrait represents all that Strife is, not only it reflects his appearance but also his interior... and powers. What is Strife? A mutant! And which powers does he have? Among others Telekinesis! That is it! Strife is holding the helmet with his mind, the hands are just pure ornament.

And that's why there are artists who are limited to sketching a few lines that just capture the physical aspect of the portrayed and then there is ROB! who manages to transmit, through a splash page, the appearance and personality of a villain. No one save ROB! has ever been able to include in a portrait so much simbolism since that multifaceted artist with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle name.



(Be here next week for this:
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1 de Enero 2012

D for Defense #40

 
(by Eme A)

The daring and arrogant thinking entities from Progressive Boink acuse ROB! of not knowing how to draw women, they even suggest this may be as a consequence of not having seen one in his life. Ignorance is always bold

Our ROB! drawing aren't showing women... Only SuperWomen. They are avatars of a Supreme Femenine Spirit. No heterosexual male (or homosexual female) could ever take their eyes off them. In summary and using words that even them will understand: these women are HOT

But bidimensional art representation has it's limitations. Even ROB!, the greatest penciller in the last two centuries, feels uncapable of realistically representing the buxom babes that this story requires. Which is the solution that this great narrator finds? Subjetivity

In these images we see women though the eyes of an external observer, and not even him can stand the vision of such goddesses. He is feeling dizzy, he is having hallucinations, his brain can't retain the image of perfection made flesh. ROB! doesn't draw deformed women: he draws how the sight of the observer gets deformed by these women

This is the greatness of ROB!



(Be here next week for this one:
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D for Defense: Hello foreign people!

This is something that may have happened to you more than once. Mountain View fills us with subliminal messages, ads that feed our minds and their lust for profit every time you search in their famous engine.

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Every new keystroke opens new posibilities, a whole new range of trends that guide our steps, free will is only a mirage. Freedom of choice doesn't exist.


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When a sugestion is repeated a thousand times it becomes an imposition. The influence of these constant micro impacts over our ability to choose is guiding society to a single brainwashed thought.


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We trust all our information to a company in exchange for a perception of freedom in our searches. Well, that and free email. Also a neverending repository with publications and videos... And a detailed mapping of the whole globe. And blogs. And... But let's not get sidetracked, they are the ones making a fortune. This makes us realize the inmense value and influence of the shown results that we didn't even ask for. Well versed minds call this "Attention Economy".

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We mustn't underestimate the impact of these small viewings have in our subconscious. We are continually bombed by these messages. And we end up following them.


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And sometimes what we find fits what we were looking for.

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Until it reaches a point in which you can't deny the manipulation.

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Seven simple keystrokes in the most popular webpage in the world reveal a shocking message, a cruel joke that attacks the most basic human dignity. That's why all of us that have sometime looked for information related with our favorite author have ended up visiting The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings.

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In this webpage we find out that some guys called Hanstock and B have dedicated their time to the useless task of tracing ROB!'s graphic work looking for any image that they can use for a joke. And because ROB! is generous they have succeded in twisting the greatness of his work with a sickening analysis in a series of texts that only shows their disgusting jelousy. 

Think this for a minute. Adult men that invest their time and efford in the ridiculous task of defending the indefendable. Isn't it sick? 

But the important question is: are we going to allow it? 

And the obvious answer is NO. 

That is why our Organization asked the most illustrious minds of internet to join us in the preparation of a counter attack, using lucid, clear and inteligent defense texts that reply to each and every stupid argument found in that webpage. To show them again that the pen is always stronger than the sword (even if it's Conan's).

 
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As I was saying we contacted with the best the internet has to offer, but after many months without an answer we finally had to do the job ourselves. 

And this is why, dear disciples, that from this day we start what will be a series of 40 reference texts to do justice. Every sunday (as sunday is the day of our LÖRD!) you will be given a Defense to the offensive words from those kids of Progressive Boing. Even if it arrives too late every action has a reaction. 

We start soon, very soon, be ready.


(Ok, to tell you the truth we already wrote and published these texts during the last two years, although its difusion was limited, due to language issues, to the Spaniard community. It had a great success and feedback -maybe we are lying, but you can not prove it, this is why we love Internet- and we were asked millions thousand of times to translate it to English to show the normal world our love for ROB!s work. ADLO means Association for the Defense of Liefeld and Others, and we have been invading people's mind since 1999 to show the real way comics books must be done. Because if you learn to enjoy
ROB! Liefeld, you will be able to enjoy almost everything, everybody will be happier and our passing in this plane of existence will be more comfortable. Or maybe it is just for laughs and we are only a lot of people with a lot of free time, you choose. In any case, we have put our heart and effort to show you that there is other way for analyzing and loving comics. Every Sunday we will be here for you to present a new defense, we hope you enjoy it at least in the same way we did it creating them and Xum making translations of our bad and ununderstanable Spanish to Lobdell's language)

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