Friday, December 30, 2005

Runners Up, Volume 3

Ex Machina is full of boring images. Or rather it's full of images that should be boring, but Tony Harris just won't let them be.

The majority of the story takes place in the New York Mayor's mansion or City Hall. One of the story arcs this year revolved around jury duty. It's easy to draw compelling, attention-grabbing pictures of Captain America knocking out Hydra agents with his shield, even Rob Liefeld did it (if you could take your eyes off Cap's enormous breasts). The true test of an artist is to keep your eyes glued to the page during discussion of whether the city media office should issue a shooting permit to college kids who want to make a documentary about water tunnels.

That said, I'll contradict myself just one paragraph later. As much as I love the stories in Ex Machina and as intriguing as the characters can be, while I'm reading I can't help but wish Harris was drawing Batman or Daredevil or some other classic character.

This is proving to be the toughest category for me to judge. Last night, I had Ex Machina as my silver medalist, now it's out of the running.


Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

Tony Harris is talented, but I can't help but feel that he's drawings are a little stilted. Its as if he is utilizing photo reference, but he's using the worst photos of actors over-acting. Lots of weird awkward moments. And after reading Starman, I get the feeling that he's a poor man's JH Williams. He does crazy layouts but not as good as JH Williams does.

6:15 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

There's something a bit "rubbery" about the way Harris draws faces, I think, and that prevents me enjoying his work as much as I might.

9:09 PM  
Blogger markus said...

Curiously enough my girlfriend (not a comics reader) complained that Harris people don't look the same from page to page. I pointed out the photo reference (friends posing) to final picture progressions in the back of the first TPB and disagreed, but eventually had to concede that by regular standards (i.e. not compared to an averaging over several comic books, but by simple point by point comparison) she was right.
That said, I too enjoy his work a lot, even if I agree with Kelvin's "bit rubbery" criticism.

5:04 AM  
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