Comics Creators

Comics - Everyone Else (NOT Marvel / DC)


Don’t worry Ronnie, this is just a conversation I don’t see it as a personal thing at all, and please don’t take my direct style of posting as me being insulted or irked by you - I type on my phone and I don’t have a lot of time so I just get to the point.

I’m defending them because I’ve bought literally hundreds of their books and enjoyed many of them. Some of their books I count as the best comics I’ve read.
I’m not alone in enjoying their work; Providence has been widely lauded, it’s one of the most effective pieces of horror ever put to paper.

Crossed has lot of fans out there due it’s is harrowing nature and the feelings of hopelessness and despair - which whether folk like it or not, it’s effective horror.

I could go on with regards to scores of titles but you get the picture.

I don’t like a publisher being swept aside as trash when they have such an impressive body of work.

I find it difficult to understand grown men who react so strongly and adversely to violence and sex on paper.

Also their paper stock is fantastic quality as is the binding on their books. I’m surprised to read the criticism of that. I feel exactly the opposite. I also love the smell of their comics.


Exploitation is also a genre of fiction. It’s not literally exploiting someone.


Diamondsteel’s Saltire is a pretty good arc based loosely on Scottish myth and legend.


My mistake, thanks for correcting - and I did wonder as I posted that.

To put it another way, why do people get so annoyed by these images?


We’ve touched on this before, but I think Avatar’s ‘house style’ is more down to their colourists than their line artists. There is a muddy, muted, earth-tones palette that is synonymous with Avatar books.

Cinema Purgatorio (which, aside from its cover, is entirely black and white) showcases four very different art styles, all within the same title, every issue.

If they were all coloured in an ‘Avatar’ way I bet they would appear to conform to the house style.


And no I don’t mean blue skin and ponytails.


It’s been a long time since I bought anything by Avatar - it would have been when Ellis was putting out stuff like Black Summer, but I have to say I rolled my eyes a lot at the catalogue pages in the back with like 30 sexy Lady Death variant covers, plus three interesting and often transgressive things by writers I liked who likely couldn’t get anyone else to touch them. Less annoyed and more bemused that there was still a market for comics starring women in string bikins with fleshtone balloons. But like if it subsidised some Ellis weirdness, all the better.

For me, some of the stuff like the Crossed cover upthread is like a failure mode for transgressive art. A better artist could have made it look creepy and grotesque, but it looks more like something my brother would have drawn dduring his edgy teenage years. Or a really cheap heavy metal album cover.


I think this is more the reaction that we’re talking about in this thread, rather than outrage.


I’ve had a go at the Avatar house style a few times in the past, I think it’s largely quite messy and don’t like the colours. However Moore’s stuff gets Jacen Burrows who is by far their best artist. The very still and eerie stuff there where the horror is largely hidden away in your imagination contrasts a lot with some of the garish tits and gore of the usual suspects.


It is? To turn your question around, have you read much horror?

I felt as i read it that it was a big joke that no one was letting me in on. It got more and more boring til i just gave up. it had a reasonable dry humour that turned out to be one joke. A fella who doesn’t notice what’s going on around him. That’s not 12 issues of material for me.


I’m with Chris on Providence, a genuinely unsettling and subtly chilling horror comic.


Open Question

Uber is work for hire, Is that the standard Avatar proposition. that would explain the choices and the art. Its money up front, where the publisher takes the risk and makes the choices. maybe the writers don’t mind cos its a clear choice at the start?


To be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever read a horror comic I liked. I don’t think it suits the medium, personally, so maybe that’s why i no likey.


Yeah. It’s my favourite genre. I’ve actively seeked it out since my early teens, in every medium.

Providence is easily one of the most effective examples of horror I’ve read in a comic.


Well, to be fair, it’s not like he’s got many other options given all the smouldering husks that used to be bridges around him.


It seems like his relationship with Knockabout/Top Shelf is a good one.

And let’s be honest, if he actually wanted to work with Marvel or DC they’d jump at the chance.


From Hell and Providence are actually the only two horror comics that have ever properly unsettled me.

As we mentioned in the film thread though it differs greatly what people can find scary. The gore stuff I just find silly and amusing.


I doubt if DC would be interested. They’ve got Geoff Johns.


As it’s still on topic to this thread I’d add that I recently read the first 3 issues of Gideon Falls back to back and felt it holds a bit of that Providence vibe. The small town setting where things aren’t quite right.


I don’t think the Avatar model is particularly difficult to comprehend.

The writers they get - Ellis, Moore, Ennis, Hickman, Gillen, Latham, Gage, et al - are clearly there for the editorial freedom, to do what they like, without censorship. I imagine they make a lesser page rate at Avatar (vs what they could earn virtually anywhere else), but this is balanced out by the creative freedom that comes with it.

The Avatar artists, however, are working for hire, and you pay :peanuts: you get :monkey_face:. If the artists were more competent and well established, they wouldn’t be working at Avatar. They would be working for a higher page rate somewhere else.

Therefore, great writers + poor artists are the norm.

And, as for the schlocky covers being discussed. There’s clearly a market for this type of thing, and Avatar are pandering to it. However, the ironic thing is those people buying these covers are then reading books where the content doesn’t (for the most part) match the tone of the cover - because, you know, it’s by those aforementioned great writers - and so that audience drifts away too, seeking their thrills somewhere else.