Wednesday Comments – An Artistic Question

Last week saw the release of Jupiter’s Legacy #5 by Mark Millar and Frank Quietly. It was a very good issue. It’s got some great moments of heroes being heroes and villains being villains. It’s got great Quietly art and is one of the few Millar books that doesn’t disappoint.

But it would have been better if there hadn’t been a ten-month gap between issues 4 and 5.

And to make matters slightly worse, issue 5 marks the end of “Book One” with no official announcement for Book Two. So who knows when that will launch? I could possibly be dead by the time it sees the light of day. And even if I’m alive, will I still remember the characters and the drama that preceded it?

But that got me thinking; would I rather read a book with a consistent artist, no matter how long it takes between issues or would I rather have a regular shipping schedule with fill in or alternating artists?

This question was very topical because I’d also picked up Superman/Wonder Woman, which featured the work of two artists; Ed Benes and Doug Manhke. As a result, the issue doesn’t have a cohesive look, which is distracting and sort of look me out of the issue.

On the surface I think that I’d prefer to have a consistent artist rather than a monthly schedule. And I say this for a couple reasons.

Firstly, I’m a fan of books like Saga, The Fade Out and Velvet, which don’t adhere to a strictly monthly shipping schedule, but do feature a consistent art team. There are occasionally skipped months, but it’s worth it because when the book does come back, it’s a treat but not a total surprise. You don’t have to jog your memory to figure out where things left off and who was at odds with whom.

Also, I’ve got a large enough pull list that if the occasional title is running a month or two behind schedule, it’s not really noticeable.

Of course things can go to the extreme like the aforementioned Jupiter’s Legacy and the regrettable Superman Unchained. Those books had the same artist every issue and took forever to see completion. And of course Hawkeye still hasn’t wrapped up.

I completely get why DC made the whole push to make sure books that came out on a monthly schedule, but they sacrificed giving books, storylines and eventually trades a uniform artistic look. Personally, I don’t know if it’s worth it.

I always think back to how Starman managed to different artists into its arc based run. It may not have been perfectly, but it was handled pretty well and the changes were even incorporated into the narrative. It makes me wish that more books would this try this inventive approach to having a fill in artist.

Well, that’s going to do it for me for this week. What’s your take on the monthly grind and fill in artists?

Anyway, it’s Wednesday, so go out and get some fresh new comics form your local comic shop.

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