Only the other day, I pontificated on which artists were most likely to make me buy a book when I was a youth.
But that raised the obvious point; which artists were most likely to make me not buy a book when I was a youth.
I clearly wasn't very fussy as a child because there really weren't many artists whose work was sufficient to put me off a comic.
In fact, in terms of pencillers, the only two I can think of are Frank Robbins and Don Heck.
In both cases, it wasn't totally black and white. I actually really liked Don Heck's work on the early Avengers and I loved it on the pre-Colan Iron Man stories.
Sadly, after that period, I found his work increasingly off-putting and there were times when his jagged, scratchy lines and areas of flat, dead black positively hurt my eyes. However, as I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog, even after his mid-1960s heyday, I did quite like his work on Savage Sub-Mariner #68, in which he seemed to regain some of his lost elegance.
Frank Robbins was another odd case. For the most part, I couldn't stand his work. His figures looked to be filled with a weird, frenzied energy that threatened to make them fly apart at any moment and I found such strips as The Invaders next to impossible to read when he was working on them. Then again, I did really like his work on The Shadow, a strip his retro style seemed perfect for.
In fact, I would say that the artist whose presence was most likely to put me off buying a comic wasn't a penciller at all. It was an inker. And that inker was Jack Abel whose flat line-work, tendency to simplify anatomy to near-geometric shapes and his fussy hatchings, seemed to diminish the work of any artist he delineated. I'm sure he was a very nice man but I could never bring myself to like his output.
I also had an antipathy to the efforts of Syd Shores whose inks seemed far too heavy-handed for my liking. I especially struggled to like them over the work of Gene Colan and Jack Kirby, two pencillers his style seemed particularly ill-suited to.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. What are yours? Feel free to use the comments section below to get your childhood frustrations off your chest.
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