Monday, April 16, 2012

Art of George Perez thoughts...

Received my hardback copy of "Art of George Perez" in the mail recently, really nice book from the same IDW folks who previously came out with the great "Art of Jim Starlin: A life in Words and Pictures".

From Amazon, it's a steal...but definitely an interesting contrast to the Jim Starlin (and definitely the Jim Lee book previously mentioned)- and, in fact, there's a rather odd foreward by Jim Starlin as well in it- (In which Starlin himself muses, of all people, why he was even asked to write the foreward. Not horrible, but just a little odd.)

One thing right off the bat is just how many years Perez has been at it. Definitely makes me feel old. The choices of art pieces- like the Starlin one before it- are mostly very nice, although there are others that are just 'meh'... but that's how it goes, I suppose with these things. For sure, it's on great paper, great artist's views on his evolution of his own work, and is a nice weight and size that you definitely feel like you've got your money's worth. (Well, at least from Amazon)

With Starlin's book, much of it was dedicated to sections of his greatest comics' work- in contrast to the Perez book that breaks things up in decades (70's, 80's, etc.)

Perhaps it's appropriate, as Starlin was a writer/artist for much of his career, whereas Perez was known mostly for his art--- ((*Outside of his writing/drawing the Wonder Woman reboot and his co-plotting credits on the Crisis on Infinite Earths/Teen Titans stuff with Marv Wolfman. (His current writing on the Superman reboot has been pretty savaged by fans everywhere- and hate to say I don't see being able to defend it myself, but that's another story.)

But, anyhow- not a session on bashing Perez, as I'm not a professional artist peer but a hobbyist/fan discussing thoughts and differences between the two contributions by Starlin and Perez.

Anyhow- back to talking about the book- Perez has a lot of great insights as to what he was thinking, and his own personal feelings of his evolution during the many decades (wow) that he's been in comics.

I think I may have detailed before my suprise at the story of how Perez fell into a bit of a creative funk for awhile that got him (temporarily) a bad rep at completing deadlines that led to him getting 'blacklisted' from comics work at the two majors for awhile-

But more suprising to me were two bits:
#1: Perez talking about the importance of health insurance, looking ahead to physical limitations slowing down, and the business side of things (as opposed to Starlin's financial windfall with the novel he and his first wife wrote that got optioned by Spielberg at one point)-

#2: Perez talking about his self-published venture "Crimson Plague" and how it was just killing him financially to do the self-publishing and the lack of discipline that was implied with doing the book.

Later on in the book, it's also interesting to read about Perez's other passions- theatre and fetish videos (though I would be neglectful to also mention much press about Perez's generosity in doing much work for charity as well).... but, on a visual level- it is odd to read that Perez constantly talks about detail vs. clutter, but the further Perez's work goes- the more I feel like there's MORE clutter and more 'sameness' to his work than anything else, despite his talking about progress in his work.

I still feel that Perez's work in the 70's were perhaps his strongest material, but in the end, I question what is the 'it' that makes some images burn in one's skull (for some reason, I LOVE many of Michael Turner's covers even though I'm not all that crazy about his interior work), even when it's not as detailed or is more cartoony than I usually like.

Anyhow, still enjoy the book, and love that it helps complete a picture of the artist behind the art.

But- it also makes me question quantity over quality--- it looks like Starlin may have had less output, but his best stories still get mentioned by high profile folks like Joss Whedon and Grant Morrison- whereas Perez's art is dazzling, but has its limits.

Not sure if it's too much detail in some of his work, or too much clutter.
Sometimes less is more, but finding out what should be the 'more' and what should be the 'less' is tricky.....

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