Thursday, October 26, 2006

Holy Butt Kissing Batman! It's the Wizard Hot 10 Artist List!

Wizard #182
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
I was peddling away on the exercise bike at the club tonight while leafing through Wizard Magazine #182. With the advent of the internet and 24 hour access to the hottest and most recent news, Wizard has had to reinvent itself into more of a "you heard it first" magazine. From the days when I used to run to the shop to pick up Wizard because it was THE place for news, now I just kinda pick it up out of loyalty and habit. I like Mike Cotton, and think he does a nice job interviewing creators. I also check the price guide to see what the scoop is.

Then I get to the pages I dread: The Hot 10 Writers and Artists. I have come to loathe those lists. How in the heck the staff pick these creators is beyond me. It has become the same old tired group of folks month after month. I am dying to see new blood on the lists!!

To humor myself, I would first like to dissect the list of top ten artists. Agree or disagree, I gotta put it out there.

1. JIM LEE. No offense, but can we give the Jim Lee worship a rest? Maybe if Lee was dropped off the list, it would give him incentive to not over-commit to projects and concentrate on making deadlines. I respect Lee's work as a visionary, but feel that he needs to make a decision what to focus on.

2. ALEX ROSS. Let's just create a "Hall of Fame" list, put Alex on it, and retire him from the list, okay? Ross is in a class by himself, and we all know his work is wonderful, but it is time to give someone else a shot.

3. STEVE MCNIVEN. I have got to agree with this for the most part. While it is well known I am less then enchanted with Civil War, I can't fault McNiven's work on it. From his days as artist on Meridian at CrossGen, McNiven has really come into his own.

4. JOHN CASSADAY. I really love Cassaday's artwork, so I can't really argue with this one either.

5. BRYAN HITCH. No surprise here, I think "Hitchy" needs to be taken off the list for extreme lateness. His work is gorgeous, but his perfectionist ways have made me ambivalent. Give a new guy or girl a shot and take Hitch off the list.

6. FRANK QUIETELY. His work on All Star Superman has been nothing short of amazing and he has been solid on his bi-monthly schedule. I can't ask for more. I agree with this one.

7. MICHAEL TURNER. Turner needs a "turn" off the list. I admire how the man has handled a horrific battle with cancer and feel a great deal of empathy for the fact that he has been able to produce work. Bluntly, I am just really tired of his stuff. The evolution of his style has failed to impress me and I am really tired of seeing so many covers with his work on it. Time to be taken off the list.

8. ROB LIEFELD. I feel faint. If there was ever a case of being put on the list so the Wizard staff could kiss some butt, this is it. Yikes. Wizard, I am putting you on notice for this boldly horrible decision. I am still reeling from his god-awful work on Teen Titans #27 and 28.

9; ETHAN VAN SCIVER. He is a great draftsman, and I appreciate his art. It is too bad that he has been one of those guys whose work tends to be permanently tardy. I see Van Sciver as a guy for "limited" series on a long deadline.

10. GREG LAND. I enjoy Land's artwork a great deal. His work on Sojourn, Birds of Prey, and Nightwing never ceased to thrill me. As his style has evolved, I have been both fascinated and surprised. For now, his place on the list is solid with me.


1 SIMONE BIANCHI. Those covers on Detective Comics, and the incredible work on Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight still stands out in my mind. With Wolverine coming up, Bianchi is deserving.

2. J.H. WILLIAMS. His work on Seven Soldiers #1 is mind blowing. Williams deserves a shout out.

3. PAUL POPE. It doesn't all have to be "pretty art". Pope gives power to Batman Year 100. Check it out and let me know what you think.

4. DARICK ROBERTSON. His art on Transmetropolitan proved he could hold his own with Warren Ellis. Now on The Boys, he dazzles with continuous brilliance. His line work is simple but stunning.

5. MICHAEL LARK. Open a page of Daredevil. Notice that the gritty style works so well there that you tend to forget it is a comic book. That is how good the work by Lark is.

I am sure there are many more I could mention, but that is just off the top of my head. Please People in Charge At Wizard hear my pleas! Give someone new a chance. There are a lot of Hot artists out there, and you have made the list a lukeward butt kissing festival. I know that the creators listed are FOW (Friends of Wizard), but isn't it time to make some new ones?

Anyone care to debate or comment on this? Wanna make your own list? Let's do it!


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I'll have to think about the list and post later. I did want to mention something you said...about the price guides in Wizard. I hate these price guides. To me these price guides are some of what I hate about the whole comic industry. I used to buy CBG on a regular basis. Now not so much, not since they went to having half their issue devoted to a price guide. I'm sorry it just upsets me how so much of the fan base is intent on what their comic is worth. Open the comic and read it, don't worry if it might be worth more money down the road.

Ok, sorry I'm going off a rant here. I know you don't fall into that category, I know you read your comics, this definitely isn't aimed at you, it was just when you mentioned the price guide it got me going. This is just one of those things I get worked up over, probably too easily.

Heidi Meeley said...

John, no offense taken. I completely understand where you are coming on this. My hubby and I are anti-speculator as well. We think that in order to spend the money on a comic, you should actually READ it.

Where I get my jollies reading the price guides is in the B.S. variant covers and bells and whistles. It makes me a mixture of happy and sad to see so much emphasis being put on alternate covers again. To see those prices get so outrageous is mind numbing!

I figure that my collection will someday be either kindling, reading material for a children's hospital, or a money maker for my nephews. It will be up to them, but in the meantime, I plan to enjoy this hobby of mine!

Enjoy Voodoofest! Talk to you soon!

Ragnell said...

Wait.. JH William isn't on the list?

Wow, Wizard is officially out of touch.

Lisa said...

Liefeld is on the list?!? Oh, now I KNOW Wizard can't get it's head out of the early 1990's. I have people who shop in my store who ask me NOT to pull any comics with Liefeld art, even if it's just the cover, and those that DO buy books with Liefeld as a temp artist or cover artist joke about his art and ask when his run will be ending. Sorry Rob, I think you're day has passed.

I'd put Brian Bolland and Tara McPherson onto the list for sure! I'd almost forgotten how good they were until I opened up and read my copy of 1001 Nights of Snowfall.

Heidi Meeley said...

Ragnell- It is official. Wizard isn't fresh anymore. Heh.

I was surprised J.H. Williams wasn't on the list after the super-psychadelic work he did on Seven Soldiers #1, especially with Grant Morrison consistently on the Hot 10 Writers list.


Heidi Meeley said...

Lisa- When I saw Liefeld on the list, I knew something was wrong in Wizard land. It has to be a case of butt-kissing, pure and simple.

I would imagine if you have customers that ask you NOT to pull Liefeld's stuff, even if it is a cover, that is a very indication his time is well and done. Having Wizard try and re-validate his parking stamp is just plain sad.

I agree that Bolland and McPherson are absolutely incredible. I just got done reading the Fables GN last night, and was blown away by their work. You have great taste!

Anonymous said...

This may be a post that we keep coming back to. I haven't decided yet who I would put on this list, but it looks like this list is from the start of Wizard. Granted I haven't picked up a copy of Wizard in quite a few years, but when it first started I would read it. You could almost put that list in any issue from their first year and it wouldn't make a difference.

I wonder how much their "list" is actually who is hot and how much is who they want to be hot. Wizard has always seemed to have some sort of connection with Image. There are certain artists that it champions no matter what. Does putting them in Wizard make them hot? Or does their art make them hot so they get put in Wizard.

Or does Wizard even matter as much as it used to? I remember it used to be important, at least in terms of helping to sell comics. Does it still make that big a difference?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I can think of two artists that I would put in that list, but will never make it. Jamie and Gilbert Hernadez, the creators from Love and Rockets. Writers or artists, their name should be on the list.

Heidi Meeley said...

John- those are two deserving individuals for sure. It would be so nice to see some fresh blood on that list- God knows each month in and out, it is the same ole' crap.

Another artist I didn't mention is Steve Dillon. He hasn't been on the list for years, and his work on Wolverine: Origins is excellent. Maybe someday...