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In Which I Pay Attention To The Art, For A Second

Not a review per se, but I’m curious – Does anyone else who’s read THE FLASH #1 think that Francis Manapul’s art – which I genuinely adore, even as I remain convinced that he’s the wrong artist for this particular book* – is oddly reminiscent of Fabio Moon’s at times in this issue? I mean that as a compliment, because I’m a fan of Moon’s also, but… it strikes me as a really interesting direction for a superhero artist, particularly one who’s quickly becoming one of DC’s more high profile ones. It’s the quality of the line as much as anything, but there’s also a slight sense of exaggeration to the figures that reminds me of Ba’s work, as well. Am I insane?

For illustration purposes (and sorry for the crappy quality of the scans; if nothing else, I’m outing myself as someone who’d be a terrible comic scanner for torrent purposes), here’s some Manapul from The Flash:

And here’s some Ba, from a recent Daytripper (which you are all reading, right?):

Ehhh, maybe it’s just me. But what do you think?

(* And as to why I think Manapul’s art is wrong for the Flash – I’m from the Carmine Infantino school of Flash iconography, which was much cleaner, harder-edged and modern than the – very pleasurable – watercolor effect and softness that makes Manapul’s work so interesting these days. But Manapul doesn’t seem hard or fast enough, if that makes any sense.)

16 Responses to “ In Which I Pay Attention To The Art, For A Second ”

  1. I don’t see the similarities. Also, I think Manapul is great for the title, he really renders super speed wonderfully.

  2. I’ve been loving Manapul’s work recently — it’s quite a departure from his earlier style at Top Cow and at Image prime before that. He was originally a Joe Maduiera kind of artist, but after he left Top Cow he did some work in watercolor that really pushed him. It reminded me of when Dustin Nguyen broke through some personal barriers with Wildcats 3.0.

    Anyway, comparing him to Fabio? Perhaps…. The guys at iFanboy brought up the same point this week. I see the similiarities in the line weights they’re using –but also that coloring. I think its Buccaleto for FLASH and Stewart for DAYTRIPPER, but I could be wrong. That coloring does wonders for them…

    I think the choice of Manapul on FLASH is unique, and really left of field considering the previous artists — Sciver, Kolins and such. It’s inspired in some ways, but it could be playing to loose with it all. I thought the Johns/Manapul teamup for those Superboy stories in ADVENTURE COMICS were more spot-on, but it seems like they got nudged out of the book and decided to take their ball here. Maybe their collaboration is more due to them getting along and getting praise in AC than Manapul being “right” for FLASH.

  3. Funny, I was just thinking how Geoff Johns was the wrong writer for this book…

  4. The Flash is challenging generally, but I disagree with you about Manapul doing the art chores. He seems almost perfect.

  5. I see what you’re saying but I think he’s a good choice for the book.

    The real question is why did they use Alberto Dose a few years ago. His stuff is great, but he was probably the most inappropriate artist to ever draw a Flash book.

  6. I thought the same thing. I don’t see it in the Flash or even in Barry Allen but when you look at how Manapul draws faces of regular people and constructs some scenes, he could almost be 2nd brother. I really loved the page just before the final double-splash page.

  7. I see some surface similarities of style, but to me, Manapul’s characters in this example look fairly generic, whereas Bá and Moon’s look specific; there’s a lot more going on in the DAYTRIPPER excerpt.

  8. I also don’t feel Manapul’s the right artist for this book, especially after his stint on Adventure Comics. While his action scenes in Flash #1 have been great, it feels like if, I don’t know, George Perez were on a book that had a very limited cast. I know he could draw it well, but it wouldn’t be playing to his strengths.

  9. Funny, I thought the same thing. I love FM’s art but I do feel this book isn’t for him.

  10. And I mean, Scott Kolins has been illustrating virtually every other Flash project lately (Rogues Revenge, Blackest Night: Flash, Flash Secret Files). Just put him back on the damn book as the main artist already! Oh, and make him go back to that not-drawing-black technique he did on his original run. His shadowing technique makes his art look worse.

  11. Count me as voting ‘no’ on his artwork. I really don’t enjoy ‘cartoony’ faces and figures…. Instead, I feel like I’m reading a book aimed at little children.

    I already avoid similar books, and will probably not continue with the Flash….

  12. When I read it, what struck me was the manga influence in Manapul’s art, which seemed perfectly alright to me, because you know, speed lines and all. I do see what you mean, but it seems the similarity is the fluidity of the line, and not much else. I don’t know if he’s really “wrong” for the book, and I suppose I could think of artists I’d rather see on it. He does strike me as one of the newer artists whom the big two are pushing as superstars but I don’t really see it. He’s OK I guess, but not one I’m rushing out to buy up anything he does on an excitement level. Give me Cameron Stewart, who I think is vastly underrated, or Fernando Pasarin, who I think will be great once he works out certain anatomical and blocky-head bugs.

  13. “Does anyone else who’s read THE FLASH #1 think that Francis Manapul’s art – which I genuinely adore, even as I remain convinced that he’s the wrong artist for this particular book”

    I was until I saw the spreads where Flash takes the car apart and when he’s running down the street.

  14. “(* And as to why I think Manapul’s art is wrong for the Flash – I’m from the Carmine Infantino school of Flash iconography, which was much cleaner, harder-edged and modern than the – very pleasurable – watercolor effect and softness that makes Manapul’s work so interesting these days. But Manapul doesn’t seem hard or fast enough, if that makes any sense.)”

    Heh, EVS said the same thing when he was asked this on WonderCon. Though he said that when he could he was gonna give him a few Infantino trades

  15. Is more Madureira influenced than any other.
    But the coloring and inking is wrong for my tastes.
    You need a hard line and solid colors for a Flash comic.
    Kinetic is the game there.

  16. Looks like our observations are right. From a Newsarama interview:

    Nrama: What do you mean when you say your pacing tends to be slow?

    Manapul: I kind of like a slower story. The way Geoff writes for me, he allows my panels to breathe. It’s quite a contrast to what I was doing in Legion of Super-Heroes. Jim [Shooter] wrote very heavy and fast, you know? There was a lot of information packed in every single panel. And the way I like to tell stories is, sometimes I like silent panels where there’s something going on but no caption. It’s sort of a slower beat. It allows you to take it in.

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