This week's issue Take 2

Discuss or comment on anything relating to D.C.Thomson's second longest running comic. The home of Dennis the Menace. Has been running since 1938.

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Kid Robson
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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Kid Robson »

Seems to me that there are quite a number of redundant points in a few of the previous comments. First up, I for one prefer Wayne Thomson's Bananaman to the original, so to ascribe anyone's dislike of Jamie Smart's artwork to it being 'different' or because those who dislike it are 'nostalgists' is inaccurate in the extreme. Most people dislike it because it's not drawn very well, is not laid out very well, is not lettered very well and is a mangled mess to look at. Roger has evolved down through the years, and if you compare Ken Reid's Roger with Bob Nixon's, you can see he hasn't always been the exact same. However, both men were good artists, as well as accomplished storytellers in the way that they laid out a page - not something that can be said of the perpetrator of the current abomination, which is an assault on (and an insult to) the eyes. And although The Beano doesn't look much different on the outside from a few months ago, Nigel Parkinson's art and a few other pages aside, internally it has taken an obvious downturn since its 'new' (old and failed in The Dandy's case) direction.

See my thoughts on the matter here: http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2012/01/kid- ... loody.html

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Raven »

Kid Robson wrote: See my thoughts on the matter here: http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2012/01/kid- ... loody.html

One thing, though, Kid - you write that "the present woolly thinking" which values everything as being of equal worth has led to a pile of bricks and an unmade bed being displayed in galleries, and accorded the same artistic legitimacy as Rembrandt and Constable paintings, and the Sistine Chapel, etc. but those are conceptual art pieces as opposed to representational or decorative art, and about the idea rather than the craftsmanship, so they're to be judged in a different way, and are nothing new - Marcel Duchamp famously displayed a urinal in 1917, and created a piece with a bicycle wheel even earlier.

The positive discrimination/give everyone a trophy/no losers thing arose from the self esteem movement, when American psychologists and educators assumed an epidemic of low self esteem in kids which probably never existed, a movement which later studies suggest has probably had a negative effect overall.

Dumbing down, not just of children's literature but of culture in general, is another thing again (a lot to do with market forces, I suspect) ...

All quite varied and complex stuff, and, personally, I'm not so sure too much of it is directly linked to the change in comic styles - beyond the dumbing down elements of the fart/snot type humour; that's one of the areas where I agree with you about it being a pity when things are aimed at a low level, rather than aiming higher.

Kid Robson
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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Kid Robson »

Raven wrote:
Kid Robson wrote: See my thoughts on the matter here: http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2012/01/kid- ... loody.html

One thing, though, Kid - you write that "the present woolly thinking" which values everything as being of equal worth has led to a pile of bricks and an unmade bed being displayed in galleries, and accorded the same artistic legitimacy as Rembrandt and Constable paintings, and the Sistine Chapel, etc. but those are conceptual art pieces as opposed to representational or decorative art, and about the idea rather than the craftsmanship, so they're to be judged in a different way, and are nothing new - Marcel Duchamp famously displayed a urinal in 1917, and created a piece with a bicycle wheel even earlier.

The positive discrimination/give everyone a trophy/no losers thing arose from the self esteem movement, when American psychologists and educators assumed an epidemic of low esteem in kids which probably never existed, a movement which later studies suggest has probably had a negative effect overall.

Dumbing down, not just of children's literature but of culture in general, is another thing again ...

All quite varied and complex stuff, and, personally, I'm not so sure too much of it is directly linked to the change in comic styles (beyond the dumbing down elements of the fart/snot type humour; that's one of the areas where I agree with you about it being a pity when things are aimed at a low level.).
In my view, it doesn't much matter what 'type' (or category) of art some things are meant to be, the mere fact that they're considered art at all is what's ridiculous, which was the point I was making. Just because the current Roger is published in a professional comic doesn't mean it deserves to be or that it's good. Just because some drawings (I'm being kind there) are contained within strips of boxes doesn't mean it qualifies as a comic strip - or at least not a good one. A talented editor (in my opinion) would reject some of the strips on the basis that they're simply not good or effective examples of sequential storytelling. The Dandy contained some bad art and lettering which should never have been allowed. The Beano is heading in that same direction.

As for dumbing down, it's a contagion which seems to be affecting just about all areas of life.

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WizzKid97
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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by WizzKid97 »

I can accept your criticisms of Jamie's Roger, Kid - after all, it is your own opinion. I just wish that you wouldn't force your opinion on others, you never say Jamie's artwork is weak in your opinion - instead stating your remarks against Jamie as fact. Whilst you may dislike Jamie, there are many who love his style - regardless of whether it matches the old traditional style or not (such as myself).

Whilst on this point, you also say the same about the new Beano when you mention "internally it has taken an obvious downturn since its 'new' (old and failed in The Dandy's case) direction" and "The Dandy contained some bad art and lettering which should never have been allowed.". This is your opinion and of course you are entitled to it - but you make it sound like your word is gospel! The Dandy, in my opinion, was excellent from 2010-12 - of course it had a few bumps along the way but that was expected. I could still easily criticise the 2010-12 Dandy, but even so, I still loved it. The Dandy didn't contain bad art, it just contained art that wasn't to your tastes - that doesn't make it bad, it just means that the majority of the artwork wasn't in the style you liked.

Of course, you do mention that Craig Graham is "talentless" in your opinion so at least you do this here - but I still wouldn't say Craig was talentless, his ideas just weren't to your preference. He is a good editor and he has made many decisions, some better than others - but you do mention that you liked the older Beano we had from November 2012-July 2013 which I must add was also during Craig's era of Beano Editor, so clearly you liked some of his decisions so I would hardly call him "talentless".

You can dislike The Beano all you like (heck, I criticise it a lot - but I understand that I'm not included in its target audience, and whilst this frustrates me, we do have to learn The Beano isn't our comic any more - it's currently The Beano best-suited to today's 8-11 year olds). There are many aspects I dislike about the new Beano, but there are also many things I can praise about the new Beano.

Instead of going on about how talentless you think Jamie Smart is and how putrid his artwork is to you, why not instead praise the comic for what you believe it has done right? I could easily complain about how much I dislike the idea of The Forsyth Saga and the 75th Anniversary Special, but I always find pros to outweigh the cons. Maybe you should do the same more often? Just a suggestion.
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Raven
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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Raven »

I think it's obvious when people express something that they're giving their opinion, Harry. The addition of "in my opinion" is superfluous.

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by WizzKid97 »

Raven wrote:I think it's obvious when people express something that they're giving their opinion, Harry. The addition of "in my opinion" is superfluous.
I would usually agree with this, Raven - but I find there's something about Kid's wording which just pushes that slightly. I think it is the high amount of negative lexis used throughout when referring to The Dandy or Jamie Smart. It just comes across as too forceful, like it's fact - sometimes "in my opinion" can just help verify that what you're saying is simply your interpretation, rather than seeming like it's the correct way of thinking.
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Kid Robson
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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Kid Robson »

WizzKid97 wrote:I can accept your criticisms of Jamie's Roger, Kid - after all, it is your own opinion. I just wish that you wouldn't force your opinion on others, you never say Jamie's artwork is weak in your opinion - instead stating your remarks against Jamie as fact. Whilst you may dislike Jamie, there are many who love his style - regardless of whether it matches the old traditional style or not (such as myself).
If you were following your own advice, surely you'd say "I just wish that you wouldn't, in my opinion, force your opinion on others...", but your comment is full of such dogmatic assertions. I express my opinion - in what way am I forcing it on others? They can take it or leave it, nobody's forcing anything on anyone. Unless, of course, you are offended by someone not seeing things as you do.
WizzKid97 wrote:Whilst on this point, you also say the same about the new Beano when you mention "internally it has taken an obvious downturn since its 'new' (old and failed in The Dandy's case) direction" and "The Dandy contained some bad art and lettering which should never have been allowed.". This is your opinion and of course you are entitled to it - but you make it sound like your word is gospel!
No, that's simply how you imagine I consider my remarks. However, I don't regard anything as bad just because I don't like it - rather, I don't like things because they are bad. For example, Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz are both beautiful women - as to which one is more beautiful is a matter of opinion. In the case of Salma Hayek and Jo Brand, however, I think you'd find that the consensus of opinion is less flexible.
WhizzKid97 wrote:The Dandy, in my opinion, was excellent from 2010-12 - of course it had a few bumps along the way but that was expected. I could still easily criticise the 2010-12 Dandy, but even so, I still loved it. The Dandy didn't contain bad art, it just contained art that wasn't to your tastes - that doesn't make it bad, it just means that the majority of the artwork wasn't in the style you liked.
No, it's only your opinion that The Dandy didn't contain bad art - going by your own logic, that doesn't mean that it didn't.
WhizzKid97 wrote:Of course, you do mention that Craig Graham is "talentless" in your opinion so at least you do this here - but I still wouldn't say Craig was talentless, his ideas just weren't to your preference. He is a good editor and he has made many decisions, some better than others - but you do mention that you liked the older Beano we had from November 2012-July 2013 which I must add was also during Craig's era of Beano Editor, so clearly you liked some of his decisions so I would hardly call him "talentless".
Actually, I didn't 'mention' that Craig Graham is 'talentless' - never mentioned him at all in fact. However, it's true that I don't regard whatever talents he may have as being the best for the task at hand. As for liking The Beano during part of his early tenure - he was mostly keeping it on an even keel as determined by his predecessor at that point, and had not yet instigated the changes which have since lowered the comic's standards.
WhizzKid wrote:You can dislike The Beano all you like (heck, I criticise it a lot - but I understand that I'm not included in its target audience, and whilst this frustrates me, we do have to learn The Beano isn't our comic any more - it's currently The Beano best-suited to today's 8-11 year olds). There are many aspects I dislike about the new Beano, but there are also many things I can praise about the new Beano.
What you mean, of course, is that "it's currently The Beano that is best-suited to today's 8-11 year olds - in Craig Graham's opinion." Hardly got an impressive track record in the comics department 'though, has he?
WhizzKid97 wrote:Instead of going on about how talentless you think Jamie Smart is and how putrid his artwork is to you, why not instead praise the comic for what you believe it has done right? I could easily complain about how much I dislike the idea of The Forsyth Saga and the 75th Anniversary Special, but I always find pros to outweigh the cons. Maybe you should do the same more often? Just a suggestion.
No doubt you thought that the pros outweighed the cons in The Dandy's case, too - but "it's dead, Jim", innit?
Last edited by Kid Robson on 04 Oct 2013, 04:14, edited 1 time in total.

Phoenix
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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Phoenix »

Kid Robson wrote:Most people dislike it because it's not drawn very well, is not laid out very well, is not lettered very well and is a mangled mess to look at.
Kid Robson wrote:Just because the current Roger is published in a professional comic doesn't mean it deserves to be or that it's good.
Kid Robson wrote:your comment is full of such dogmatic assertions. I express my opinion
This poster doesn't take any prisoners, does he? Given that he presents himself as an illustrator and a cartoonist, and purely in the spirit of curiosity and playing-field levelling, will he please post three or four examples of his own comic strips that have been published in any mainstream comic, The Dandy, The Beano, Whoopee, Whizzer and Chips for example, stating which comic in each case, and the issue number or date, so that our knowledgeable members can be given an opportunity to assess the various pieces, in order to judge just how far removed, or for that matter how close, they are to a great big steaming pile of poo.

Kid Robson
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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Kid Robson »

Phoenix wrote:This poster doesn't take any prisoners, does he? Given that he presents himself as an illustrator and a cartoonist, and purely in the spirit of curiosity and playing-field levelling, will he please post three or four examples of his own comic strips that have been published in any mainstream comic, The Dandy, The Beano, Whoopee, Whizzer and Chips for example, stating which comic in each case, and the issue number or date, so that our knowledgeable members can be given an opportunity to assess the various pieces, in order to judge just how far removed, or for that matter how close, they are to a great big steaming pile of poo.
Ah, got tired of trying to bully the women over in the Girls' Comics section then, eh? You really should do your research. I clearly stated in the post that I linked to that: "And before I'm subjected to the same old tired, predictable and erroneous accusations of envy, bitterness, etc., etc., I’m merely speaking as a comics consumer, not a former professional comics contributor. I am not comparing those whose work I dislike against any level of artistic ability I perceive, pretend, imagine, wish, or delude myself I may have, but rather the recognized greats of yesteryear and today. Artists of the calibre of Bave, Baxendale, Brown, Griggs, Harrison, Law, Main, Martin, Mevin, Millington, Nadal, Nixon, Parkinson, Parlett, Paterson, Petrie, Reid, Ritchie, Sutherland, Titcombe, Watkins, and a whole host of others far too numerous to mention." I'd say that rather renders your presumptuous request redundant.

However, as you well know, having spent an inordinate amount of time over on my blog, I earned my living in comics mainly as a calligrapher because, being a faster letterer than I am an artist, I could earn much more money that way. However (again as you know), I also provided spot illustrations, new art, corrections and embellishments for Weeklies, Annuals, Specials, Comic Libraries, etc. Neither were my endeavours confined to comics. I did newspaper advertisements for local businesses, signwriting, posters, etc. I also restored and re-created pages af art for Marvel U.S.

Could it be, perhaps, that you're suggesting that everyone else on this forum who doesn't like a particular style of artwork isn't entitled to express their opinion (or even hold one) unless they've specifically worked in the comics field itself? If that's the case, perhaps you'd like to list your own credentials which you feel entitles you to ask a 15 year veteran of the comics business to justify himself. However, for the benefit of other forum members who may be interested (if any), here's a link to some art I added to the Whizzer & Chips Comics Libraries, plus links to some examples of my other work. It will have to suffice as proof of my abilities as an artist and cartoonist, as, frankly, your opinion of me hardly merits the effort of digging through cupboards and boxes in order to find further material to convince you.

http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2010/07/worl ... eroes.html

http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2010/07/near ... go-as.html

http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2011/09/scot ... r-bug.html

http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2010/08/evol ... ction.html

http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2011/09/two- ... metal.html

http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2010/11/the- ... e-dan.html

http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2011/09/i-ya ... i-yam.html

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by felneymike »

And no amount of flowery wording will ever make "you shouldn't criticise things unless you can do better" anything more than a limp cop-out. The creators of the small press London Horror Comic were actually bragging about that attitude in the editorial of their first issue. Needless to say. I didn't buy any other issues.

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Phoenix »

I will admit that sometimes I am disappointed when a member doesn't respond appropriately to one or other of my posts, but in the case of Kid Robson that is always, his recent effort being no exception unfortunately. Mr Robson invariably manages somehow to find all sorts of things in my posts that are quite simply not there, but then proceeds to answer the post on the basis that they are. His distortions and manipulations start therefore at the point of conception. I suppose I could be generous, and ignore his unjustified assumption that I didn't do the research he refers to, because not only am I always quite prepared to access links, but I also believe it's essential if we are to get the whole picture. Yes, I will be generous, but with that I have reached the limit of my generosity for today.

If he will reread my post, he will see that I was asking him to post three or four examples of his cartoon strips that had been published in any mainline comic, with the name of the comic and its issue date or number in all cases, so that any of our members who are knowledgeable in that art form could assess them, and determine just how close or far away they are from the great big steaming pile of poo that he felt the strips in The Dandy had become in its latter days. I definitely did not ask him to tell me about his restoration work, his resizings, his lettering, his spot illustrating, his redrawing of other artists' work, his basking in the shadow of more major artists, his drawings done purely for his own amusement, or his drawings that only appeared on the bags of a fish and chip shop. As a consequence, and because I am well aware of his linguistic skills, I have to ask myself whether his statement that he is merely speaking as a comics consumer, not a former professional comics contributor, is more smoke and mirrors, and therefore not to be read as if he is setting aside his professional comics contributor hat in order to present his views wearing the amateur hat of the you, the me, the him and the her, who buy the comics every week simply to enjoy them, but to be read as if he hasn't actually had any cartoon strips, totally created by himself on a blank page, published in any mainline comic.

My main beef, however, is the tone he adopts when criticising cartoon strips that he hates. It is just so aggressive, so angry, so definitive. He can argue till the cows come home about the distinction between fact and opinion, but it does not alter the perception that his opinions, in the way he presents them, look and read exactly like facts. WizzKid and felneymike are absolutely justified in taking him to task on this matter. Will he now please have the decency to admit publicly that his dismissal of The Dandy as a great big steaming pile of poo was a serious and unjustified trashing of the cartoon work of every single one of the contributors to the publication during the period he refers to, and by extension the venerable company who had the audacity to offer to the general public, for sale on a weekly basis, that great big steaming pile of poo, apologise to everybody for making such an intemperate comment, and give us all his assurance that all his future judgements will be delivered calmly, and only after due reflection? If he feels unable to do this, for whatever reason, perhaps he might consider going back to his blog, leaving comicsuk members to wallow in the misery of being forced to cope without the reassuring presence of the sole arbiter of artistic quality in comic strips.

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Kid Robson »

Perhaps felneymike will clarify his comment, but I actually thought he was taking you to task for implying that, unless someone's work has appeared in a comic, the person shouldn't criticise someone's who has. (I was merely ironically pointing out that you'd be held to the same principle - not agreeing with it.) On that basis no one would ever be able to send a sub-standard meal back to to a restaurant kitchen, on the grounds that he or she is not a chef.

Now, let's cut through your linguistic gymnastics. The whole point of your comment (as is clear to all) was to suggest that I can't draw and therefore shouldn't criticise those whose work appears in a published comic. As I have never pursued a career in comics as an actual comic strip artist - in asking for details of weekly published comics in which my work has regularly appeared, you know you are asking for something that doesn't exist. It's a bit like asking a joiner for evidence of his ability as an electrician when said joiner complains that a switch or socket doesn't work.

However, I have supplied links to examples of my work (the first one being actual published work in Whizzer & Chips Comic Libraries) which, I believe, demonstrate that I can draw pretty darn well. As I have provided examples which enable other forum members (if they are so inclined) to assess my work and determine whether it qualifies as a "great big steaming pile of poo" or not, I consider that they more than adequately meet the purpose for which you claim you were seeking them. If you were merely seeking to highlight the fact that I made my living mainly in another (but related) discipline, then it seems to me that you could have spared us all the disingenuous preamble in which you indulged. Come now, Mr Phoenix - what exactly were you trying to do? Solicit art samples which other members could evaluate (in which case I have more than amply fulfilled your request), or facetiously point out what everyone already knows? Namely, that I did not draw a regular strip in a weekly or monthly comic? It seems a pretty weak rod for my back to accuse me of not having done that which I never sought to do. (As for the cartoon that "only appeared on the bags of a fish and chip shop", many thousands of that bag were printed and used all over Scotland, effectively resulting in it being seen by a far higher number of people than any week's issues of The Beano and The Dandy combined.)

As for "distortions", "manipulations" and "smoke and mirrors", you, sir, are the chief practitioner of those traits on this forum, as demonstrated by your wilful omission of the fact that, in describing the latter-day Dandy as a "great big steaming pile of poo", I have always made it clear that I was not, contrary to your claim, indulging in "trashing of the cartoon work of every single one of the contributors", as I always made it clear that there were honourable exceptions. However, as the facts don't suit your purpose, once again, you conveniently ignore them.

So, to reiterate: You requested examples of my artwork so that other members could evaluate them. When or where they appeared (or didn't) in no way affects their being fit for the purpose for which you claim they were required. I have obliged. The work speaks for itself.

Incidentally, for someone who recently claimed to have little interest in comic art, you appear to be displaying a great deal of interest in the subject. Yet another case of you saying one thing and then indulging in the opposite, it seems.
Last edited by Kid Robson on 04 Oct 2013, 15:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Phoenix »

Kid Robson wrote:Perhaps felneymike will clarify his comment, but I actually thought he was taking you to task for implying that, unless someone's work has appeared in a comic, the person shouldn't criticise someone's who has.
Well, given that I never implied that at all, and seeing as the comment appeared immediately after your post in which you asked me to list my own credentials which make me feel entitled to ask you to justify yourself, I interpreted felneymike's comment to mean that anybody who says, you shouldn't criticise things unless you can do (those things) better (yourself) is misguided, no matter how linguistically adept he/she is at expressing that opinion. In other words, Why should Phoenix, or anyone else for that matter, not be permitted to express an opinion on comic art despite not having sufficient artistic ability to draw a convincing cat? I even thought that maybe he was challenging you to prove that you could do a better job than Jamie Smart. Needless to say, I will accept felneymike's explanation if he posts it.

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by Kid Robson »

Phoenix wrote:
Kid Robson wrote:Perhaps felneymike will clarify his comment, but I actually thought he was taking you to task for implying that, unless someone's work has appeared in a comic, the person shouldn't criticise someone's who has.
Well, given that I never implied that at all, and seeing as the comment appeared immediately after your post in which you asked me to list my own credentials which make me feel entitled to ask you to justify yourself, I interpreted felneymike's comment to mean that anybody who says, you shouldn't criticise things unless you can do (those things) better (yourself) is misguided, no matter how linguistically adept he/she is at expressing that opinion. In other words, Why should Phoenix, or anyone else for that matter, not be permitted to express an opinion on comic art despite not having sufficient artistic ability to draw a convincing cat? I even thought that maybe he was challenging you to prove that you could do a better job than Jamie Smart. Needless to say, I will accept felneymike's explanation if he posts it.
It seems to me that he was commenting on why I (apparently according to you) shouldn't be allowed to express (or even have) my opinion about a Beano and Dandy artist just because I'd never been published in either comic. I freely admit to the possibility that I misunderstood his point, hence my invititation for clarification. However, if so, it seems that he misunderstood my point, as I was essentially saying that such a stance is ridiculous. At least you now admit the apparent ambiguity of his posting.

Now, while it may be possible that you never meant to imply the above (though we've now entered the realms of fantasy in considering such a possibility - in my opinion of course), the implication is clear. Why else request published and dated examples of art that you know can't exist (on account of me never having worked as a weekly comic strip artist) if not to suggest that, as I have not laboured in that particular area (again suggesting it's because I'm not any good), my opinions (or convictions, if you will) are without foundation when it comes to discussing the merits of the work other individuals?

Essentially, your whole point comes across as anyone (or at least me) who hasn't had work published in a professional periodical shouldn't be criticising the work of someone who has.

Sounds like your bicycle's going backwards again, if I'm honest.

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Re: This week's issue Take 2

Post by WizzKid97 »

I'm not going to bother with the likes of you any more, Kid - and nor am I going to bother replying to what you said. All I'm going to say is from now on, don't edit my name in quotes to 'WhizzKid97' because it is not that. It's WizzKid97 and it always will be, so don't start changing my username.
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