Posts Tagged ‘Comic Books’

Robin Hood

August 13, 2009

It’s odd to think of how much Robin Hood material is getting published these days. New books – including a few like Adam Thorpe’s Hodd with a “dark Robin Hood” take – and new comics, and of course, next year’s Russell Crowe film. Mind you, the third series of the BBC Robin Hood TV show with Jonas Armstrong appeared to crash and burn in the ratings.

The legend of Robin Hood has changed dramatically over the years, and I wonder if the new Robin Hood books and films will bring anything new to the legend.

I don’t think it’s just interest in the upcoming film. There’s something in the air that makes this time appropriate for Robin Hood. I’m not sure what that is. Reaction to the Bush years?

Anyway, here’s a good link if you want to review the changes in the legend of the greenwood archer.

It also has a fair bit on Robin Hood in comic books. It always seems like Robin Hood’s successors have done better in that medium. Green Arrow is the obvious one, and Robin the Boy Wonder was first billed as “the laughing young Robin Hood of today”.

But some of Robin Hood comics and graphic novels have come out this year. Tim Beedle’s Muppet Robin Hood series is a fun Muppetized look at the story. More impressive is Tony Lee and Sam Hart’s Outlaw – The Legend of Robin Hood. It’s a very good retelling of the modern Robin Hood legend (as adapted by films and children’s books) with some novel twists. And Artur Fujita’s colours just pop off the page. Highly recommended. Writer Paul Storrie and artist Rob Davis are revising the 1990s Caliber Comics series Robyn of Sherwood (about Robin’s daughter) as a graphic novel. I gather that it doesn’t have a publisher yet. But the original Robyn series was very well-received, and smart publishers might want to take a look at this project.


The unsung heroes responsible for Roy Lichtenstein’s art

July 13, 2008

  Yesterday I was talking about classic comic book artist Russ Heath with a friend. (Heath will be at the San Diego Comic Con this year. Most famous for his war comics, I’ll always have a soft spot for Heath’s Robin Hood art in The Brave and the Bold comics of the 1950s.) Anyway, I mentioned that some of his art was … borrowed … by Roy Lichtenstein, and I thought I’d do a quick rant about that.

  First, thanks to the efforts of David Barsalou, an art teacher … here’s a comparison of some comic panels by Russ Heath that fetched Heath only a subsistance wage and the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein that has fetched millions. (Lichtenstein’s work is in the corner.)

  And here is Barsalou’s side-by-side comparison of several other Lichtenstein works — borrowed from numerous comic book artists.

  I’ve always admired the large pop-art versions of these images. And I won’t deny Lichtenstein a share of the credit. But it annoys me to no end that he did not share credit or cash with the people whose art he borrowed. It’s one thing to repurpose comic art — that I doesn’t bother me. But to claim it as solely your own … that pisses me off.

 And as some other blogs have mentioned, it’s just plain ironic that the Lichtenstein Foundation uses a “Lichtenstein” image borrowed from Joe Kubert — another comic book legend — to warn against copyright violation. Hypocrisy incarnate.

  Also, I often think the original art has more expression in the faces.