Thursday, April 23, 2009


[above-top panel from Uncanny X-Men #509]
[above-bottom panel pics found on Rich Johnston's Lying in the Gutters]

I don't know what bugs me more: Greg Land's tracing, Greg Land as the co-regular penciller on Uncanny X-Men, or his depiction of Colossus as a fucking Raiders fan.

and some more reference:
[Gladiator helmet & skull mask, via JimSmash Reader & google searcher "Melchy"]

Hey, here's a game for ya....
Photoshop vs Greg Land: Can you tell which is which?
(Rockslide is random image inserted for composition sake)

*Greg Land: Tracing, Recycling & Swipes collection updated.
Link always found to the right, below the "On Jim's Brain" icon.


danny said...

"I don't know what bugs me more.... orColossus as a fucking Raiders fan"

LOL Hilarious!
I hate the Raiders, man.
Worse, Raiders FANS.

And why is Peter at a Raiders game? Wouldn't it make more sense to be at a 49ers game since the X-Men are in San Fransisco? Isn't that the point of that panel, showing how the X-Men are living in San Fran?

Shit like that annoys me.

Anonymous said...

He is also wearing the metal mask of MF DOOM.

allen said...

More Barf! BTW, Jimsmash, we used your blog in my History of Graphic Design course that I teach at IPFW to discuss Greg's crap because we were discussing comic book artists...thanks for all of the info!

Jim said...


danny said...

Holy crap! Great post!

I'm laughing and outraged.

Anonymous said...

wait, were is this from?

Randallw said...

Seeing Land work instantly drops me out of any comic I read. I got a trade of Ultimate FF some time ago and I sat down to read it when I suddenly realised "ahh. It's land again. damn it". I can't argue that it's photorealistic and I like people that look like people but when he does a page it just looks like he cut and paste magazine pictures into a background that doesn't quite match.

Also, what is with that picture?. I cannot imagine how such a scene could come about. Also it's not even as good as he usually does, for a particular meaning of good. You have what is clearly a football fan on the left, but then the skull doesn't match. The Zebra guy looks like another layer pasted over the top, and then there's a cut out of what is vaguely Collosus pasted into a gap on the right. Art itself aside his composition sucks in this case.

phillip said...

Anonymous, it is from Uncanny X-Men #509, according to Jim's label beneath the image. ;)

Phillip's Friend said...

Wow. Jim, I love your recreation using the source images. Just, wow.

onefinemess said...

I can't %&U^ing stand Greg Land's "art".

I wish the Porntracer would get shipped off to work on girly mags where his work belongs.

If anyone happens to find what he traced for the Deathstrike-licky-humpy panel I'd really appreciate being dropped a line. The panel in question is in my blog post here.

Shay'l Rose said...

Another tracing/recycling for you..
If you look on the Marvel 70'th anniversary covers. There is a picture of Psyclocke on one side and a picture of X-23 on the other. It appears that the images are exact inverses of each other.

Greg Neat said...

Hi Guys,

I don't usually drop my two cents around blogs like this but in this case I feel obligated to do so.

I would like to offer my perspective on the artwork of Greg Land. It is clear; there are many on this blog whom are highly critical of his work and specifically his style. Let me start by saying I worked with Greg many years ago when we were both illustrators/designers at a screen-print company. Greg was one of the most professional, hard working artists I have ever met. He worked during regular business hours drawing, inking and doing color separations of whatever they threw at him for the t-shirts. On his lunch break Greg was penciling his real passion; comics. At this time Greg Land was just beginning his comics career and if I recall correctly he was working on Nightwing. Greg had not fully developed his current style at that time but if you do some research you will find that he was formulating it in those books.

It is clear that Greg's style utilizes photographs as a reference point for his art and that he creates a collage inspired by images from various sources to complete his layouts. This was a common practice for many of the artists working in this environment but Greg was the best. As I see it, Greg applied this design technique to his comic art and over time he created a name for himself because it was innovative. Being truly innovative is something that very few professional comic books artists achieve in a lifetime. In my opinion Greg has become famous in the industry partly because of his self developed graphic comic book style. He continues to work on major books despite the complaints of a few critics like those in this blog. I am sure he will continue working for year to come despite vain attempts to ridicule a hard working guy who is living his dream.


Greg Neat

phillip said...

I can only speak for myself, but my criticism of Land's constant tracing, reuse of previous art and sometimes swiping of others' work is NOT a "vain attempt to ridicule" (him being a "hard working guy who is living his dream" is irrelevant).

Some people like his work. Other's don't. Those who do like it, have the right to express their opinion, just as those of us who do not.

The criticism has nothing to do with who he is as a person. It's strictly a criticism on his style, which involves reusing his own work.

PhotoREFERENCE is one thing. Tracing is another. Plus, he traces from other photographers, not even his own photos he's taken himself. I wonder how the photographers and models he traces from feel about that. After all a Photographer's career is on their photographs they take. And Models' careers are based on their physical appearance; face, hair, body, poses. It's how THEY work hard, live their dreams and make a living. But Land takes their hard work, traces it and sells it as his own.

For me, MY biggest gripe is the reuse of his own work. Every issue you can see the same EXACT face and BODY reused over and over. For ME, that's lazy and unimaginative. It's why I no longer buy books with Land's work in it.

The killer is, he didn't rely on tracing & reusing so heavily in the past, and I think his art looked BETTER back then.

Yes, I'm sure he's living his dream and that's great. But there are other artists out there that share the same dream but do not fall back on tracing and reusing.

I won't get into the occassions where Land has swiped other artists' work.

In the end, I think the evidence speaks for itself: Greg Land traces photos and reuses his own work instead of drawing a new picture.

Personally, I don't like that.

Some do like it. But I do not attack them for it.

Anonymous said...

It annoys me that some "defenders" of Greg Land keep using the "he's one of the nicest & hardest working people there is" shtick. I'm sure he's "living his dream" and I'm sure he is a heck of a nice person, but I totally agree with Phillip- I think Greg Land is in an industry in which creativity is very important and In my opinion Greg has very very little of it. Tracing is tracing and there is no other way around it. Defending his persona is one thing, but defending his art (which of course is not really his) is weak. If you truley love this industry and medium I have no idea how you can defend this rip-off artist. Oh ya- his use of porn is a bit annoying too-

Anonymous said...

It's not quality these's commercial. Cookie cutter everywhere...people want it now.

Anonymous said...

Phillip is right -

PhotoREFERENCE is one thing. Tracing is another.

I've worked in illustration and design for over 25 years and this is nothing but collage. A class of sixth graders could do this. In fact Marvel could job their books out to a needy middle school and have a better book. Land's work is not "comic book art". Never will be. But I'm happy he's getting got a job and making a living. Good for him. It's just a shame that his art is the equivalent of working at Pizza Hut and delivering a store bought Totino's! There is NOTHING original or inspiring about his work - NOTHING. Jack Kirby on the other hand - KaBoom!!!! Original and powerful, anatomical mistakes and all. Land will be forgotten.

jsoto said...

I was going to pass on this but I couldn't! Many artist use available photo's, backgrounds as reference and even used them in the final product. Its obvious to me that Greg is a very talented artist. The issue at hand is the very final Image, Greg always delivers beautifully executed panels, pages and Covers! I bet those who complain the most can't even sketch a straight line with a ruler... Time to move on folks....I've been collecting comics for a very long time I love greg's work. His work makes u want to open a book, opinion... peace

Jim said...

He traces.
He copies.
He recycles.

REFERENCE is one thing. Greg Land is another.

If you like him, fine. Enjoy! To each his own.

Me, I do not like. Nor do I like supportingsomeone who traces, recycles and swipe other peoples work.

And are you saying only those who can draw great are entitled to an opinion? Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Drew Struzan "traces" and everybody loves his artwork. So does Jae Lee, Bryan Hitch and many other realistic illustrators. I just think you guys would be more accepting of his work if he shot his own reference, or was better at hiding the swipes.

Jim said...

Well personally, I'm not accepting of those other artists you mentioned. But yeah, the big beef is that Land traces OTHER people's photos. Photography is a creative skill in and of itself, so for him to copy other people's work is unprofessional. That's a big issue for me. Some other artists will take their own photos and then manipulate them for their final image.... atleast its their own leg work.

See the main Greg Land page with numerous expamples of his swiping of other people's photos & comic work.

In the end, to each his own. If you don't mind Land's tracing/swiping/recycling, then by all means enjoy his books.

If you're like me, and don't like his work, then don't support his books by reading & buying (which is what I do).

Anonymous said...

I still love and enjoy Greg Land's art, whatever, however you may look at it or what process he painstakingly applies in every detail or page. Remember, he has deadly deadlines to meet. As an artist, he'll do whatever he can just to meet these. I wooed over Sojourn, having realistic, perfectly drawn anatomy and lighting. I was looking at the 1st Nightwing miniseries that came out in 1995. I was surprised that Greg pencilled this particular great series. It's art is so much different from what he's putting out now. His friend from the printing company said that from thereon, he's already developing his unique style. If his technique of drawing is exposed, let's give the guy a chance to prove himself. Let's encourage or criticize him positively in order for him to be more excellent, instead of discouraging the person through blogs like this. What will you do if you are in his shoes having to face daily these criticisms?

Anonymous said...

Jim... Jim... Jim...

The bottom line is this...
That "porntracer" is being PAID for his "trace swiping"...!!
Let's recap, shall we..?
Jim... whining that X-Men isn't being handled by the likes offff shall we say Frank (My Characters All Look Like They Have a Serious Skin Condition) Quitely... (lord, those issues sucked)
Greg Land... PUH-HAID..!!!

Any questions..?
Here edith the lesson. Stop! Just Stop... Stop your internal monologue... YOU'RE WRONG!!

Jim said...

Him being paid is irrelevant to my opinion of his artwork - that doesn't make any sense.
By that logic, you must like Frank Quitely's art - because he, too, was PAID.

You tell me that I'm "whining" and "wrong" for not liking Land's art, yet in the same breadth you comment on how you don't like Quitely's artwork and say they "sucked". How is that any different?

And I'm not whining - I'm merely voicing my opinion. I don't see how I can be "WRONG!!!" because I simply do not like a person's artwork.

Look, I don't like Greg Land's artwork. That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.
I don't attack the man. I don't attack fans of his artwork, either.

If you like Land's art, that's fine. Enjoy!
You are entitled to your opinion just like everyone else is.

malhavok said...

I whole heatedly agree with you JIM. I too think Land is a PAID hack, which in my opinion makes it more of a travesty. I get tired of hearing the argument something, or someone is good bc it makes money. McDonald's makes Billions a year,...are you seriously going to tell me they make the best cheeseburgers? No,..they make a quick, easy, cheap, product that is marketed to the masses. exactly what Land's work is and does. The problem is that his "unique" process, isn't that at all. It's what beginning artists and illustrators do when they are LEARNING to draw.It's a technique I myself used in the sixth grade....sixth.grade. Now, if that's "creative" then we have a difference in opinion in what that word means. It.Is.Hack, amateur, schoolboy crap.I prefer someone who actually can draw without reference. Who can either master the human physique in dynamic form, or can provide an inspiring, unique, explosive style that captures the energy of the moment. LAND flips thru magazine and internet images, copies it, colors it and calls it his own.He's a dime a dozen in any given high school or college.

Anonymous said...

Greg has become the new Liefeld for artist bashers. he doesn't really do anything that all the good artists don't do-Sean Phillips, Bryan Hitch...but once you arouse the ire of the fans everyone loves kicking a guy when he's down. I like his work a lot but agree he overuses the same poses. However, I never noticed this until it was pointed out so it doesn't hit you in the face. i have a page of Land art and it is freaking amazing to look at.

Anonymous said...

PS back in the 80's everyone was saying similar things about Kirby and calling him a hack. Now he's of course a legend. No doubt original Land pages will be going for $10,000 like Kirby's are now....wish i had scooped up some kirby stuff back when he was considered a hack-vendor tables typically sold them for like $60......