Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crisis On Infinite Arts - The Dreaded Rob Liefeld Eyes In The Infinite

It’s become far too easy for comic fans to take pot shots at Rob Liefeld. He’s become a whipping boy for many who hate him for very little actual reason. Me? I don’t mind the guy. He’s super-positive in most things he says and I genuinely believe he loves comics. However, I’ve noticed a little problem recently with the way he’s been drawing faces. Most people complain about his anatomy, and his lack of feet, but while reading The Infinite recently I came across a glaring problem with his facial structures that had never jumped out at me before. Hit the jump to see what’s going wrong with these wacky eyes, and one particularly nasty set of peepers.

I’m not going to wax poetic about Liefeld’s style here or his failings, I’ll let the art speak for itself. As a set up, The Infinite is a time travel sci fi action comic from Image Comics. It is written by Robert Kirkman, drawn by Rob Liefeld, and features a soldier from the future who travels into the past to team up with himself. It’s a surprisingly fun book that once you pick up you don’t easily put down.

And yet, these images plague me:

This is Bowen, the central time traveller. You’ll notice he has a strange problem whereby his left eye is much closer to his nose than his right eye. I know, at first I thought it was a trick of perspective, that Bowen was turning his head on an angle, but you can see both of his ears nearly as clear as each other. If Bowen is turning his head then it isn’t by much. It certainly isn’t enough to cause his eyes to distort and shift around his face like tectonic plates underneath are moving place over time. The more you read the book, the more you see everyone is on this odd non-angle with the heebie jeebie eyes.

This example above shows you that Liefeld knows how to appropriate tilted angles. He understands that our perception of things shift when they stand in different places in relation to where we, or the fixed vision of the panel, are. Liefeld proves he can use depth of vision in one panel right next to another panel that shows he also knows how to not do it properly.

If you are uncertain, and think I’m just being an overly analytical ass who couldn’t draw one quarter as well as Liefeld can, and often does, then I submit for you the following image. Now, be warned, this one is not for the faint of heart. Once you see this image you can never unsee it. You will forever be left with…oh, who am I kidding? Scroll down, check out the ghastly horror that is:

The Toxic Bowen Avenger

There really should not be that much distance between his nose and right eye. It's creepy and the other eyes juts out strangely and flatly. Weird.

Oh, I’ll also give you this little cracker of a caption set up. The time travelling hero is hoping to stop a hostile takeover and here he describes how easy it was for the takeover to go down.

I’d like to think the military forces aren’t so easily led that someone could just sieze a few army bases and the rest would fall into line. How eager to salute does Kirkman think the grunts are?


I use this article to mock Liefeld’s facial construction but I also hope you’ll be intrigued to check out more of The Infinite. There’s a simple and dashing quality to it that makes you want to be a teenager again so you can just unabashedly love it. Have you been reading The Infinite, what do you think of it? Do you have any other examples of the dreaded Liefeld Eyes?

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rilem said...

Not a Liefeld fan -- hated his X-Force stuff — but I'd never noticed this. So I started googling "Liefeld" to find more examples. Google helpfully filled in "Liefeld Worst" before I'd finished typing his name.

And dear lord help me if they aren't ALL like this. Now I know why Cable's only got one real eye — the mismatch isn't as obvious when one of the eyes has a glowing aura.


Dean Stell said...

This bugged me too. But, the thing really bothering me about this issue was this image on the cover. The crotch is disturbing: http://bit.ly/n4ZdMa

Tony Soldo said...

Man, I didn't even notice that. I'm really enjoying The Infinite though, Kirkman is my favorite writer, and while I don't particularly like Liefeld, he works for this book. I love his tweets and his pure optimism and love for comics, and I'm happy that he gets work and has a fanbase. He is just a cool guy.

Anonymous said...

Never noticed the eye thing, but what I have noticed is that everyone is always gritting their teeth no matter what they're doing. I think nearly every single page in Hawk & Dove #1 featured that.

Enigma_2099 said...

I just can't slam Liefeld as hard as everyone else... except that Captain America pic... good lord... because if you can believe it, I have seen MUCH worse.

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