A Question Of Taste:Silver Age vs. Modern Age, or Old School vs. New School October 1, 2012 – Posted in: A Picture's Worth, Blog, Featured Columns
Contents ©2012 Mike Pascale. Visuals copyright and trademark their respective owners.
First, a minor celebration: This is my 100th blog post for APW here on Wednesday’s Heroes. Judging by the numbers, enough of you enjoy this to come back regularly, and for that I thank you very, very much! Means a lot to me. And of course, a major thanks to Craig Rogers, Mr. WH himself, for the initial invite. Without his encouragement I wouldn’t have made it this far.
But this is as much your column as mine. What would you like to see more or less of in the future? Anything I’m missing that you want me to tackle? I’ve been doing quite a few movie reviews, especially during the “busy season.” (Coming up: LOOPER, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, DREDD and FRANKENWEENIE.) Do you want to see more, less or the same? Please take just a few seconds to hit “Contact” and let Craig know. [better yet, add your suggestions in the comments section below! -Craig] Thanks.
Now, on to the main topic. Some, if not many, of those who admire and enjoy the work of “traditional” figurative artists like Michelangelo, Titian, Rubens, and the like, do not care for the “non-traditional” figurative work of Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin and their contemporaries (and vice versa). Similarly, both ways, many of those who enjoy and collect comic art from the Silver Age are not fans of the “Modern Age.”
With comic art, though, much of that love and admiration is due to nostalgia. Most prefer what they grew up with and brought them their greatest joy as a kid, and simply don’t have the same emotional connection with newer work. But those are not the folks at whom this post is directed.
Anecdotally, there’s a decent-sized contingent of fans, collectors, dealers and even artists who feel that most of the popular guys (yes, guys) of the last 20 years just aren’t as *good* as those from the 1950s-70s. (Some even go as far as saying many of the “fan favorites” from the 90s and up simply suck, can’t draw, lack anatomical knowledge, don’t know who tell a story.)
Being an older dude, I can understand that sentiment, whether or not I agree with it. But what I really, really want to know is, for those whose favorite art is from the 90s and up, do you feel the older guys also “suck”? Do think the more traditional artists from the previous century have poor storytelling/drawing/anatomical skills? I hesitate to group them simply by time, because there were “non-traditional” figurative stylists in the 50s-70s and there’s some today who are just as “traditional” as the Silver Age folks. (I can name names if you’d like but I don’t want us to be distracted by who belongs in which category; let’s focus on stylistic generalities.)
Which do YOU prefer?
So let me phrase the question in terms of STYLE. You’ll notice a plethora of examples reproduced here from two stylistic groups: what could be termed, better or worse, as “traditional” and “non-traditional.” I’m purposely leaving names out of it; let’s focus on styles shown. (Majorly grateful for those who’ve shared these wonderful works on the Web; hope you don’t mind. Feel free to identify yourselves and take a bow.) For those who prefer the NON-traditional art, here’s the question:
Is your preference based on personal aesthetics (“I just like it more”), nostalgia (“It’s what I grew up with”), or objective observation (“It’s just better drawing/storytelling”)?
As always, let me know what YOU think in the Comments section. There are NO right or wrong answers: I’m seeking opinions.
And again, THANK YOU for sticking around for 100 or how ever many of these you’ve read. Click “Contact” and let Craig know what you’d like to see more/less of (it’s anonymous). I really appreciate it!
P.S.: I’d love to create for you an original commission–in my normal “traditional” stylized style, or in something out there. Just ask Craig here!