Jump to content
johnconstantine

Is Sean Murphy the new Hellblazer artist?

Recommended Posts

But without direction I made some changes. A lot of people are upset that I draw John so old. But when I did my research I found out that he was based off of Sting. Plus the book started in the 80s when John was in his 20s (or 30s) so I figured John would be in his 40s or 50s these days--like Sting. I switched up the jacket a bit and gave him a different tie. The editor, Casey Seijas, said nothing. After two months of late nights, drawing my ass off and trying to give readers something gritty and different, the book came out and half the fans were mortified. No matter what the backgrounds looked like or how well the story flowed, all they noticed was how old he was and that his jacket was wrong.

 

I still continue to draw him old because, at this point, I think it’s funny when the purists get so bent out of shape. I gave John a punk shirt in a recent issue and after reading the boards I decided to go with a Misfits shirt instead of a UK-friendly Pistols shirt. Why? Because I’m an asshole.

 

Oh dear.

Way things are going I am going to find Hellblazer impossible to look at.

 

I'll own up to commenting on the crap jacket, but I wonder where the fans who were worried about Constantine looking his age are ? Come to think of it, didn't folks here say the opposite ?

 

One of the b&w samples over there looks better than most of what went down in the "fresh and updated" Newcastle Re-Hashed episode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And so I checked Sean Murphy's deviantart site and there are previews up

 

This one suggests it's somewhat more pleasing to my eye, however there's still an overly pointy face on many of his Constantines.

e.g. and ugh!

You might think it's a nice sartorial improvement on the full length leather trench coat, although this

and indeed this (read artist's comments).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

 

That ziptastic trench has got to go, looks like the runner up from a George Michael lookalike competition in it! Overall I quite liked his art on that two-parter, sounds like he might've been handed a pretty rubbish deadline for same too.

 

As for the 'suiting up' scene, no need for backgrounds there so he made the right call - that said, I could hear Jackson's Bad in the background during it!

 

John, would you mind dropping one of the two images from your sig there ? It's a little unwieldly, cheers.

 

Edit : That Newsarama interview is gold. Sounds like an enthusiastic chap, who really cares about his work so I hope he manages to carve out a name for himself. That said, this is surely the Hellblazer related quote of the year - "Because he’s like a warlock I’ve given his jacket a high popped-collared like Dracula’s cape. But he’s also sexy...like Gambit (complete with black eyes and light pupils). So I draw him like an older-scary-sexy-magical Gambit."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But without direction I made some changes. A lot of people are upset that I draw John so old. But when I did my research I found out that he was based off of Sting. Plus the book started in the 80s when John was in his 20s (or 30s) so I figured John would be in his 40s or 50s these days--like Sting. I switched up the jacket a bit and gave him a different tie. The editor, Casey Seijas, said nothing. After two months of late nights, drawing my ass off and trying to give readers something gritty and different, the book came out and half the fans were mortified. No matter what the backgrounds looked like or how well the story flowed, all they noticed was how old he was and that his jacket was wrong.

 

I still continue to draw him old because, at this point, I think it’s funny when the purists get so bent out of shape. I gave John a punk shirt in a recent issue and after reading the boards I decided to go with a Misfits shirt instead of a UK-friendly Pistols shirt. Why? Because I’m an asshole.

 

Oh dear.

Way things are going I am going to find Hellblazer impossible to look at.

 

I'll own up to commenting on the crap jacket, but I wonder where the fans who were worried about Constantine looking his age are ? Come to think of it, didn't folks here say the opposite ?

 

One of the b&w samples over there looks better than most of what went down in the "fresh and updated" Newcastle Re-Hashed episode.

 

 

I didn´t like his arc with Aaron, his art is a little too much (or little) for me, I agree about the jacket and the old look, not my favourite, although his b&w samples are better this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And so I checked Sean Murphy's deviantart site and there are previews up

 

This one suggests it's somewhat more pleasing to my eye, however there's still an overly pointy face on many of his Constantines.

e.g. and ugh!

You might think it's a nice sartorial improvement on the full length leather trench coat, although this

and indeed this (read artist's comments).

 

 

 

I agree but not my favourite or it pleases my eyes.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved his artwork on those two issues he did (looks like some of the best inking HB has ever seen), so I think this is pretty awesome news.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a lot of things to like about his art, and in some of the comments somewhere it is suggested that the horror/humour approach is where it's going, so that suits the art.

 

I recommend reading the comments on the deviantart site even though it means ploughing through some noise.

His enthusiasm is nice, although it's not an enthusiasm for Hellblazer, but commenting on making Constantine looking his age and then making sartorial choices that take Andy Diggle's regained sharp-dressed confidence and turn it into a midlife crisis is rather contrary.

 

The shot of Oxford Circus is particularly nice when compared with the botched job on Newcastle railway station, but both prove he does his research rather than go with the half-timbered policemen and driving on the wrong side of the road.

 

Oh, JohnConstantineoftheBIGSIGPICS, the arc he's drawing is referred to as 5, 6 or 7 issues, and Peter Milligan's first story is by Camuncoli.

 

It'll all come down to the writing for me.

Talking of which I am going to track down Murphy's Off Road soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hurray!

 

Didn't particularly like the sartorial style he gave John for Aaron's two-parter (I've got no problem at all with him changing the character's clothes from the tedious uniform he's been sporting near-universally for years now - quite the contrary, in fact - but I just didn't think the actual choices he made worked entirely. That was partly down to the colouring, though), but there's a lot to enjoy about the rest of his style. I like the way he comes across in that interview, too - seems to take his work seriously, but not excessively so.

 

After generally disliking the way the book's looked for the best end of 4 years now, I've got to admit that I'm a fairly easy sell when it comes to the prospect of a new artist. I was chuffed to hear that Camuncoli will be doing some more issues - pre-#250, he was my favourite artist to have worked on the book since Chris Brunner and Jock did their guest-issues under Carey - but most of Murphy's preview pages look rather good as well. It's a very different style from anything we've seen on Hellblazer in a long, long while, and so far as I'm concerned, that's an extremely Good Thing.

 

'Course, it'll all count for very little if the writing isn't up to snuff. Fingers crossed...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he is then I certainly don't have any objections. His art was the best thing about the Jason Aaron two-parter and as much as I love Leo Manco's stuff (not so much recently, though), a change like this is always a good thing for a comic that's lasted this long. It'd bring a fresh new feel to the book and perhaps pull in some new readers, who knows? I'm not entirely sold by his John's pointy nose, but it's not the end of the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, having skimmed back through the threads for #245 and #246, the overall opinion on his art skewed heavily towards the positive - a few dissenters, but nothing too harsh - and the only people who mentioned John's aged look in the art were very enthusiastic to see him being drawn a bit closer to his actual age. Even the criticisms of the uncharacteristic clothing were largely down to the braces/suspenders (simply an odd choice - not just for Constantine, but for any Brit. Maybe it's an Amurrikan thing?), or the fact that the coat (complete with "controversial" zippers) wasn't drawn consistently from panel to panel, and appeared to have been coloured as a standard trenchcoat, despite the artist having intended it as a leather jacket.

 

Perhaps someone should invite him over here, just to get some feedback from a bunch of Hellblazer "purists" who aren't reactionary twats. Well, most of us, at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know where they get these other Hellblazer fans.

 

Same ones as criticised Constanteen for having a dark haired american rather than it having dropped all the good stuff from the comic and having poor internal logic.

 

It can't be the official Vertigo forum or else we'd see interviews saying "Hellblazer fans did not like what I did because it was not part of the DCU".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realist ... frusin

 

:blink:

 

yeah... I don't see how frusin can ever be called a realist. he's great when he takes his time, but it's never realistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps someone should invite him over here, just to get some feedback from a bunch of Hellblazer "purists" who aren't reactionary twats.

 

Who you calling unreactionary? :smile:

 

 

Looking back at my comments from yesteryear (and the issues themselves) I'd love some of this art and could see it going well with a good dollop of Milligan writing it. I think my complaint at the time wasn't so much the changes but the fact that Diggle had left John at his most seemingly upbeat but also at his dab-hand smartest only for this filler story to make John look like Hell again. Not so much the clothes, more the state of the clothes he was wearing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realist ... frusin

 

:blink:

 

 

I consider Frusin a realist artist, his Constantine is pretty real and looks real for me. I don´t see Murphy realist, a little bit "different", his arc with Aaron was not what I expect, at all his style pleases me, I prefer, frusin over him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you the brain worms? :tongue:

 

This:

 

hellblazer-180-p02.jpg

 

is clearly cartoonish, stylised art. Nothing wrong with it (he lost his way towards the end, but at his peak I still rate Frusin as one of the best artists to work on Hellblazer), but there's barely a hint of realism in Frusin's style, and there never was in all the time he was on the title.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Realism in the sense of Alex Toth.

Notwithstanding the crap studio inking job he got during Carey's story, I'd say his figures are predominantly more realistic than Murphy's while the latter's backgrounds in the new stuff seem more "realistic" his people are not.

 

Frusin%20HB%20191%20Pg%2012.jpg

 

Evidence

 

More evidence

 

Evidence

 

In terms of body of work, Frusin is way more realistic and less stylised (sometimes only until inked and coloured).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Realistic" certainly isn't an adjective I'd ever think to apply to Alex Toth's work, either, so I suspect we're coming at this from very different angles. At the very least, we seem to have different understandings of "cartoonish" and "realistic".

 

If I were to use Scott McCloud's approach - which, if we're talking about the semiotics of comic art, is probably a safe place to start - I'd place Toth towards the bottom right of the Triangle - he's an archetypal "Iconic Abstraction" artist. Both Murphy and Frusin would be somewhere towards the same part of the triangle, to me, with Murphy slightly higher up towards pure abstraction, and Frusin slightly - but only slightly - further over towards the left.

 

All three are "realistic" in the sense that they're attempting to convey iconic - ie., representative of the real world - imagery. But the techniques they use to do that are miles removed from the traditional Alex Raymond/Neal Adams/Alex Ross school which I think of as classical "realism".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree that Murphy's style is more overtly and broadly cartoonish than Frusin's, if that helps. But that's a long way from calling Frusin a "realistic" artist, which in a wider context, I'd strongly argue that he isn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was my intended point about Toth and comic artists using Realism.

 

We were talking about Frusin being more of a realist than Murphy, and the Brazilian JC's point stands up to more scrutiny than your "there's not even the barest hint of realism in Frusin's style, and there never was in all the time he was on the title".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I prefer a realist artist like Manco or frusin

 

If he'd said "a MORE realistic artist", I'd probably have responded differently. But "more realistic than Murphy" and "realistic" are far from the same thing.

 

I thought better of the phrasing of that "not even the barest hint" bit after posting (but before your last response), and edited it accordingly (I also inserted a smiley face to make clear that "Have you the brain worms?" was in jest - I'd forgotten initially that johnconstantine isn't a native English-speaker, and might take it the wrong way).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took it that JC was not using the technical term in the way that you are.

Probably giving some leeway for language as illustrated with striking reality in this very thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...