Phototracing and Lightboxes: Real Comic Book Art?

I’ve been questioning some of the ways comic book artists are doing their “artwork” these days. Lets face it art has changed quite a bit from back when comic books were printed on newsprint and cost a mere sixty cents. Today our comic books cost four bucks and are full of computerized gloss. Hell I’m not even sure what they are printed on is actually real paper. But it got me thinking a lot on just how comic book art is produced these days for the bigger companies out there. It turns out a lot of artist out there are phototracing, meaning gathering photos online, shot from a digital camera or even other artists actual artwork, uploading them onto the computer or light box and tracing them, adding costumes different hair etc.

It seems this trend has a small debate forming on what exactly is real art in comic books these days? Is it real art when Alex Maleev uses a light box to do all of his city back grounds or David Mack tracing pictures of his characters? Or when an artist simply takes some celebrity photos and traces over them giving the characters their likeness? To me I’m a little disappointed to hear that this trend is becoming even more popular these days. I guess you don’t have to spend much time with perspective if you’re merely tracing a photo.

I guess the “Artist” these days has maybe actually become the inker? Don’t get me wrong there’s still good degree of skill and talent needed to make a trace job look real good. People have been photo referencing for years but tracing to me just doesn’t really make the cut. I love for a comic book to look good, heck if the comic has shitty generic artwork (as most do these days is seems) I flat out just won’t buy it.

Art is very important to me when dropping 4 bones a pop on a comic book these days the art and story better be top notch. What do you think? Do you care how the artwork was made in your comic book? Here’s a great video from IFanboy on the great debate of phototracing!

 

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