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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Art of John Byrne -- Thanks to a recent trade, I got a copy of The Art of John Byrne, a decades-old sketchbook/hagiography published while Byrne was still working on Uncanny X-Men with Chris Claremont and Terry Austin.

I had a copy of this when I was a teenager, but sold it/traded it/lost it somewhere in the intervening decades, so it's nice to have a small piece of my formative years back again. Also nice to see some of the art within, especially the tight, sharp sketches and drawings, many of which were inked by Austin (including some Superman pieces that definitely indicated what was to come in less than a decade).

Seeing what Byrne was capable of back then and what he does today, I don't even think there's a comparison. At one time he was capable of exciting storytelling and intricate detail, and his work of the past decade or so indicates a continuing slide toward convenience that borders on self-parody.


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