Thursday, March 5, 2009

Why I respect Rob Liefeld.

Disclaimer: I do not know Rob Liefeld. We have never met. I don't know anyone who has worked either for or with Rob Liefeld. I have no connections whatsoever with anyone in the comic book business. The following post is strictly my opinion.

If you were reading comic books in the early to mid nineties then you're probably familiar with the name of Rob Liefeld. For those of you who are not familiar with him, here's a very brief history lesson: Rob Liefeld did some work for a few small press publishers before working at DC comics. Later he began to work at Marvel comics on "The New Mutants" and later "X- Force". He was in a Levi's jeans commerical directed by Spike Lee. His Marvel comics sold very well due to his artwork and character designs. Later on Rob Liefeld and a few other of Marvel's most popular artists banded together to form their own publishing company called Image Comics. Rob Liefeld and his partners made a great deal of money and engendered even more controversy.

And there was no comic book creator more controversial than Rob Liefeld. His artwork was the subject of constant attack and ridicule. And when that wasn't enough his business decisions, management of his own line of comic books, his relationships with fellow comic creators and even his family became targets of online gossip mongers. Googling his name yielded 194,000 hits. There are entire websites devoted to savaging his artwork and in some cases the man himself.

Despite all of that Rob Liefeld remains an active comic book creator with a sincere enthusiasm for his chosen profession. He's a dedicated family man and as a professional comic book artist he fulfilled his mandate: his work sold comics and made quite a few people a lot of money. His work gave the reader their money's worth and they in turn bought his comics. There are some comic artists working in the business today that got their start working on his comic books.

I respect the hell out of Rob Liefeld and in my opinion he's got nothing to apologize for. I respect him because he didn't let the nay sayers, haters, do nothing/know everything amen corner deter him from his path. As Henry Rollins once said: "the ones who don't do anything are always the ones who try to bring you down". There will always be critics of any creative endeavor. But the only criticism that matters in the end is the one issued by the people who spend their money on what you're selling.

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