Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Fine Line Between Homage and "Just Plain Ripping Off"

Always one to be interested in art, this caught my eye over at ComicVine:

Comic Covers "Swiped" From Fine Art

...which presents a list of five comic covers inspired by famous works of art.  (Which I am happy to say, I guessed all of them correctly.  Who-hoo!! (Can't you tell I was the "me me me! pick me! I know I know!!!" kid who always sat at the front of the class?)

*insert cool segue here!*

"Ripping off" from fine art would only bother me if a.) the intended audience thought it was the comic artist's original idea, and b.) if an idea was overused.  The author of the article left out a glaring admission (perhaps becuase his list skewed Marvel): The Pietá.  While not fine art (it's sculpture, but it's still classic art.)  And it's been referenced inside comics more than on covers.  But it's been done a lot.  Pretty much any time someone dies in the DC Unviverse, except Barry Allen.

Here's the first appearance of comic art referencing The Pietá that I can think of:

And just for comparison's sake, Michelangelo's original:

Can you think of any other references?


Tom said...

Not even close to the first example. There's Perez's death of Supergirl cover for Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, the cover of Jim Starlin's Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel, and this earlier death of Robin cover:

LissBirds said...

The Captain Marvel one is really the closest. I'm surprised ComicVine didn't mention any of those examples.

Oh, Hembeck...gotta love him. :)

Thanks for your comments, Tom. Good to see you here!

The One True GL said...

Greetings, It's the "Ever-creative One True GL" (Yup, I read all your posts and I really should have your praise framed somewhere).

I loving your blog - It's very much you.

I don't have a specific example (as comic and issue, but whenever a flying hero is struck with a power bolt/ray of energy, the resulting image often resembles paintings of fallen angels.

Typically, the hero/angel is upside with his/her hand clutching his/her head (if hero is still conscious) or with one of his/her arms bent below his/her head. The latter is sometimes done when the hero is not conscious and just falling, which doesn't make a lot of sense but it creates a cool-looking image...

The One True GL said...

Meant to say "I'm loving your blog" (sounded like GL Bizarro there)

LissBirds said...

Well, hello, Ever-Creative-Full-Of-Ideas-One-True-GL!

GL Bizzaro....I'm trying to imagine that. If it's Bizzaro Hal, I bet he's very competent, completely bald, has a wife, three kids and a dog, and has never gotten hit in the head, ever.

The Fallen Angel (and Biblical themes in general) seem to be pretty popular in DC. One of these days I might devote a post to Biblical references in comics...