Monday, August 22, 2016

Kyle Rayner As An Artist

Kyle Rayner was, at one point in his history, a comic book artist. What was his art style like?

I know that in Morrison's first JLA arc, Kyle describes himself as a 'manga nut with a power ring,' although the giant mech construct he builds doesn't look much like one I'd expect to see in a manga. But maybe I was watching different mech animes than he was. Beyond that, I don't have much to go on. I never read Green Lantern during the time it was Kyle's book (or at any other time, for that matter). I'd expect in any given issue where he was shown drawing, it'd resemble the style of whichever artist is drawing that issue (depending on their ability to vary their style).

During Mark Waid's time as writer of JLA, there was an arc where the Leaguers (except Wonder Woman and Aquaman) were split into their superheroic and civilian identities. While GL Kyle ceased to use the ring for anything other than just blasting stuff (as he entirely lacked in creativity), Artist Kyle went slowly mad because the ring had been the first instrument that could actually make the things he pictured in his mind look exactly how he envisioned them. So we could try to use the style of his constructs as some sort of guide, but there's a difference between how he was make a teddy bear look and how he'd lay out a panel or page. Plus, we fall back into the issue of the constructs appearance varying with the artist again.

Granting that Kyle was a comic artist during the '90s, I can't see him aping Liefeld or his imitators with the ridiculous musculature and pouches. Just doesn't seem to fit Kyle (if Guy Gardner tried his hand at art, I could see that style having great appeal to him, though). I tend to picture Kyle having too strong a grasp of the fundamentals to adopt that style of wildly varying proportions and out of whack perspectives. For whatever reason, the late Mike Wieringo's style strikes me as one that would match Kyle. Not exactly that necessarily, but in a similar vein. Clean linework, expressive, can be exaggerated with with anatomy where necessary, but it works in context. Capable of handling quiet scenes, humor, big action, crazy cosmic stuff.

I'm curious what other people, especially those who read more of Kyle's adventures and have more to work from, think.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

This is an interesting concept actually. I always liked that Kyle was an artist, and that he used that creativity in his constructs as opposed to...well a green Boxing Glove.

Kyle has been off in...the Omega Men or something? Frankly, I've lost track of where he is, and it's a shame because I am fond of Kyle. Maybe they will bring him back, which would be a GOOD thing!