Sep 2, 2010

Comics Techniques and Tricks: George Perez and the Infinity Gauntlet

Welcome to another edition of Comics Techniques and Tricks, in which we showcase techniques that only comics can do! Click here for the archive!

Today's Comics Tricks come to us from July 1991, when Marvel Comics had Jim Starlin and George Perez put out the first issue of Infinity Gauntlet, which I really think to this day has been Marvel's biggest event book. It also holds the distinction of being the event that made me a comic book collector, with issues 3 and 4 being the first comics I distinctly remember asking my parents buying for me. Reading it now makes me feel that it is kind of - well - stupid. (Someone try to summarize it for me and keep a straight face. Seriously.) But the art is still great. Seriously, here's the cover to issue 1, which is a Comics Trick in itself:

But the Comics Tricks come, of course, inside the book. The issue has multiple narrators, and these days (and even back then, it was already starting, with Sandman and Watchmen), that would be distinguished by different lettering styles and different colored caption boxes. In Infinity Gauntlet, they use the same font all throughout, and George Perez just finds an inventive way to introduce each narrator. Here are a few examples.

Here's Dr. Strange, Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme (note also how the symbol on Strange's cloak transitions straight into the establishing shot of his lair, the Sanctum Sanctorum) :

A few pages later, we get the Silver Surfer, Cosmic Skyrider of the Spaceways, doing some narration:

But my absolute favorite is this introduction of Marvel's leading Avenger, Captain America:

That Perez sure made an impression on me as a kid!


Anonymous said...

When I was younger, I had a big appreciation for Perez. Howver as I've gotten older,. i find his body language and storytelling a bit stiff. He seems to focus on the details so that many figures can get lost without a good inker to bring them out. He can draw crowds well, but I've seen more dynamic and interesting crowd scenes by John Buscema, Dick Dillin and Mike Sekowsky. I'm not saying Perez is bad, just wish he would draw more interesting scenes with dynamic figures. His close-ups and medium shots secen to have to same feel to them.

Duy Tano said...

I've found the same thing when I look at his older stuff, but I honestly think that he's gotten better at being dynamic with age, while at the same time losing the tedious amount of detail. I think a nice middle ground is his Avengers work with Busiek.

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