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  • Writer's pictureSimon Faiers

Sliding Into The Uncanny Valley 2

On a note related to my last post, there have been increasing numbers of artists in the comics industry of late who have been using Poser in their artwork, and it's become very noticeable; I was reading a Guardians of the Galaxy graphic novel drawn by Mike Deodato a while ago and found some of the characters in the story very familiar, most of them bearing a marked resemblance to Victoria 3, Michael 3, the Freak, etc. A Google search of the artist's name returned a number of hits related to the user of Poser in his artwork as well as use of the same tool by other artists, and a lot of debating among readers regarding whether this use of 3D programs is acceptable practice or not. The chief objections seemed to be that it was producing lifeless artwork with monotonous repetition of the same backgrounds and figures, and it was a "lazy" corner-cutting device to meet deadlines. Predictably, there were also charges of "cheating" aimed at artists for tracing existing images, and this led into another argument about use of stock images taken from internet search engines and film stills being recycled in comic artwork.

A very interesting (if a little sweary) conversation on a reddit-style forum can be found here.

Personally, I'm very surprised to see this going on as I'd always assumed Poser was only used by hobbyists and amateurs and not professional artists as it is such an easily-traceable source. Although use of found imagery in comics is nothing new, and this is really just an extension of the practice of ripping off photos from magazines, films and TV shows that has resulted in occasional legal action. At one point I had this (rather naive) idea that comic artists always made up pictures from their heads or based pictures on their own privately-hired models and props and was quite shocked when someone pointed out that Havok in Jon J Muth's Meltdown illustrations looked an awful lot like James Dean. (I was a huge fan of Muth but was always a little distracted when his characters changed into different people between one page and the next, presumably when his source of reference changed.)

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