Greg Land: Good or Evil?

Saw this on Augie De Blieck’s column, but I thought it was pretty interesting.

Apparently, artist Greg Land has come under fire for his heavy use of photo reference in his pages. I don’t think the photo reference bothers me as much as the copying from the work of other artists. That doesn’t sit well with me. While this artist hints that this is pervasive through Land’s work, there’s not quite enough evidence here to condemn him, and I’m not familiar enough with his current work to make a call. What do you think?

Also, they talk about Land using porn for reference, yet I have no proof of this. Who’s reading his work? Does it look like it’s all porn stars? Because that is funny, and if he can keep getting away with it, he should porn up Marvel as much as he can.


  1. Greg Land is the main reason why I dropped Ultimate Fantastic Four.

  2. Greg Land is one of my favorite artists of the last 10 years.

    Sucks if he swipes.

  3. He is the artist on the big 9-issue Ultimate/Supreme Power universe crossover coming up later this year. So he may have his critics, but Marvel execs seem to like him. I am fairly indifferent, but if pressed I would say I am not a fan.

  4. Dont like his art Ron?

  5. His Johnny Storm annoyed the hell out of me.
    I understand different artists have different styles etc, but you can’t dramatically change the look of a character to that degree…continuity people!

  6. But wasn’t it Ultimate Johnny Storm? Are you referring to continuity in terms of classic FF?

    because that doesn’t follow really.

  7. Most of this doesn’t bother me. Tracing other artists doesnt’ seem cool, but as far as the photo referencing is concerned, I don’t care.

    I’d rather have a book where everything is a copy of a photo but the final product looks great than something completely original that I don’t like the look of. I like the final product Land puts out there, so good times.

    The people who put together these online “exposes” have a lot of time/anger on their hands.

  8. I mean if he does that kinda sucks but the book was great (at least the UFF one) and I think whoever posted the greg land message has a kinda weak argument if he only has those 4 pictures to base it on, considering all the other things he has done. I mean its obvious or certain ones that he did trace them and boo on him but I like the art its pretty and comes out on time and thats good enough for me. Besides his Dr. Doom was amazing. Find a porn to photo refrence Dr. Doom and you’ll find probably the most interesting porn ever

  9. I’m not really a fan of his work, i know artists use reference all the time, but the direct tracing and copying from other artists seems lazy to me. And because he uses so much reference i find all his characters look really stiff and awkward.

  10. “His Johnny Storm annoyed the hell out of me.”
    “But wasn’t it Ultimate Johnny Storm? Are you referring to continuity in terms of classic FF?”

    I think Ron is referring to the actual physical look of Johnny, with his curly mop-head hairdo. He does look very different from the 616 Johnny. However, the two story arcs with the zombie FF were so damn good it didn’t really bother me. That has been my favorite Ultimate book over the last 6 months (normally it is Ultimates, but I can’t even remember when the last issue came out).

  11. I’m not sure how anyone can justify the tracing of another artist’s work and passing it off as your own as something that is “okay”. That’s not photo referencing (which I like), that’s fraud.

  12. Well, my comments about loving the last six months of UFF are more about loving Millar’s writing than Land’s pencils. Like I said earlier, I am not really a big fan of Mr. Land.

  13. I agree with Connor. In sports you don’t let someone off for cheating because they tried real hard all the other times do you?

  14. I guess it bothers me a little bit. The main problem I have with Greg Land is just like the link that Josh posted above, his people don’t look the same from panel to panel. I guess I don’t really mind if you are “influenced” by other work, copy, or use photo references, but keep it consistant.

  15. It should be noted that photo referencing is not the same as tracing and lightboxing.

  16. i’m surprised land would copy another’s work and think it would go unnoticed, especially considering how anal some readers are.

  17. What I meant was that Johnny looked one way throughout the Ultimate FF series ( ) and then Greg Land comes on and he looks like Christopher Atkins in the Blue Lagoon, with long curly hair –

    He’s inconsistent on Sue, but ridiculously consistent on Johnny…

  18. I don’t really like UFF, but I like Greg Land’s work. This is tremendously disappointing. Tracing and lightboxing is not cool (even with photos), but the tracing of other artists is inexcusable.

  19. I agree with Ron. I also dropped Ultimate Fantastic Four once Land started drawing it. Sue’s look bugged me the most. Josh’s link summarizes exactly why I hate the way Land draws her. Take a look at how Kubert, Immonen, and McNiven draw her. (Sorry, don’t have the books handy to put up make some picture examples.) Then look at how Land draws her. It’s not the same character.

    (To be fair, I didn’t like Millar’s writing on UFF either. I seem to love or hate Millar’s work. Love Ultimates 1 and 2. Hate UFF by Millar. I miss Warren Ellis, who was perfect on that book.)

    All art is subjective, of course. I personally find Land to have a flash-in-the-pan style of art I strongly dislike.

    Using photo references isn’t unethical (though it may well make for disjointed and inconsistent art). However… copying other artists’ art definitely is unethical.

  20. Well I just really really like his Dr. Doom. I’m just really glad they got rid of his stupid Hooves

  21. Greg Land is one of the things making UFF so good right now. It took Millar and Land to erase all the crappy stories started by Bendis and Ellis.

  22. Seriously….who is this guy?

  23. “Well I just really really like his Dr. Doom. I’m just really glad they got rid of his stupid Hooves”

    Maybe he could’t find a picture of a hooved man.. Just kidding.

    I think it’s not about Greg land being a good or bad artist, the guy seems to have it in him. It’s just that he needs to step up. The thing of copying google images and other comics, it’s the thing you do when you’re in college learning how to draw. If he’s getting paid for that, and he choose the photo reference to be his style, he should produce the pictures, get a friend, and stop being so lazy.

  24. I’ve really enjoyed the latest team on UFF, but really, it’s all because of Millar. I really don’t like Greg Land’S art for reasons that’s been stated in this thread.

    Personally, I don’t care if you’re going to use photo reference, especially since we’re in an age where ultra realism seems to be the modern trend, but I think you have to know how to be subtle about it. Greg Land is not subtle. When he draws a character that’s reacting to something, he draws them at the absolute apex of their reaction, which just looks awkward on the comic page. There’s a lot of artists out there that use photo reference, but use them effectively – the latest artists on Daredevil, Alex Maleev and Michael Lark, I think, are the best examples of this.

    But different strokes, different folks, etc. etc. It’s pretty surprising how polarizing people seem to be about the different runs on UFF. I, personally, didn’t like much of the early stuff on UFF until Millar came onboard, but hey.

  25. They should never put Bendis on UFF ever again.

  26. I recently read volume five of the Ultimate FF trades. I enjoyed the writing more than the art. I particularly enjoyed the scene when the terrorists were holding hostage the first creature to walk out of the ocean. Land’s art was okay, but it didn’t do anything for me. I was really annoyed by the curly hair of Johnny Storm, but I attributed that to the character’s Ultimate-izaion and not Land’s style.

    I don’t have a problem with a guy making a career out of tracing photos into comics. When it is inconsistent it is annoying, but I can put up with bad art if the story is good. Tracing the work of your peers into your own stuff is lame. So lame that this has me reconsidering whether I want to buy the Ultimate/Supreme Power crossover. Actually, I am 90% sure I am not going to buy the series for that reason.

    On his boards, Millar claims that Doom still has goat legs, but they are hidden under the armor.

  27. Has anyone yet coined the term “fauxmetti”?

    I’ll be right back; I have to go register a trademark.

  28. Sorry, I can’t look at his pages without pulling myself out of the story entirely to try and figure out who he’s supposed to be drawing, whether porn star, famous actor or another artist entirely. He’s a great cover artist, maybe he just gets a little rushed and sloppy with his interiors?
    I mean, that’s the nicest I can say. =)
    (cheap plug for my own site and version of the topic here: )

  29. i thought lands work in UFF was awesome, though he may just be tracing but whatever as long as it looks good!

  30. They say (they being the comics professionals) that the chatter on the internet is not an actual reflection of comics fans’ feelings at all; we as forum posters and board readers, they say, make up like 10% of the audience, and if you don’t believe ’em, check out the sales figures.

    I thought about that last week when the Ultimate Supremes or whatever came out and my shop owner made it one of his picks of the week. When I asked him if it was good, he was like, “Are you kidding? Greg Land, duh! He’s so awesome! Love it!” And he has read a comic or two in his day. C’est la vie, say the old folks; it goes to show you never can tell.

  31. maybe, but I’d be willing to bet that our vocal 10% spends 50% or more of the money so fuck em I’m going into full greg land embargo mode

  32. For me, with Land, it’s like, once you know, you can’t go back. I liked it plenty before I knew. but now that I know, it’s all I can see.

    In this case, ignorance really is bliss. But then, I should also point out that there’s nothing he’s doing that I read, so I can’t say I’m not reading his work because of that reason.

    Fred, I tend to believe that the people complaining on the net are probably a smaller minority than they think they are. I just don’t know how active and participating most comic readers are. But I just think there’s no way to know, other than sales figures. And sales figures say people like to buy Land’s work. They also like to buy Bendis’ USM clone revamp. And I don’t think they lost a lot of money on the Iron Spider costume either. So you tell me how that works out.

  33. hey I like the clones and the iron spidey.

    I’m just trying to point out, for what it’s worth, that people that post on this site and others like(but of course inferior to) it probably as a rule buy way more books than people who don’t