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Author Topic: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000  (Read 842 times)

Magnetica

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Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« on: 12 March, 2017, 04:18:09 pm »
A while back there was a thread asking whether people read comics for the story or the art or both.

I said that I thought both were important. A lot of people said they would read something for the art alone.

So I thought I would put it to the test. My local library is well stocked with Graphic Novels and it has a copy of Camelot 3000 which is by the favourite ever artist Brian Bolland and written by Mike Barr, who I have to admit I have never heard of.

So how did I get on? A bit mixed to be honest.

I found the story to be so-so and had to force myself to read the first few chapters. The story never really became engaging of itself, but there were some nice character driven things. The best of which was Sir Tristan's desire to become a man again.

Some though were not to my taste. I found the whole Arthur - Guinevere- Lancelot triangle to be tiresome and some-what unbelievable. e.g. Arthur just announces he is going to marry Guinevere without even asking her and she just goes along with it; Arthur banishes her and Lancelot for their infidelity but literally within  half a chapter, he has summoned them back, in a very mater of that way, to deal with the alien threat and all is forgotten.

Towards the end the story just descends into a by the numbers rush to wrap everything up.

So did Bolland's art save it?

Well no...not really. In fact, and I never ever in a whole century of Sunday's let alone just a month of them, thought I would say this, I was getting a bit bored of Bolland's art  by the end and found his trade mark style of rendering everything by hatching, a bit ...well tiresome.

Part of the problem is possibly I don't think his style suits this kind of story (or maybe I just so associate him with Dredd it is hard to see him draw anything else). Another problem was the colouring was just too garish, and the cover image (of the TPB) was just so much better than the internal pages, which made you think what they could have been.

So, over all, it seems in this case, I found it to be a matter of the story dragging the art down.



Colin YNWA

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #1 on: 12 March, 2017, 07:44:47 pm »
Yeah I shifted my copies of this a while back. The story was so ... mediocare. Also by the end wasn't someone else inking Bolland's art which never works as well.

Magnetica

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #2 on: 12 March, 2017, 08:17:10 pm »
According to the credits in the book I have in my hand someone else inked it all. Actually 3 different people. The last few chapters look worse to my eye than the earlier ones.

SuperSurfer

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #3 on: 12 March, 2017, 08:29:46 pm »
I haven't read it since it was originally published and can't see myself reading it again as I found it disappointing. Thought it was a shame that Bolland didn't ink it himself. I remember reading in an interview at the time that Bolland was schooled in drawing the "DC way" and IIRC that was in order to make his art more "graceful". In other words, to take the edge off it.

The colouring certainly came over as brighter than the average comic of the time as it was printed on Baxter paper which was an improvement on newsprint.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #4 on: 12 March, 2017, 08:56:06 pm »
Terry Austin was, IMO, the only inker who really *got* Bolland, and I think he only did a couple of issues. The colouring was problematic, because all DC's colourists were still geared up for newsprint and the better paper really showed up the deficiencies of those techniques.

Plus, the story was pretty rubbish.
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Magnetica

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #5 on: 12 March, 2017, 09:22:05 pm »
Terry Austin did chapters 7-12.

Bruce Patterson did 1-6 and Dick Giordano chapter 6.

When I say the art seems to be worse late on, I mean from about chapter 9, so maybe it's not all down to which inker, noting 7-12 should be the best according to what Jim said. I'm not familiar with any of the inkers, so I can't really say.

Tony Angelino

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #6 on: 12 March, 2017, 09:38:05 pm »
I found my 1988 trade of this very recently after doing a clearout in the attic.

I never saw the original issues of this but I note that it took 4 years to complete the 12 issue series. I can only guess that Mike Barr is a slow writer and Brian Bolland was sitting waiting for ages for his scripts.

sheridan

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #7 on: 12 March, 2017, 10:33:38 pm »
I found my 1988 trade of this very recently after doing a clearout in the attic.

I never saw the original issues of this but I note that it took 4 years to complete the 12 issue series. I can only guess that Mike Barr is a slow writer and Brian Bolland was sitting waiting for ages for his scripts.

Hmmm, can't think of any long-running stories drawn solely by Bolland, so without knowing more about Mike Barr, I'd suspect it's more down to Brian (maybe his limit is one cover a month?)

sheridan

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #8 on: 12 March, 2017, 10:34:40 pm »
I remember reading in an interview at the time that Bolland was schooled in drawing the "DC way" and IIRC that was in order to make his art more "graceful". In other words, to take the edge off it.

This is why I always preferred 2000AD to Marvel/DC - nothing you can call a 'house style', other than each artist to their own.

Tony Angelino

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #9 on: 12 March, 2017, 10:41:15 pm »
I found my 1988 trade of this very recently after doing a clearout in the attic.

I never saw the original issues of this but I note that it took 4 years to complete the 12 issue series. I can only guess that Mike Barr is a slow writer and Brian Bolland was sitting waiting for ages for his scripts.

Hmmm, can't think of any long-running stories drawn solely by Bolland, so without knowing more about Mike Barr, I'd suspect it's more down to Brian (maybe his limit is one cover a month?)

Sorry, I was joking as Brian is infamous for being incredibly slow. I did try to put one of those emoji things in my post but couldn't get it to show up. At a similar point in time to this story Mike Barr would have been writing Detective Comics for DC with art by none other than Alan Davis. I think Alan stuck around for a few issues but had a falling out with Denny O'Neil, the editor and left to do Excalibur.

sheridan

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #10 on: 12 March, 2017, 11:30:01 pm »
I found my 1988 trade of this very recently after doing a clearout in the attic.

I never saw the original issues of this but I note that it took 4 years to complete the 12 issue series. I can only guess that Mike Barr is a slow writer and Brian Bolland was sitting waiting for ages for his scripts.

Hmmm, can't think of any long-running stories drawn solely by Bolland, so without knowing more about Mike Barr, I'd suspect it's more down to Brian (maybe his limit is one cover a month?)

Sorry, I was joking as Brian is infamous for being incredibly slow. I did try to put one of those emoji things in my post but couldn't get it to show up. At a similar point in time to this story Mike Barr would have been writing Detective Comics for DC with art by none other than Alan Davis. I think Alan stuck around for a few issues but had a falling out with Denny O'Neil, the editor and left to do Excalibur.

I knew I recognised Barr's name from somewhere (but the only Batman I've ever read have been one-offs or certain Legends of the Bat stories by 2000AD creators - Bryan Talbot, Kev O'Neill, etc).

maryanddavid

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #11 on: 13 March, 2017, 12:27:16 am »
Great art, wrapped in a poor attempt at an 'Epic' tale. Bolland's pencils appear in an issue of Warrior, and IIRC he didn't leave the inker much work.
Back to the original point, worth reading for the art alone, yup, especially if you are a Bolland fan, but his other less well know stuff like the Actress and the Bishop and  Mr Mamoulian, is far superior.

sheridan

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #12 on: 13 March, 2017, 12:42:51 am »
Great art, wrapped in a poor attempt at an 'Epic' tale. Bolland's pencils appear in an issue of Warrior, and IIRC he didn't leave the inker much work.
Back to the original point, worth reading for the art alone, yup, especially if you are a Bolland fan, but his other less well know stuff like the Actress and the Bishop and  Mr Mamoulian, is far superior.

I was pleased to see that I wasn't the only person to bring along a copy of Bolland Strips to the Cursed Earth signing last year...

Colin YNWA

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #13 on: 13 March, 2017, 11:05:47 am »
Alan Davis worked with Mike W Barr on Batman and the Outsiders (or whatever version of that name it was running under at that time) before moving to Detective Comics (as I recall). Wasn't there quite a gap between him leaving Detective and starting Excalibur, which was late 80s? Not quite sure what he did inbetween but remember a load of lush X-Men type annuals by him during that period?

CalHab

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Re: Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« Reply #14 on: 13 March, 2017, 12:04:52 pm »
I'm glad it wasn't just me who thought Camelot 3000 was utter guff. I'd read a few things about it and was expecting some kind of classic. It's certainly not that.