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Topic: Trapped by My Own Legend Post Reply | Post New Topic
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119900
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 1:05pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

“Once upon a time he was the very best Comic Artist in the industry”

This is the headline of one of the reviews of MODERN MASTERS #7, over on Amazon. And while I appreciate the compliment—who wouldn’t?—I am as ever frustrated by the implicit “his old stuff was better” stance.

Look, peoples, when I’m good I’m VERY good. But there has never been a point when I was the “very best... in the industry.”

And that’s not false modesty.

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Charles Valderrama
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4149
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 1:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Respectfully, I have to push back a little, JB... back when you were working on UNCANNY X-MEN, I don't remember any artist that was receiving the praise you were (maybe Frank Miller/ Walt Simonson)... however other artists at the time were being measured by the standard you were setting.

Even if you weren't at your best in your mind, many fans considered you "the best" at the time.

-C!
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119900
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 1:27pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Back when I was working on UNCANNY the book was only inches ahead of cancellation. It had a loyal coterie of fans, but it, and I, was largely ignored by the general audience.

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Wallace Sellars
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 01 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 16348
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply


 QUOTE:
I am as ever frustrated by the implicit “his old stuff was better” stance.


As am I! That X-MEN ELSEWHEN stuff is FIRE!
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Mario Ribeiro
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 18 June 2016
Location: Brazil
Posts: 390
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 2:31pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

30 years ago, the attitude of Brazilian editors was pretty much "Byrne and Miller and then everybody else". And it was quite easy to agree.
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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 4176
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I can tell you for a fact, in the early eighties when I was selling my comic collection off the only artists by name people were looking for, were Miller and Byrne.

Your art is just that much better now!
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Ryan Maxwell
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12441
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 3:54pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

You have been, and always shall be, my favorite.  That’s enough for me. 
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Leigh DJ Hunt
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 20 February 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1520
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Surely being the best is an opinion, there's no scientific way to prove it. If people think you are then it's tough, you have to put up with it ;)
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10928
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 4:43pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

In various genres i love various artists, and i can
honestly say that when you were on X-Men,FF, Superman
etc you WERE the best in my eyes!
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119900
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 4:48pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I’ll accept “favorite” with no qualms whatsoever. Just not “best”.
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Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1625
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 6:36pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

It's sloppy writing more than anything, because aside from the subjectivity of the statement, it also comes across as a bit of a back-handed compliment as you've noted. A better way to start would be:

"Widely considered the best comic-book artist in the industry", or even

"One of the best comic-book artists of his generation"

You can't argue with those JB ;)


P.S. I shudder when reading "Miller" and "Byrne" in the same sentence, at least in reference to artwork!
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Peter Hicks
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 April 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1525
Posted: 07 December 2019 at 8:00pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

It's been 30 years and I am still waiting for someone to write or draw a better Superman than John Byrne.  And I'm still waiting. 
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