No, not those kind: not little
The artwork on this issue bothered me and made me look at little closer at it. I'm not talking about what looks to me like overly "scritchy-scratchy" Harvey Tolibao inks over his own pencils...
...although that threw me for a minute. It's a specific style and I think I'm just not used to it, or don't care for it. Fair enough. But I gotta say, I was kind of overwhelmed by the sizes of the calves in this issue. No, once again I'm not talking about little cows and bulls. I'm talking about...
Oh. Wow. Those are some unfortunately oversized calves and oddly elongated feet for what is a non-Plastic Man comic. To give it the benefit of the doubt, it looks like the near calf on Naomi, the left-hand female character, may have a coloring error on it: there's an interior line that might indicate the true calf. But look at the size of Oliver Queen's calf compared to his ankle. Look at the length of his foot. Look at Naomi's tiny right ankle. Look at her minuscule left ankle. Why wouldn't her foot snap right off?
Maybe I wouldn't have been bothered by it if it didn't seem to repeat throughout the book:
Ankles are more realistic here, but Oliver's got a rubbery bend to his lower legs that make them look concave, and Jax's calves look immense to me. Or at least, he's wearing obscenely skinny jeans.
Remove the context of the rest of the figure and it's even difficult to tell which part of the body this is. The brown coloring made me think he had the legs of a horse.
Even a young kid...
...gets tremendously muscular calves and/or weirdly form fitting pants.
You can make a case that in this following panel the boots are heavily padded or formed larger around the calves. But the feet are elongated and the ankles are skinny again.
Here's a Chinese businessman who now owns controlling interest in Oliver Queen's company, and Ollie arrives in mainland China to negotiate buying it back.
I have never before seen a suit worn by a high-level businessman with skinny-cut suit trousers.
Okay, let me back up a few steps here and try to make amends with Mr. Tolibao before he comes to Brooklyn with a grilling pan and a great hamburger recipe. I've really liked his work on Psylocke and Heroes for Hire, and here's definite proof right from this same Green Arrow issue that Tolibao can draw absolutely fine and proportional feet and calves:
And besides, I can't draw worth beans, so who am I to be talkin' about calves and feet? (I have hooves; I'm no expert on feet.) And is this as serious a social and artistic lapse as the improbable anatomy of female characters in comic books? No, not at all. I'm complaining about calves, for Pete's sake.
But honestly: I was annoyed by the anatomy of this issue, which pulled me out of the story and made me testy and irritated. Green Arrow, one of my fave heroes, deserves better anatomy in his book, I grumbled to myself. But, who have I to blame except myself? Without looking through it or the preview art, I bought the issue. Look, here's proof:
I bought it online, so I didn't even flip through it and then buy it at my totally excellent local comic book store and give them the bucks. So yeah, I'm feeling the guilt here too.
But: I'm in an ornery mood. Maybe it's because I spent this afternoon reading Transmetropolitan and got in the journalistic mood of being Spider Jer-moo-salem and telling the people that what they're buying just isn't that great. (Warren Ellis would have used some colorful words that I can't.) But: we keep on buying comics like this, don't we? We do. Or, to paraphrase Sir Michael Philip Jagger: "I shouted out / Who killed the comics industry? / When after all / It was you and me."
All for the want of anatomy...and for more realistic calves.