Thursday, August 11, 2022

Today in Comics History, August 11, 1999: King Mob lists all the regrettable Invisibles spin-off comics

from The Invisibles (1999 series) #4 (DC/Vertigo, March 2000), script by Grant Morrison, pencils and inks by Jill Thompson, colors by Daniel Vozzo, letters by Todd Klein

This is the first of the three infamous Invisibles "jam comics" which featured a variety of artists in each issue, some not always serving the story as well as others. It's an uneven mix, especially considering this is winding up to the explosive finale built up since 1994 and eventually encompassing 59 comic book issues (and a short story or two in Vertigo preview books). Much more about this after the break:

The creators weren't overly fond of the jam issues either. Artist Chris Weston (pages 18-22 of issue #3):

from Anarchy for the Masses: The Disinformation Guide to the Invisibles (Mad Yak Press, January 2003), by Patrick Neighly and Kereth Cowe-Spigai

Artist Jill Thompson (pages 10, 16-19 of #4; 13-17 of #3)

Artist Steve Yeowell (pages 1-2, 5-6, 11-12, and 15 of #4; 1-2, and 4 of ##3; and page 1 of #2):

Even writer Grant Morrison:

Mind you, the general authorial tone of Anarchy for the Masses is that the final arc has just absolutely ruined The Invisibles for all time, and perhaps retroactively throughout the entire history of the world. Patrick Neighly and Kereth Cowe-Spigai and shy about their virulent hatred for the work of certain artists in these issues (see, for example, the image above, about Ashley Wood). Neighly especially seems personally insulted by the work:

Neighly and Cowe-Spigai's summary of the jam issues are pretty cutting. Then again, you look credibility points with me if you don't know (or even do some research) on who the Pander Bros. are. For the record, their pre-1999 work is pretty sizable and important: Matt Wagner's Grendel in 1986-1987 (where I first discovered them), Dark Horse's Exquisite Corpse (1990), stories in Dark Horse Presents...

Anyway, maybe the art's tone shifts won't be so jarring when I only present a page or so at a time, so stayed tuned today for more exciting August 11 end-of-the-world action!

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