Fanboy Rampage: When Erik Larsen Corrects John Byrne

On his Facebook page, in his Playing God album, Erik Larsen pulls up examples of other artists work… and fixes them. John Byrne gets the treatment twice.


Here's a John Byrne page. Problems–Kam gets lost in panel one–too much clutter around him. The funky panel shapes add nothing. And Kam is the same size in all three panels–and is sticking your chin out of a panel like that last one REALLY the best solution?


My "fix" (and again–crude) helps us find Kam in panel one (less is more sometimes), lose him in panel two–POP him in panel three (again, eliminating background noise that made him get lost), contain Sultan in panel four and straighten out the panel borders. Better? Worse? You decide!


John Byrne art. For some unfathomable reason–John has taken to loading his drawings with tangents–like the building edge lined up with one arm and the lamppost on the other.


Tangents removed–and the Thing given a bath.

So… what would John Byrne make of this? Well, a few months afterwards, it gets pointed in his direction on the John Byrne Forum.

"Tangents removed…"


"I do not think that word means what you think it means."

The pages were drawn for color, and judging them as if they were intended to be viewed in black and white is, at best, disingenuos, and at worst simply dishonest. The fact that Larsen's assesment of the pages is WRONG is a minor point in this light.

Peter Martin on the board added;

I own that piece of art with the Thing. I bought it because I thought it was awesome (still do). Thanks, Erik, for trying to piss on it.


Perhaps Larsen could photoshop out the doorframe next to my arm for being an unacceptable 'tangent'.

Stephen Legge obliged.2013-03-12_190306_MeFing2

John Byrne added;

Just in case there are any here who are as confused as Larsen about what a "tangent" is, here's a little visual demo:



Larsen knows how the internet works. Altho the texturing on the Thing in no way represents "dirt", and he knows it, he can CALL it "dirt" and know there are those who will parrot his words.

To be fair, John Byrne knows how the internet works too… he later writes;

Thing is, I think Larsen is a pretty crappy artist. Some look at his stuff and think "stylized", I look at it and think "bad". But you don't find me using up bandwidth on this Forum, or anywhere else, to "correct" what I think is wrong with his work. Aside from being an endless job, it's just not worth it.

Larsen clearly has some kind of bug up his butt about me. He seems to be the "little shit" who took the greatest degree of umbrage when I did not fall immediately to my knees before the exalted alter of IMAGE. When I pointed out the newest emperor's profound lack of clothes.

But Neal Adams? NEAL ADAMS?? I said elsewhere that I don't much enjoy what Neal has been doing for the past few years. His "middle period" is far and away my favorite of his work. But he is still a God Among Men. He could sneeze on the page and create something better than Larsen on his best day. And Larsen "fixes" Neal?

You know where this is going, right? Let me put my best John Stewart face on. From an earlier thread four years ago… where Gerry Turnball posted


And then John Byrne followed up with

I stand prepared to bring down the Wrath of the Gods upon my furry head,
but it seems to me that Adams Superman would look much better without
the legs and — ahem – – package showing.


Fanboy Rampage was a blog by Graeme McMillan dedicated to the funniest, most ludicrous or most inappropriate comic book  back-and-forths online. McMillan has moved on now, becoming a proper journalist for the likes of Newsarama and Spinoff but he gave permission to Bleeding Cool to revive his great creation. Feel free to contribute your own spots of online excess.


About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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