This is our 400th post.

As I said with our 375th post I can’t really think of anything classy to say here, except to thank Randy, Lisa, Melissa, Valerie, and Mike for sending us (much needed) traffic and links over last the two years (give or take a couple months) that we’ve been doing this version of Blurred Productions. And I’d also like to thank all of our contributors for helping fill this version of BP with as diverse a voice a possible.

Alright, with that mildly classy stuff out the way, I’d like to take the rest of this space to talk a bit about Free Comic Book Day. Actually a specific FCBD comic book.

Specifically, Marvel’s FCBD X-Men book.  If this was a text piece it would be a very solid  “sampler book” of Mike Carey’s work on X-Men. Very accessible and fun. Hell, there’s even a female character in the spotlight. Marvel definitely got what they paid for when they hired Carey to write the script.

Sadly, though this is not a text piece but a comic book, thus there must be illustrations. At that where this book falls into the pits of hell. It starts with the cover. Which is an incoherent mess with no sense of design. It’s like the artist just drew each figure separately with no thought as to how they would look together. This is especially true with the drawing of Emma Frost. Which is so out of place and creepy. Like a cross between a “come hither” look and the sort of pose you’d see on ‘America’s Next Top Model’.

It gets worse once you open the book. The art is stiff and has no flow at all. The photo-referencing is obvious and pained. You spend much of the time not absorbing the supposed “visual storytelling” but instead are wondering just where did the artist swiped this or that pose. Let’s not forget that the artist is incapable of drawing teenagers as, you know, teenagers. Instead Pixie is a 20-something model.

And what artist is responsible for this abomination? Why none other than Greg Land!

I can’t not understand why Land was given this project. I know his art has a certain appeal for the ‘comics-as-fodder-for-masturbation’ set (hence the Emma Frost on the cover) but this whole FCBD thing is supposed to appeal to new readers. Marvel already has “the too-ashamed-to-just-break-down-and-buy-some porn-crowd” tied up. There’s no need to market their once a year appeal to neophytes to them.

Instead Marvel should have chosen another artist. Any artist would have done. Maybe one of the artist on their regular X-books, you know to give readers a taste of what they’d get if they started picking up the book regularly.

Instead we got Greg Land and another missed opportunity.


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