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How I learned to stop worrying and love Rob Liefeld - The Wednesday Waffle: Issue Thirty Five

Rob Liefeld is an incredibly popular but polarising artist. His fans adore him, his detractors (and for a long time, I was one one them) deride him as a no-talent hack with no understanding of anatomy.

This is the story of why my attitude changed...

I'm making a point of writing this week's waffle before I read Major X #1, because whether I love it or hate it (and to be fair, I'm not really an X-Men guy...) I don't want my view to be coloured by it.

I can tell you that when the puclicity images were published the internet was somewhat divided betweem "ROB LIEFELD!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!!!!!" fanboys and sneering "terrible artist, no talent, needs to take some anatomy lessons" haters. I imagine that there was a middle ground of people who didn't care about it one way or the other, but it was the internet, so nobody heard them...

I mean, it's not the best cover art I've seen this year, but it's far from being the worst - and while it might not be the most original superhero costume design I've ever seen, most of the superhero costume designs out there aren't really original - and hey, it's Liefeld and there are no pouches. For him, that is truly original.

Perhaps nothing is more emblematic of the way I see Liefeld's art than the pouch. Back in the nineties as a pretentious comics reading self-styled "intellectual" they were something to point and laugh at - the way Deadpool had pouches not just on his belt, but on a damn garter, or the way Cable has so many pouches he needs not just a belt and a garter, but two garters, a belt and a bandolier.

It's almost beyond satire...

But of course, this was the nineties, and the nineties were kinda like this. Not for me, of course, I was a pretentious intellectual goth type, so for me the nineties were all Niel Gaiman's Sandman and Paul Chatwick's Concrete. But that's not what was selling.

The likes of Liefeld aren't massive names because their books were financial disasters. Liefled's books have sold in the millions, and as Stephen King once said"I'd rather have all my readers than all your awards..."