Two Pages That Prove Marshall Rogers’ Greatness


Monday, April 20, 2009

He had a remarkable sense of flow

…even when the page is crowded with information. That, to me, is why he’s great. All of the information in the above pages reads clearly. It’s not “crowded” nor is it hard to quickly absorb. It’s clear, and that allows me to then linger on the drawing. I’m not trying to decipher the page. It’s just there. Each page above has a very pleasant, well organized sense of space.


30 Responses to “Two Pages That Prove Marshall Rogers’ Greatness”
  1. Anonymous says:

    This blog is retarded.

  2. Dan Nadel says:

    Christopher, is that you?

    In any case, we prefer to think of this blog as “special”.

    And, Santoro, while I agree that there is a clarity of design and certain kind of elegance to Rogers’ pages — shouldn’t we say something about the drawing itself? It’s not so hot, is it? And, I dunno, was Rogers doing something that Chaykin wasn’t? And before him, Steranko? And then, I mean, if we’re looking at sense of architectural structure to the comics page, don’t you have to bring up your Matt Wagner mid-period stuff and, going back way further, your Bernie Krigstein? Just playing devil’s advocate here. I guess I just don’t think Rogers was doing anything unique. I mean, he did it well, but…

  3. Frank Santoro says:

    It’s not about the drawing. The drawing is “in service” of the narrative.

    He is unique, to me, because he assimilates ALL the requirements (drawing, flow, composition, color) that I have for a great comic. There are others like him, sure, but the combination of factors is his own. Like a good soup. Plus, I like it. So, it’s great. To me.

  4. Frank Santoro says:

    and fun to read.

  5. Benjamin Marra says:

    Frank, I agree. I dig Marshall Rogers stuff because it represents consummate professionalism. While not as formally explosive or celebratory as the artists Dan mentioned there’s something beautiful in the work of the quiet, everyman who’s able to get the job done elegantly, economically, effectively, efficiently and without pretense.

    By the way, what book are those pages from?

    Also, I dig these analyses of different comic artists.

  6. T. Hodler says:

    Do I have to prove someone’s greatness now? I hate using scanners.

  7. Rob Clough says:

    These are pages from Coyote and Scorpio Rose, right?

    I first encountered Rogers' work when he had a very brief run with Roger Stern on Doctor Strange. It's volume 2, issues 48-54 or so. Even as a young reader (I was maybe 11), his art seemed really exciting to me.

    In terms of the drawing, I like his very thin line (very different from the blotchier Chaykin style, who relied heavily on blacks for mood). It's not as highly stylized as Steranko though that is an obvious influence. I think Eisner is probably another influence in terms of the way he constructs his page.

    Other than what Frank said, I like the way he balances storytelling basics in composing his pages (creating a very fluid narrative) against his decorative impulses.

    He's one of the few guys I liked as a kid whose work still looks "right" to me (that includes Michael Golden and Walt Simonson for "pretty" and Sal Buscema & Herb Trimpe for "sturdy").

  8. Dan Nadel says:

    Tim, you have to prove someone’s sucky-ness now, and don’t worry, I stole all the images for my thing from the “World Wide Web”.

  9. Inkstuds says:

    As much as I am a big Batdork, I don’t think Roger’s run on Batman was really the shit. I don’t know why, but his stuff never really did much for me. Maybe its the marvel school style that he has in there. Make mine DC.

  10. Frank Santoro says:

    No way, he’s totally DC. That’s a Neal Adams / Continuity framing style if I ever saw one.

  11. Inkstuds says:

    Maybe its because Neal did it better…

  12. Frank Santoro says:


  13. John Vest says:

    Scorpio Rose was also a great looking comic for Tom Palmer’s coloring.

  14. Scott Bukatman says:

    I don’t know, Frank — more than Chaykin or Steranko, I’m reminded of Simonson here, esp the Simonson of the Manhunter era. And I’d argue that Simonson did all of this (flow, service to narrative, clarity) with more complexity in his layouts and with stronger drawing chops…

    They’re nice pages though!

  15. Frank Santoro says:

    Sure he did! Simonson is AWESOME. I’m not COMPARING here. Just pointing out what Rogers does.

    I will say that it’s Rogers’ lack of FLOURISH in his line that keeps him from looking dated. Simonson, Nino, Alcala, all those 70s guys had the inredients but let the “style’ take over. Rogers withheld that card and somehow it ages better for me.

  16. Frank Santoro says:

    “had the ingredients..”
    sorry typing too fast.

    i knew someone would mention Simonson.

    If you haven’t read his Manhunter or his Doctor Fates then, I’m sorry, you can’t really be a comics fan.

  17. covey says:

    I like your gusto and your heart Frank Santoro, but now you’re telling me I’m not a comics fan. Uncool dude.

  18. Frank Santoro says:

    I’m just glad to know you’re still checkin’ in Jacob.

    I didn’t say you had to LIKE them, I just said you gotta read them. Required texts.

    I’ll hook you up. I got ’em cheap.

  19. thee McRib says:

    I like how 80’s comic artists love drawing dudes wearing leather vests with no shirt and leather wristbands. I doubt anyone had dressed that way since the late 60’s.
    it’s sort of like how today’s comic artists can’t stop drawing women wearing little belly revealing t-shirts, even though I haven’t seen anyone wear those since the early 90’s

  20. Devlin Thompson says:

    Rogers was trained as an architect, and I think it shows in the fact that his actual people are his weakest suit (Kevin Maguire is about the only artist I can see following in his footsteps, and regrettably he’s got all the weaknesses with few of the strengths). I’d have to say that, like Neal Adams and Keith Giffen, my interest in his work has followed a steep downhill path since about age fourteen. That said, I’ll agree that his layouts and his use of color were first-rate, but the fact that his people were mostly stiff and unconvincing makes for rough going for me, at least. What do you think of the latter half of his career (by which I mean SILVER SURFER and beyond)?

  21. Anonymous says:

    um, i don’t wanna be uncool either frankie, what issues did Simonson do of Dr Fate?!?!?

  22. Frank Santoro says:

    You never heard of DC’s First Issue Special #9?

    Technically it’s “1st Issue Special”

    Now, that’s a title: “First Issue Special”
    The idea was to make a series that was all #1’s.

    And then number them.

    First Issue Special #1
    First Issue Special #2
    First Issue Special #3

    sounds weird, right?

  23. Frank Santoro says:


    “like Neal Adams and Keith Giffen, my interest in his work has followed a steep downhill path since about age fourteen”

    that made me laff out loud.

    Adams, okay.

    Giffen? COME ON! The funniest thing about Giffen is that, for me, he is this expert “set-up” man. He can use a grid and set a scene in two, three quick panels like no one else. No, really. Look closely. Again, the drawing is in service of the narrative but his framing is just dead-on. Perfect economy. Even something like Video Jack is impeccably paced.

    Rogers on Silver Surfer was the worst crap I ever saw in my life. Hated it then and still hate it now.

  24. Inkstuds says:

    I second on Keith Giffen’s greatness. I love his stuff. His Justice League’s were awesome.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This blog gets more retarded everyday. Why not publish the group interview with Yokoyama instead?

  26. Dan Nadel says:

    Frank, is that you being anonymous? That does remind me that I need to transcribe that interview, which I’ll get to when I have a spare moment in like 2020.

  27. Frank Santoro says:

    No, but why don’t you let me transcribe it. I want to add notes to the parts where he was staring at the vending machines like he was staring at some new love.

  28. Inkstuds says:

    Hey Frank, lets see an analysis of Norm Breyfogle!

  29. Frank Santoro says:


    Ask Eric Reynolds.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ya great layouts, if you like wooden cut-outs. There is no fluidity to any of his stuff. It’s all very static and flat. No emotion or flow, it reminds me of coloring book art.

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