Sunday, January 14, 2007

Record: Rags Morales

Even artists have their share of faults and blame (someday, maybe I’ll let you know what I think of Dick Dillin for 2 or 3 nigh-offensive panels he drew in Justice League of America in the early 1970s), and in Mr. Morales’ case, he certainly hasn’t done himself much good by taking one positive item he drew, and then damaging his credibility upon that with another. What exactly am I referencing here? Well, that’ll come up in just a moment:
  • In Hawkman Vol. 4, we get the background of Kendra Saunders, current Hawkgirl, who, when she was around 13 years old, had been out with her mother Trina in the west Texas countryside where her mother, a skilled landscape painter, was spending the day working on her talent, when two racist patrolmen came along and took the two of them hostage at gunpoint, with the intention of raping Mrs. Saunders out of a hate crime (Kendra and her mother are of Hispanic background). Kendra fought back against one of the two policemen, whose name was Nedal, killing the second one, Darryl Jenkins, who came running up to them (and may have grazed the first with his own weapon). What made this storyline work was the fact that you did get a female viewpoint here, via Kendra herself as she reflects upon that ugly moment in her life, and it was neither excessive nor sensationalized in execution. Plus, Morales even drew it in black and white.
  • But then, Morales, as the artist of the above example, went along and ruined his credibility on that by drawing one of the ugliest, most poorly written examples of molestation in Identity Crisis, Dr. Light victimizing Sue Dibny, that in sharp contrast to the prior example, bore no female viewpoint whatsoever. Not only that, but he even told the AP Wire, "If nobody really cared, that's an insult to us. . . If they hate it, that's great. If they love it, that's great. But if they are like, 'Ehhh. . .So what? No big deal,' those are the ones that would bother us." Meaning in other words that Morales doesn’t want a following of fandom? It would almost seem that way.
This may not be a really long line of examples so far, but, it can serve as an important example of how a artist or a writer does something credible the one moment and then tosses it out the window, splattering all over the pavement, the next. As of this writing, either I haven’t heard of anything Mr. Morales has worked upon lately, or I just haven’t cared enough to pay any attention. Not that it matters, really. But I figure he does deserve to be written off and shunted into obscurity for being as rude as he was in his actions.


At 5:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel compelled to defend Rags here. If you have ever seen him at a comicon, he is one of the top line guests of honor, and that is do to his incredible body of work at DC.
You couldn't meet a nicer guy for his level of fame. He will tirelessly sign for fans, even when I've seen them with a stack of 50 comics.
Personally, he has let me sit at his con table while he sketches and talks to fans, and you would not believe how wowed they are by him as a person and an artist.
He's no Liefeld or Greg Land or Frank Cho in comic exploitation of female characters, believe me.

At 1:22 AM , Blogger Avi Green said...

I've never seen him as a flat-out exploiter, no, but that doesn't make him a saint either. Here's something to ponder: you didn't ever ask him questions he might percieve as negative, did you? No, because then, it's always possible that he might change his reception. No one wants to really alienate a showbiz persona and end up being shunned away, which is possible.

I'm sure he's got quite a respectable personality up front, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have his downside, nor does it mean he doesn't have contempt underneath.


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