Come Back, Stephen Platt

23 Jun

Like many of us that collected comics in the 90′s, I didn’t follow writers like I followed artists. Thanks to Image Comics, the 90′s felt like an era that was all about the art, and I couldn’t help but fall into that trend. I loved guys like Valentino, Mcfarlane, Lee and Larsen and I gleefully purchased everything they put out. It’s often said that this was a somewhat creativly bankrupt time for mainstream comics, and that may be true, but the attention to artist felt like it was at an all time high and somewhat unavoidable.

Out of all the big artists of the 90′s, the guy that stood out the most to me was Stephen Platt. His style was big, over the top and visceral. Everything about it was chaotic and hyper, filled to the brim with movement, violence and testosterone. From the very beginning, I absolutely loved it.

Platt’s rise to the top seemed to happen at an impossibly rapid pace. His work on Moon Knight became an instant hit, and his first issue as the series artist was huge hit with collectors (the shop by my house was charging 50 bucks for it at one point). He quickly jumped to Image Comics where he worked on Prophet and single-handedly made the book a must read title. I mean, come on, nobody was buying the book for Liefield’s writing prowess. It was all about Platt’s art.

Of course, Platt’s work had its fair share of criticism, much of which was deserved. There were the swipes, and the overly endowed women and impossibly muscled men, all of which seemed to be hallmarks of his artwork. The thing was, as somebody that grew up watching (and loving) Rambo, Commando and Bloodsport, I couldn’t help but love the look of his books. They were McFarlane-esque, but bigger, louder and more anarchic. Despite all the comparisons (and swipes) there was something unique and instantly recognizable about his work.

It only takes one look at the cover of Prophet #5 to understand why he appealed to those of us that were raised on 80′s and 90′s action movies. Sure it was hulking and overblown, but so was Rambo: First Blood Part 2. For me, Platt’s work is the peak of the 90′s comic book explosion, both the good and the bad of it. Most of us have moved on, and we look for different things in comic books these days, but I can’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic about Platt’s Prophet work.

Perhaps inevitably, Platt faded from the comic world. The mainstream love affair disappeared, and he worked on his own book, Soul Saga, quietly outside the limelight. I could be wrong, but I don’t even think the final issue was ever published in America. Now, the comic world has moved on, and he’s all but gone. We’ve seen no real output from him in years, and I can’t be the only one that is slightly disappointed in this. Say what you will about the man’s work, but in a day and age when everything is photo referenced to the extreme – giving many comics a stiff, awkward look – at least Stephen Platt had a style and energy all his own. Couldn’t his art fit perfectly in a Conan series? Shouldn’t Dynamite call him to illustrate their Expendables comic? There has to be something out there for him, and I know what ever it is, I’d buy it. For old times sake, at least.

About these ads

13 Responses to “Come Back, Stephen Platt”

  1. Gardner June 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    I’m 99% sure I saw Platt’s name in the credits for “Iron Man 2″–he’s not listed on IM2′s IMDb page, but there is this:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1792312/
    Not sure if it’s the same Stephen Platt, but it stands to reason it would be.

  2. Steve June 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Yeah, Mr. Platt no longer draws comics he works on Movies, storyboards, and video production. He isn’t interested in coming back. Film pays better.

  3. GoTzE July 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    True about Iron Man, a few storyboard panels can be seen on SPlattS facebook profile. I believe that he is credited for the Fog and The Day Earth stood Still (Klaatu Barada Nikto :)

  4. e.hosch October 17, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    stephen platt did do an issue #6 for Soul Saga. but it was only published in europe. It is a very hard issue to track down.His best work to me is his Fighting American work.

  5. Usedtabe January 14, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Platt inspired me to draw. I spent an entire summer learning to mimic his style. Even when he went to a “cleaner” look, I loved his work. Great write up.

  6. Izik May 2, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    SPLATT’s work is the epitome of 90′s comic art. I’m glad to see some actual positive stuff about him on the web. The criticism about him is well deserved, but for those of us who enjoy that style, he is amazing.

  7. rommel October 19, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    he should have stayed with Marvel.

  8. rosekat October 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    I was a big fan of Platt’s work as a kid as well, spending summer days mimicking his style. But I have to say, not to take away from Mr. Platt, that if anyone deserves the over-the-top detail/testosterone/dynamic nod for the 90′s, it should be Dale Keown. Just sayin :P

  9. Douglas January 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    You want to see S.Platts work?????????????? Pick up a Incredible Hulk #1 by Marc Sylvestri… He’s tryin to get that style down with the cover but a Prophet 4A it IS NOT. He was one of a kind and wish he would do something again

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment - June 24, 2010

    [...] Creators | Benjamin Bailey pens an ode to quintessential '90s artist Stephen Platt: "It only takes one look at the cover of Prophet #5 to understand why he appealed to those of us that were raised on 80′s and 90′s action movies. Sure it was hulking and overblown, but so was Rambo: First Blood Part 2. For me, Platt’s work is the peak of the 90′s comic book explosion, both the good and the bad of it. Most of us have moved on, and we look for different things in comic books these days, but I can’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic about Platt’s Prophet work." [Earth 616] [...]

  2. The Best of the 90s: Prophet « Earth 616 - July 20, 2010

    [...] Trade | No Honor Vol. 1Superman #701 Is Not Very GoodMarko Djurdjevic's Amazing Spider-Man CoversCome Back, Stephen Platt616 Exclusive Interview With [...]

  3. Weird Crime Theater - My Toronto Something-Con 1998 Sketchbook - October 10, 2010

    [...] Stephen Platt first started out, he was eager to work on the Punisher. The Punisher editors at the time [...]

  4. THE BEST OF THE 90′S: PROPHET « fantasticbenny Blog - December 3, 2010

    [...] popular, thanks largely to the talent of Stephen Platt. He was the superstar of the time, and his work on the book was what everyone was talking [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: