Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Comic Dictionary - Ron Frenz Rule of Costume Design

I thought I had this up here, but apparently, I only had it posted on Snark Free Waters, so I figured I might as well post it here, too.

The Ron Frenz Rule of Costume Design is a simple one. Don't design a comic book costume too ornately. With every costume you design, always do so so that, if Ron Frenz were ever to draw it, it would look cool.

This is NOT meant to be a knock on Ron Frenz at ALL. His style is just geared towards simple designs, not ornate ones.

Therefore, if he can make your costume look basically the way you designed it, then you passed the test.

Examples of costumes that FAIL the Ron Frenz rule of costume design include the alien War Machine armor, a lot of Iron Man armors over the years, Metamorpho during Gerry Jones' JLA run (that's a slight exception, as it did not look good in JLA EITHER), Jericho's costume, Namorita's current look, etc.

Feel free to mention any costumes that you think break the rule!

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Blogger naladahc said...

Oh I'd say the Waid/Perez era revamp gypsy look for the Scarlet Witch. Though I guess I'd generalize more to anything designed by George Perez in the past 15 years.

11/15/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Here's one:

the new Ronin costume over in New Avengers. I haven't seen anyone outside of the "hot" artists draw the costume, but the sheer amount of detail in the glove and boots I can see being enough to drive Ron Frenz crazy.

Another good example of Frenz-simplifying is Ron Garney's run on Uncanny X-Men. He took Kia Asayima's redesigns and not only simplified them but also rendered them inconsistently from panel to panel.

11/15/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous jdonelson.nyc said...

Thanks for clarifying, Brian! That's a pretty good rule.

I wonder if Frenz would bother to render the recently-emphasized chain mail texture on Captain America's costume?

11/15/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Vincent J. Murphy said...

Gotta agree about Perez costumes: he's able to draw them, but no one else can. Nightwing, Troia, Flamebird, Jericho, etc.

Red Tornado seems to be a prime candidate, too. I prefer his old red and purple.

11/15/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

There are two bad things about Perez costumes:
(1) no one else can draw them "right" due to the detail.
(2) Even when drawn "right," they're still butt ugly.

11/15/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Yeah, I think T's on the mark here.

Perez just designed some ugly costumes for the Titans, but luckily, he was a really good artist, so HE was able to at least make them look pretty good.

And Naladahc, Scarlet Witch's costume during Perez would definitely count. Note that Alan Davis changed her costume in the first issue he did after Perez.

J, yeah, I doubt that Frenz would do the Cassaday chain mail. Heck, if Finch did not know that it was optional, I bet HE wouldn't have drawn it either.

And I forgot about Troia, Vincent. Yeah, Troia is a perfect example. Almost no one else could draw that costume. Heck, I think people barely drew that costume once Perez left the book (and before she got her new costume).

11/15/2005 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

The problem with the Scarlet Witch gypsy prostitute costume is that it's so darn ugly, it's hard to tell whether Alan Davis redid it due to the fact he couldn't draw it or because he just thought it was hideous.

11/15/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Here's something else: what about the reverse-Frenz rule? The type of costume that for some reason looks better when done by an artist with a simple style, but doesn't work as well with the "bells and whistles" artists.

For example as simple as Nightwing's costume looks, it seems that only artists like Scott McDaniel, Cliff Chiang and people of that caliber can make it look really cool. Phil Jiminez, Tony Daniel, Jim Lee and other "detail" artists don't seem to be able to pull it off. Same with the Darwyn Cooke Catwoman costume. People like Cooke and Stewart did it great. Jim Lee actually complained that it was a hard costume to draw for him when he was doing Hush (presumably because he doesn't know how to draw a fully-clothed women with no thongs and cleavage showing).

11/15/2005 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Chuck T. said...

There are some good costumes that totally violate the Frenz rule. Walt Simonson's bearded, armor Thor didn't really look right when Frenz drew it, for instance. I liked Daredevil's armor too, but it only looked good when McDaniel was on the book.

11/15/2005 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Yeah, the Thor and Daredevil armors are great examples, Chuck.

11/15/2005 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Daniel Apodaca said...

Ooooohhh. The Daredevil armor. That was ugly and silly. I mean, for a guy like Daredevil, it doesn't make any sense to have large metallic plates of armor. It would hinder his movement too much. Now, if it was a padded armor built into the costume, that could fly.

An acrobatic fighter like Daredevil needs flexibility.

11/15/2005 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

Oh sure. Post this here AFTER I searched all over the internet for it. You suck!

On the other hand, it did re-introduce me to Snark Free Waters. It's all good.

11/16/2005 02:10:00 AM  
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