Fantastic Four #253, v1 (April 1983)
It's one of my peeves that comic artists use model references. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that in the art world but there should be some attempt to make it their own and not just a photoshopped, cut and paste or outright copy.
The Curling Iron from Space that was from John Byrne's great run on Fantastic Four is an example. When you open up Fantastic Four #253 you are greeted by the sight of a huge multi-generational space-ship of refugees travelling through the Kirbyesque starscape of the Negative Zone. As you can see, the space ship is a health and beauty accessory.
I was always of the opinion that it's equal parts laziness and, I hope, humor. I don't want to put thoughts into Byrne's head but when I first saw that page I immediately felt that the artist was doing it out of contempt, thinking no fans would notice because he was JOHN BYRNE. Odd thing is, that opinion of mine was from someone who was probably the biggest and most rabid Byrne fan there ever was back in the day. I don't know why I thought that he was making fun at expense of his fans, but I did. I may have missed it in the letter's pages or industry magazines of the time but I never saw a reaction or comment about that page. I'll look at the following issues of FF later and see if anyone noticed it.
I'm still one of Byrne's biggest fans when it comes to his art and earlier writing. Others may diasagree because it's fashionable to dislike him now but I put him up there with Neal Adams, Kirby and Steranko for his positive effects of the comic industry.
While I still think the curling iron was an artistic slap in the face, I can see the humor in it and think it is funny.
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