The poor archery of Hawkeye

pose2 The poor archery of Hawkeye
The awesome new process blog Comic Tools has weekly posts on process that make it worth a look for anyone, but this post on Hawkeye’s bad archery is also a blast. The original post at Wired has Jeremy Renner’s form as a complete fail, and even a dummy can see that Merida’s (from Pixar’s upcoming BRAVE) form is way better than Hawkeye’s.

tumblr lzu4xxe3Ha1qajfbxo1 500 The poor archery of Hawkeye

The Comic Tools blog also has a great post on how to draw monsters foaming at the mouth with blood.

Like we said….BOOKMARK.

Comments

  1. Glenn Simpson says:

    I was just posting somewhere the other day about the fine line between depicting something accurately vs. getting bogged down in details when 99% of your audience won’t know the difference, and used proper archery form as an example…

  2. Torsten Adair says:

    …and yet, Brave and The Hunger Games got it right (with Jennifer Lawrence being trained by a four-time female Olympian archer), while a Hollywood blockbuster with CGI arrows couldn’t bother to at least train the actor in proper form.

    http://www.hollywood.com/news/Jennifer_Lawrences_Hunger_Games_Archery_Coach_Khatuna_Lorig/19772816

    When it’s the character’s defining skill, yeah, I think Hollywood should at least try to train the actor to look competent.

    It’s good film making, it generates good PR, it gives the actor something to talk about during junkets, and it gives marginalized fans of the sport something to celebrate.

    (Did you know the U.S. has an Olympic Archery team, and that the men are currently the favorites? That the U.S. ranks second in total Archery medals?)

    Remember when comics fans went ga-ga over that Sandman poster on “Roseanne”? Or when comics creators showed up on “Bob”? Still cringe at “POW! BAM! BOOM! Comics…” headlines? That’s what archery fans feel.

    Because, if you don’t do it right, it might just blow up in your face, as Disney learned the hard way with Aladdin’s street signs.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=NBrrAM10x74C&pg=PA66&lpg=PA66&dq=aladdin+disney+arabic+%22street+signs%22+gibberish&source=bl&ots=C5MOXvfQ1d&sig=O6VSnoji4xMDfh5TSisRJDyp-oQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rk1qT-GrIoaY0QGBjZGQCQ&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=aladdin%20disney%20arabic%20%22street%20signs%22%20gibberish&f=false

  3. >> When it’s the character’s defining skill, yeah, I think Hollywood should at least try to train the actor to look competent.>>

    Maybe they’re just staying faithful to the source material, since Marvel’s track record at showing good form in Hawkeye’s archery is similarly lousy.

    He looses arrows without a string, has a quiver that’s too short for the arrows, lines up the arrows on the wrong side of the bow, has terrible arm positioning and more.

    My favorite Marvel hero, but an example of good archery form, he ain’t.

  4. Anyone else remember that, a year or two ago, someone sent a letter to a DC artist that was drawing Green Arrow basically saying the same thing about depicting form, and the artist basically responded with “fuck off, it’s not like I care about Green Arrow anyway”? Who was that?

    Anyway, it shouldn’t be too much to ask of actors and artists to do a modicum of research when depicting a skill.

  5. Johnny says:

    I bet he will never miss his target, though.

  6. Maybe Hawkeye is SO goo at archery that he INTENTIONALLY uses horrible form in order to make it more of a challenge for himself…?

  7. MBunge says:

    “My favorite Marvel hero”

    Are you talking about Cap’s Kooky Quartet Hawkeye? The limited series Hawkeye? Today’s Hawkeye?

    Mike

  8. Thanks for the link Heidi! I never can tell which of these posts will generate interest. For some reason this one seems to have caught on. Probably because the movies are topical, and who doesn’t love to rag on Hawkeye?

    Even if this post didn’t link my blog, anything that puts James Harren’s art in front of more eyes is A-OK with me.

    I would like to respond to Glenn: I agree to an extent, actually. I suppose I think of it the same way I think of anatomical fidelity: if you’re off, but in an effective, dynamic way, it works, but if you’re off in a way that makes the drawing less effective you need to work on it. In this case, the incorrect poses are blatantly undynamic compared to the proper form. Now, if Fred Astaire or some other really graceful dancer were off in their form, it would probably look a lot better since dancers instinctively form dynamic lines with their bodies. I would say though, that if someone has a main character with one skill they’re supposed to be the best at, ten minutes of research to enlighten months of work wouldn’t be out of order.

  9. >> Are you talking about Cap’s Kooky Quartet Hawkeye? The limited series Hawkeye? Today’s Hawkeye? >>

    Classic Hawkeye, I’d say — from the beginning up through his WEST COAST AVENGERS days, at least, and as shown in THUNDERBOLTS, since I wrote Hawkeye like I like him.

    kdb

  10. Scott says:

    After reading the post I’d say “Comic Tools” is certainly the perfect name for that site…

  11. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Hawkeye exists in a world of super-heroes where he’s so good with a bow that it’s somehow better and faster than him switching to guns. Given that detail I don’t think proper “form” is really that big a deal.

    It’s more about striking a dramatic pose that looks right enough to the average viewer who’s not a bowman, like you see Renner doing in that picture and probably throughout the film.

    I shouldn’t have had to explain all that by the way. What I just typed should be such common sense that the article linked in the post would never have been thought up, much less written.

  12. Johnny’s right. What’s next, boxers critiquing classic Marvel slug-fests? “Kirby clearly knows nothing about real fighting…”

  13. When I see Avengers I want to see Hawkeye pull three arrows, shoot them in multiple targets, all while falling off a sky cycle to the street, 30 stories below. Do you really want to see him take 3 minutes to set up one shot and check the wind flag?

    Best film hero-archer: The Host? Can’t remember her name.

  14. I agree with Johnny. Let my superheroes do things their way. If Batman can silently disappear out of commissioner Gordon’s office trailing an 8-foot long kevlar cape then I’ll take my Hawkeye holding a bow anyway he pleases. Hahah!

    Also, I highly doubt there’s much real torque (if any) on the movie prop in that still. In fact, it’s a single string, not even a compound bow.

  15. “It’s more about striking a dramatic pose that looks right enough to the average viewer who’s not a bowman, like you see Renner doing in that picture and probably throughout the film.”

    If only someone had told the author something like, “It’s not supposed to be realistic, it’s supposed to be cool. The only thing that matters is that it look awesome.” Kind of like the way the author does himself in bringing it up as an expected criticism, answering it with, “Well, okay, which one looks better? Which looks cooler, more athletic, more believable, more awesome? I think the answer is obvious. I also think Mr. Renner would have very much liked to have made the film without bruises and welts on his right arm.”

    I can’t critique Hawkeye’s form the same way the author can, but I can still tell something is off. The cocked-out elbow alone just looks wrong to me, and that doesn’t look dramatic or dynamic no matter how buff it makes him look. It’s the same reason why I can’t believe Sarah Michelle Gellar as a butt-kicker in “Buffy” because her form was so horrendous that conscious, willful suspension of disbelief was the only way I could accept that she’d hurt anyone except herself, Super Slayer Powers or not.

    What’s next, boxers critiquing classic Marvel slug-fests? “Kirby clearly knows nothing about real fighting…”

    Not what I think you intended, but Kirby actually did know a lot about real fighting, since he got into enough of them growing up in NYC. And his fights still look dynamic and credible, even when exaggerated to comic-book proportions.

  16. Three minutes? Teens can do better than that! http://youtu.be/ggDfJLB8jTk

  17. Now THIS guy nailed it: jevanlee.deviantart.com/art/Hawkeye-Redesign-182721394

    (Been looking at Hawkeye drawings now that the issue of his depictions in comic form came up.)

  18. Synsidar says:

    In decades past, Hawkeye used to be directly comparable to the other superheroes in the Avengers and a few other groups, in that the gadgets mounted on his arrows were more important than his archery skills, per se. The gadgets defeated his foes; the arrows merely took them to the targets. Only since Bendis took over the Avengers titles has Hawkeye been reduced (?) to shooting conventional arrows at criminals. The emphasis on conventional arrows might seem more realistic, but why should supervillains be vulnerable to conventional arrows? If they can be taken out with arrows, why shouldn’t cops with their guns, much less SWAT teams, be able to handle them?

    SRS

  19. Synsidar says:

    Since there’s an emphasis on getting details right:

    Having to really study paws for last week’s entry sowed the seed of the answer in my head, and I knew it as soon as I saw Harren’s drawing: it’s holding invisible paw pads in it’s hands.

    Note that “its”, as in “its hands” and elsewhere in the piece, doesn’t have an apostrophe.

    SRS

  20. Fixed! Thanks for that, good catch.

  21. It is one thing to fake something because you’ve got a deadline or because gosh, you just didn’t realize. It’s another thing to make up excuses for faking things once people raise complaints.

    The job is drawing. Don’t act like it’s some hardship to do it properly.

  22. MBunge says:

    “The emphasis on conventional arrows might seem more realistic, but why should supervillains be vulnerable to conventional arrows?”

    Shhh! We’re never supposed to point out that today’s “adult” super-hero comics are just as ridiculous in their own way as Zebra Batman.

    Mike

  23. Joe S. Walker says:

    I look forward to a JLA film in which Green Arrow has realistic technique while shooting arrows with boxing gloves and plungers that hit people in the mouth.

  24. Movie is going to be ridiculous(in a bad way) anyway, i’ll be pleasantly surprised if blunder like this will be even noticed.

    On the other hand Pixar movies usually are solid so they give more attention to smaller details too.

  25. Oh man, I should have posted this one instead: http://youtu.be/1o9RGnujlkI

    Goddamned Legolas that lady is.

  26. David Clemons says:

    I might be more impressed by Merida if she could bend her fingers. Let’s see how her form looks when the bow springs from her hand.

  27. “Anyone else remember that, a year or two ago, someone sent a letter to a DC artist that was drawing Green Arrow basically saying the same thing about depicting form, and the artist basically responded with “fuck off, it’s not like I care about Green Arrow anyway”? Who was that?”

    It was Brett Booth.

  28. fsnow55 says:

    Thanks for mentioning Brett Booth. I’ll strike him off my reading list, until he cares more about his art.

    Correct form is often beautiful, symmetrical and seems more right, even to people that don’t know e.g. in archery (see the Wired article) and also other actions e.g. a golfer’s swing, martial artist’s moves, guitar player riffing etc.

    Bottom-line, it’s about professionalism. a

  29. Randomer says:

    I don’t think proper form is irrelevant. The film industry spends millions on ‘little details’ simply because they DO count, they add a richness, a sense of grounding. We consider a good actor someone who can capture the minutiae of how their character would act, without little details that are barely perceptible* then the film would just be the bare basics. OK, perhaps, but never amazing. And people would notice.

    *The barely perceptible details, even if we don’t realise it. How many times have you looked at an artwork, a picture, a performance, or a pose (etc),and something just doesn’t feel right? Why does one feel so much better, more real, more immediate in a way you can’t explain in the most obvious way? Because of the things you don’t realise you’re picking up. Until you really look.

  30. jhelo says:

    Do you Guys even Have a social Life? I mean this is a movie and Yes 99% of the audience won’t care and at the end of the Day he’s an actor!!! It’s a Fantasy movie with a hulk and everything Gosh For crying Out Loud!! Why do you have to be critical? 99% of the world won’t care and even some real archers won’t mind because this is a Movie!!

  31. howard hill draws to the corner of his mouth, saracen and turkish archers draw to their jaw, ear lobe, or mouth . . .

    olympic archers swing their hand past their ear like they are scratching their shoulders, saracen archery has it up behind their head like waving “HI” or that Bollywood wiggle hand move.

    The main point of archery is getting a consistent anchor point with the drawing hand , and its different for everyone. And its different for style. The Form depends on what style of archery also.

    Watch the 3 youtube videos below and any Level 4 olympic coach will cringe, but the guys below can hunt and shoot better than most olympians.

    Olympic archery is great and especially watching a high caliber athletes nail 90 meters . . . beautiful. But its different

    For Ottoman Turkish archery, Hawkeye’s elbow is preferred, but that wired article goes only with the knowledge of olympic archery. That’s like saying the only martial arts is techniques MMA and you have to bust out with kickboxing and BBJ. But then there’s Taekwondo and Rexkwando and what about every pirate’s favorite? Ninjitsu. Different strokes for different folks

    A couple of off the form archery by people who can shoot well.

    howard hill
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo8UZneuggE

    horse archery
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yorHswhzrU

    saracen
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggDfJLB8jTk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zGnxeSbb3g

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