For two decades, comic readers have agreed on one thing: Rob Liefeld doesn’t know how to draw feet. It’s a running joke originating from the fact that Liefeld, recognized for his distinct, high-energy style, has found clever ways to hide feet or otherwise avoid drawing them in the majority of his covers for books like New Mutants, X-Force, and his creator-owned Youngblood at Image Comics. Deadpool 2 referenced Liefeld’s inability to draw feet, and he isn’t living it down.
In Deadpool 2, when Domino (Zazzie Beetz) stylish shows off her mutant powers of luck, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) yaps over the fact that it’s not a real superpower, nor very “cinematic.” That’s when Deadpool pokes fun at the power, joking that it’s some crackpot idea come up by a guy who “can’t draw feet.”
In between autograph signings at his Manhattan pop-up a week prior to the release of Deadpool 2, written by Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick, Liefeld gushes that his billion-dollar creation dragged his artistry in front of millions. “Love it!” Liefeld tells Inverse when I asked him about the feet joke.
Liefeld also says Ryan Reynolds himself called him to pitch him the joke.
“Ryan calls me and says, ‘Rob, we have this joke, I wanna run it by you. Please share me your thoughts,’” Liefeld explains. “I said ‘Ryan, I absolutely love it.’”
Short of an actual cameo in Deadpool 2, Liefeld says the joke at his expense is an all-timer for him. “There’s no greater shout-out in the world. I love it, I love taking the piss out of people, I love people taking the piss out of me. I got three kids who make fun of me all day long so if my characters are making fun of me, all my kids are trashing me. I love it.”
After Deadpool 2, Liefeld continued referencing the feet joke on Twitter, showing that feet actually have a weird history of not showing up in the great pulp fiction works. Jim Lee? Mike Mignola? Even Frank Frazetta, the classic illustrator of Conan the Barbarian and John Carter and the Princess of Mars? Apparently they don’t know how to draw feet either.
Deadpool 2 is in theaters now.