Monday, January 11, 2010

Traditional Inks or what I like to call sexy…

Now it should be no clue that I prefer traditional inking on comics/pop art.

I can not tell you exactly why. I just think it looks really smooth and its easy to read.

Part of that is how the ‘weights’ of the lines draw your eye to parts of the illustration.

A master knows exactly how much of this to add or subtract from the pencil art.

In the hands of a master craftsman like Joe Sinnott it is amazing. He knows exactly how to make each image in a panel come to life. Pushing what needs to be in the foreground there and letting the rest seep into the background.

Even a complex image like this cover to FF #100 you can read each character easily even in Black and White.

I feel that the image should be readable in Black and White and maybe enhanced by color. I feel that modern comics almost depend on the color too much.

The Shadows of the soldiers on the wall here are a great example of making the image read. He could have just made them all black but it would have overpowered the rest of the image. Letting us see the bricks in the shadow let us see the characters easier.

Ask anyone in the biz who has been there since Joe Sinnott and they will tell you they learned from him or wanted him to ink their stuff. Stan Lee said that artists would fight over Joe’s schedule. He made it that good.

Here are some other artists who were also renown for their inking.

Wally Wood.

What is there to say that the picture can not? Not much. He was a master of using light and shadow. Even over Kirby (some say he overpowers Kirby’s style but I say it looks amazing…you get Kirby dynamic and Wood’s sexy shadows!)

He was also just an amazing artist in his own right.

Alex Toth

Someday soon I will get to a whole topic on one of my all time favorites Toth. (after IDW releases their new book about him late this year…)

Anyway. Toth has a simplicity that can be deceiving. It looks simple but its not. He just leaves out the unnecessary and highlights the best part of an illustration.

He was a huge fan of Noel Sickles(another blog topic to come soon!) and it shows!

Check out Ralph's posts on Noel Sickles here (

Mike Royer

(more info here courtesy of 20th Century Danny Boy )

Another of the legendary Jack Kirby Inkers. He is known for being true to Kirby but still enhancing the little things.

An amazing artist in his own right he now freelances and does some work for Disney on Winnie the Poo!

Doug Wildey.

While he was known for being meticulous he has an amazing line.

Creator of the TV Show Jonny Quest.

He studied the classic Newspaper strip artists like Milt Caniff, Noel Sickles and Alex Raymond.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I feel the same way. Comic art should stand on its own in black and white and be enhanced by color. It's a basic design rule and standard.
    I also, like you, feel that an inker shouldn't overpower the pencils, but enhance the positive and hide the negatives. A quality inker is going to let the pencils shine through and not detract too much. Inking is as much if not more of an art than penciling.