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Old 08-10-2006, 02:51 PM   #1
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Pencils and Inks

It seems that there is a modern day trend for pencilers to draw something the way that it would looked inked. Meaning, theres line weight, hatching, it's incredibly neat with few if any sketch lines, etc.

It also seems that inkers are more and more reliant on pencillers doing this for them to ink beautifully. Like it removes some responsibility from them to be artists and not just tracer/inkers.

At risk of overusing the term, it seems very incestuous; kid sees an inked comic and thinks thats how it should be drawn so grows up and draws the way things are inked. It seems as if this would be damaging to the industry and especially inkers who are losing power and credibility in the process.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:01 PM   #2
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I think putting artists into tiny little subdivisions is potentially more damaging than an artist who is versatile enough to break out of whatever box we try to put them in. The comic industry is not built on job descriptions.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:02 PM   #3
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That's not all that recent, is it? I've pretty much seen that as long as I've been looking at the components.

It's ego. The pencilers don't trust the inkers.

It's funny, because I always figured from the way the process had always been desribed that the most important quality a penciler could have is strong storytelling and that it was more important that the inker was a strong artist.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:12 PM   #4
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I think the trend is undoubtedly to draw tighter and tighter pencils. Thankfully the majority of the folks I've had the pleasure to ink over leave me room to play and done't bother with tons of details and line weights and all that.

Bucky, pencils were for the most part looser back in the day...take a look at some of Buscema's Conan work, for example. He was essentially doing only layouts.

Dano, you raise an interesting point about kids who are learning tryng to draw pencils like the finished art...meanwhile, if they could see Jim Lee's pencils alone more often, they'd learn how much his inkers bring to the table.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:16 PM   #5
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I've often held my tongue (fingers?) in critiquing in Artist Showcase from saying 'hey, you draw like Scott Williams inks Jim lee!"
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:44 PM   #6
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I agree with Stahss, it's a growing trend to have clean pencils.

The thing about the inkers is, if they're good they don't rely on the pencillers, they can make the inks dynamic on their own. Like Stahss I like to have room to play
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stahss
Bucky, pencils were for the most part looser back in the day...take a look at some of Buscema's Conan work, for example. He was essentially doing only layouts.
I'm talking more in the last 10 years. I've seen some really loose breakdowns...to the point where the pencils pretty much only indicate character placement and angles. But most of the pencil samples I've seen in the last 10 years have seemed pretty tight.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:02 PM   #8
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Ah. I see.
I don't know how much of it comes from the artists or the demands of editors and companies when you try to break in. Probably a bit of both. I've never assembled a pencilling portfolio, but I'd imagine they'd want to see some pretty tight finishes. Anyone have any experience with talking to editors about pencils?
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:07 PM   #9
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Well, Caputo recommends tight pencils in his book...may be just him, but it may indicate a trend.

Yeah, I guess a lot of art teams don't really get the time to get to know each other and maybe don't reach that level of simpatico that would guarantee a good product.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:10 PM   #10
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It's the difference between pencilling 2 books a months (John Romita Jr) and 1 book every 2-3 months (Bryan Hitch).

I think there is a trend for the pencillers to have more control over the final look. This means a Jim Lee page still looks like a Jim Lee page whether Dan Green or Sandra Hope or Scott Williams inks it.

There is also a trend where inkers overall bring less to pencils. While there are still distinctive inkers, you find less distinctive inkers like Sienkiewicz or Kent Williams and more Image style inkers that follow the lines the pencils present exactly.

It all really depends on the what the editor wants.
For me, comics are not about hi art, they are about telling the story. Anything that does more than tell the story is just in the way as a quick glance at any Alan Moore Awesome story can show.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:13 PM   #11
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I would have to chalk that up to ignorance of art on the part of some editors. Theres a reason art directors have art training. I'm not under the impression that most comic book editors have any knowledge of art outside of the comics (or realted geek fields) they've read.

It just seems silly and inefficient to require tight pencils.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dano
It just seems silly and inefficient to require tight pencils.
It's all getting erased anyway.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:16 PM   #13
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so its kinda chicken-egg. Do inkers bring less so pencillers have to be tight or because pencillers are so tight?
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dano
It just seems silly and inefficient to require tight pencils.
It I pay Jim Lee for pencils it better well look like Jim Lee Pencils when the inking is done. The only way to assure that is to have Jim Lee pencil as tight as possible.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dano
so its kinda chicken-egg. Do inkers bring less so pencillers have to be tight or because pencillers are so tight?
I think the pencillers became tighter first. You can start seeing the difference whent he Image era guys started getting Marvel books. There's a big difference between Liefeld, Larsen and McFarlane on their early DC work and their later Marvel work. A large part of that was they began inking each other and themselves.
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