Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dying is easy, inking is hard.

Okay, so I told you cool cats about the Jack Kirby FB page full of Kirby-loving fans and professionals.  You're probably a member of it now, just as I am.  Over the weekend, the first big brouhaha broke out there over people posting their inked versions of Kirby originals.  Details, smetails, we don't need to rehash the details.  I don't plan to post anything I've touched there.  That's too close to "While I have a few pros on the line here, take a look at me, give me a job!" for my taste.  The Mighty Kirby Try-Out Book.  Seriously, I think for a lot of the non-pro posters, they're doing it more from love for Kirby than any sinister, ulterior motives but I can't help the little twitch I get from it.  I fully admit this is more than likely projection on my part, but I don't want anyone to get that same idea from anything I might post there, which is yet another reason to keep my art to myself when hanging out in that crowd.

But of course as an artist, I'm curious about what it felt like to ink Jack Kirby.  And with all the pencil postings there, how could I resist giving it a go?  I couldn't and I've learned a lot from spending a big chunk of my Sunday afternoon trying to ink Jack Kirby.  The first thing I learned is I stink at inking.  Whether it's over my own pencils, or those of Jack Kirby or Jack Tatum*, it doesn't matter.  I am no inker.  Which leads me to the second thing I've learned, which is people who can ink deserve our respect and gratitude for the work they do.  Inking is a difficult job.  It requires a lot of mental effort.  A lot of thoughtfulness.  Careful consideration of not just thick and thin lines but form and lighting and mood.  And reproduction.  It helps if you're familiar with pre-press.  Only in the last do I have any measure of experience and I'm rapidly forgetting all I used to know.

*The Assassin.  I doubt he ever drew a picture in his life.

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