Tag Archives: Erik Larsen

Inking for Comics. I wish someone would teach people how…

Inkers.   HAH!  They are to laugh!

I inked this. I'm sometimes a professional inker.

There’s a character in the Kevin Smith film CHASING AMY who inks comics for a living, and his friends call him a professional tracer. He complains that he’s not, but convinces no one, and the movie was a minor box office hit, so it left that defining moment in America’s brain.

Banky Edwards during a moment of self-loathing

When it first started up in the 90s, the inkers at Image Comics, were working with prima donna pencilers who insisted their work be reproduced as faithfully as possible and forced their inkers to actually BE “tracers”. This further convinced a generation of comic fans that inkers were barely trained monkeys with a sweatshop tool in their unskilled paw.

un-inked pencils by Erik Larsen. The inker better not get "creative".

And of course, there’s always just running the pencils through a photoshop filter. Screw the inker, who needs ‘em? They’re only messing up my work.

But the inker is the essential last hand on the drawing. He or she is the one that makes the artwork lively, or bold, or personable, or slick, or capricious. They are the singer of the song. The human hand. The Deus Ex Machina: The creator emerges from the machine.

Consider your favorite comic book or graphic novel: A CONTRACT WITH GOD, MAUS, WATCHMEN, BATMAN YEAR ONE, RED HULK POUNDS HIS ENEMIES TO DEATH, BLANKETS, SIN CITY, V FOR VENDETTA, or Name Your Own Favorite…

pictured above: Knowing what you're doing.

Every one of these magnificent examples of the form has a distinct and memorable kind of line work. It’s built into the character of each story, inseparable to the experience, and to treat this essential skill with little more than a backhand slap is to misunderstand what makes comics the appealing form of media that they are.

Ty Templeton inks Tom Artis on Tailgunner Jo.

I’m teaching a seven week comic book inking bootcamp at the TCW this January, starting on January 17th, on Tuesday Evenings. (spaces are still available in Inking for Comics. –kts)

click here to visit the TCW online and find out more

Come on down and learn to know what you’re doing.

Click here to find out more.

Ty the Guy OUT!

PS:  If you’re in Toronto tonight, drop in for my “Drawing the Figure” drop in class.  25 bucks at the door for three hours with a live burlesque model, and an instructor who knows anatomy!   Who says this isn’t the TCW Age of Learnin’?

587A College Street (at Clinton), Toronto, On, Canada, M6G 1B2 • Phone: 647.328.1656 • info@cartoonistsworkshop.com

(AND Ty is teaching Writing for Comics Level One, Mondays, starting January 16, 7-10pm. There’s still some spots available. And there’s a special deal if you’ve taken Level One before, and you’d like to repeat it before taking Level Two in March; 50% off of Level One. contact Sean Menard  through info@cartoonistsworkshop.com for details.

AND Ty is teaching a full course for Figure Drawing for the Comic Book Artist.  Featuring a different model each Wednesday evening, beginning January 25 7-10pm, with instruction from Ty. Spaces still available, but they are limited for this course.  Keiren)

Here now, your bonus moment.

While the inking is competent, it looks like it was "traced". Sigh...


I’m trying to get into the habit of posting original art pages for sale on Mondays, and today’s pages are from a really fun, but slightly obscure gig I did with Lee Weeks back when the Earth was still cooling.

It was called “The NEW WAVE” and it was meant to launch a new bi-weekly comic universe for Eclipse Comics back in the early nineties.  We did twelve page comics every two weeks, for half price.  (Comics were a buck a pop back when the Earth was cooling.)  Not a bad idea in practice, sort of a revival of the “Nickel Comics” idea from Fawcett back in the golden age….

We lasted something like fifteen issues before the idea went kablooie, but in the meantime, I got to ink over Paul Gulacy for a cover, and interiors by a  couple of young kids named Lee Weeks and Erik Larsen in what I THINK was their first professional penciling assignments.  It certainly was for Larsen, and it was my first pro inking gig as well (unless you count all that work I did for Vortex, which was HARDLY a professional situation.)

Weeks was already showing his future promise with these pages we did together, his Buscema influence in clear evidence throughout.  Of course, nowadays Lee is one of the best illustrators in the biz, doing some of the best Avengers, Spider-Man and Marvel comics of the last ten years.

But I knew him then…And now so can you. Check ’em out.

Ty the Guy


Clearing out the overstuffed original art bin of pieces that might accidentally be topical again.  Here’s a house ad that ran in Eclipse books during their tenth anniversary year…besides featuring a host of characters you don’t remember, or will ever hear of again, there up top is Marvel Comics newest corporate asset super-hero, MARVELMAN!  (Or Miracleman as he was known in his anything-to-avoid-a-lawsuit days back when I drew him for this assignment.)    Working for Eclipse in those days was an interesting experience…I spent ten issues inking a brand-spanking new penciler named Lee Weeks (Whatever happened to him?  I hope he’s still in the biz, and doing well)…as well as inking the first published story for Erik Larsen, and a few others.  PLUS: it was my first regular paycheck as a comix creator, and around the time I seriously thought about doing this for a living.  It was WAAAY better than lifting boxes.

Ty the G.   Back to drawing my Mad pages so Mr. Viviano don’t get actually mad.