Inkers. HAH! They are to laugh!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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)
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 • firstname.lastname@example.org
(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 email@example.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.