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Bring inking back - Make the corporations take notice
Anthony Hochrein
post Jul 22 2007, 09:25 PM
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Well, after a long silence,that all remains to be seen. It's like the writing software that's available which is there for writers to crank stuff out. It ain't over til it's over. I really took one look at the Comic Book creator software and said to myself (whilst rolling my eyes), "Here we go again!" There was a guy at the New York Comic Con last year trying to sell it to me. Being who I am, I resigned myself to studying page layout by people who put some effort into it. And by the way, computer lettering isn't a touch of a button thing, either. You DO have to put a lot of thought and effort into it. What will stop that is the corporate mindset of wanting to have pushbutton product. Are you familiar with the saying,"if they used their brains, they'd be dangerous"? Well, we need to be dangerous!


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Rgholly
post Jul 25 2007, 11:51 PM
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Good day you all:

As Flairbrusher says : The question remains, although traditional inking seems to be a "dying art", I'd like to hear opinions on what will make the corporations take notice of traditional inking as something of value? It's not like rubberband and tape special effects, you know.

----

I find that traditional inking or i would simply put it as "old school" inking much more valuable than digital inking. Digital Inking , in my opinion is simply lose it values in long run, such as in marketing. It may give a "pow" at that moment of selling short period of time, however it will be put aside in the dust where mites devours.

To put away great legend inkers such as Wally Wood or Joe Sinnott and rely on the new school style would simply destroy the best there is.

Nothing can beat the old school. Not only that, i believe that you get so much respect with your hands then your average joe computer software.

just a cup of soup of mine passing by...

later

R. Holly
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Jimmy T
post Jul 31 2008, 08:20 PM
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Inking is with Inks, so there really is no old school.

Inking will always be a part of quality comics, because if you do digital inking with a tablet you cannot accomplish

what you can on the original pencils. I see a lot of digitally done pages, and they do suffer. Most fans have no clue what inks are about, but the ones that collect, and as fans

get older they see the differnces, although subtle with someone that has been doing digital for a while.

There is no secondary market for the digital inker and so it takes them longer and they get less money. Digital inkers are inkers expanding their knowlege or people that

can not ink traditionally.

Digital darkening is also prevelent and those artists books look really bad to me, because they do not ink weights always right and the art looks rough, saturated and

unfinished.


But there will be fans of all.

So no matter what, the traditional inker will always be around, there are those artists that want a crip clean line and images that pop.

From the amount of e-mails I get for inks, and commissions guys I know do, there is a huge market out there for inkers.

So fear not.

Jimmy
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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 1 2008, 03:45 AM
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Thank you for that encouragement, Jimmy!! Our tendency is to panic when we're faced with all of the alarmists out there trying to make artists believe that we are all going extinct. Thanks for reviving this topic from last year. It's a good thing to know that art directors aren't getting their wish for push button artwork. I'm glad that collectors know the difference, also.


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Scott Story
post Aug 1 2008, 06:57 AM
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Really, the only way to make publishers take notice is buy comics with trad. inks and not buy stuff with darkened or digital inks.

However, some digital inkers are so darn good that you can't really tell the difference. They are inkers, and should not be looked down upon because they use digital tech rather than analog equipment.

The computer is not the enemy. Falling standards is the enemy. I don't like the dead weight, darkened pencils as "inks" either, but that's more of a quality control issue than technology issue.
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Casey Campbell
post Aug 1 2008, 01:02 PM
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Don't know if anyone cares, but I'm down with the real ink work. Nothing like an original piece of work to put your hands on. I truly enjoy inking and probably get carried away with it most of the time with textures and shadowing. My only roadblock on this though is collaborating with others who send you digital pencils. I love to ink on the actual bristol board pencils themselves and seem to lose most of the penciling details when using a light board. Anyone have a different approach on this matter?? I'd like to hear any input.

Vermin
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Mark Topolski
post Aug 1 2008, 05:10 PM
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Here's my half cent thought. First, inking will never die. It is a form of art and will stay a form of art for many, many years from now. As for digital to real world inking, if I could ink digitally and make it look great and move the page around like a real board, say, with a very large computer screen for a drawing table and using a wacom pen to draw with in photoshop, that would be great! It would save lots of money on inks, nibs, brushes and boards. But, but, the technology is not there yet, yet! It will be there sooner than we all think :shock:

Don't get me wrong, I love inking with my hands, but lets not look at this as the end of an art form, but a transition of the art form. I remember in 92' when I heard the same bitch about coloring, then a year or so later about lettering! To produce a comic we no longer use the old production standards of cut and paste, we use a computer, which is just another tool to make the process cheaper and quicker. That's what publishers look for, cheaper and quicker. Sure for every ten bad artist there might be one great artist, but no matter what era you live in, that has always been the case. Heck, in the late 30's and 40's those books where almost thrown together overnight. The great Jack Kirby told artist to throw away their earasers! WHAT? So lets not look at this as anything but just another change in the industry. If you hand color a comic now'a days, what would a publisher say if you show them your colors? Or lettering. Not to take away from those art forms, because they both have evolved into something that has improved in comics and have become standards in our industry, but those publishers would tell you look at some modern comic books. The industry is moving to cost effective matters because its a business and it needs to lok at measure like digital inks and anything else that gets a book out on time and keeps readers coming back every month. I mean, the comics now days are considered more art form then when the first began, every comic book artist is considered an artist and not some lacky that can't make it in the real art world.

So just to summarize, digital inks, not bad, but just an evolution of the art form. So don't hide your head in the sand, because change is coming and there is nothing to stop it, unless every reader stops buying comics and forces the industry to go back to the "old days", which lets face it, that will never happen!


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Jimmy T
post Aug 1 2008, 11:27 PM
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I don't think it's an evolution because there are great artists out there that draw loose and there are many inkers that are finishers and that will always be. Digital can take the place of a super tight penciler but then it is also a speed deal. Have not seen a digital inker that can out put a good finished page as fast as a good inker with traditional means...YET!

I remember the first digital comic and it has come a long way but it still has a way to go for anyone to make a good living at it but a select few and few it is. The artist that darken is so obviously sufering in art quality in printed form. They are better of in greyscale. I love original pencils by some artists but darkening them destroy's the flow of the story.

A friend of mine has three large comic stores up here and it has been debated to death and the inks win out everytime with their customers.

But time is the thing. How much is the computer, stylus and tablet as well as software then the extra clean up time as well in photoshop and saturated lines as well as not having the ability to make subtle corrections quickly by hand.

Then how many pages to pay it all off. compared to 12.00 for a good w&n on dick blick a bottle of ink and less then a 1.00 a page (which is normally supplied by the artist who gets more dough anyway. Now get $2000.00 dollars for a double page spread like Tim Townsend did on house of M with a print.

And original pencils never get the money the inks do.

So if someone wants to live with someone that supports them it seems ok to me. but to make a buck it seems like a waste to me.now and in the near future until we have better technology to work with.

Just my opinion and we know what those are...;-)

Jimmy
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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 2 2008, 01:08 PM
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Hey, Bill, it's ONLY a year old discussion!


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Mark Topolski
post Aug 2 2008, 03:47 PM
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jimmyt, I never meant that digital inks where better or worse. I just wanted to point out that times are a changing and no matter how much we don't like it, the hard fact is that technology will catch up! I personally wouldn't mind to do either, as long as I don't have to work differently on the computer than on real boards. There will come a day when the computer screen is like a drawing table, photoshop will be the main program (maybe) and it will become a standard practice, now in how long this happens, who knows, maybe five years or it could be twenty? But it will happen, it did with coloring and lettering and even writers no longer use typewriters! Of course artist will have to figure out how they can keep the cash cow of selling original ink art work going if this change happens. If? Only time will tell...


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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 2 2008, 07:03 PM
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Wellll, Cintiq owners DO use the screen as a tablet. Brian Bolland doesn't even use real ink anymore for his work (which is why it's become so damn mechanical, lately). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeJmnJkP1tg here goes another one:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqee_bB1LxY&feature=related Methinks that I'd like a Cintiq.


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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 2 2008, 07:24 PM
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Actually, gentlemen, now that I think of it, when I created this thread last year, I was feeling bummed out by the amount of wonderful digital inking that I saw. On the other hand, every time that I go to a convention, I realize that there are still so many artisans out there that DO create traditionally, so there's no need for despair. At this stage of the game, I see that I DO have options, and that I can do what a job calls me to do. The two problems that I have with digital anything is the eyestrain and lack of original piece.


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Scott Story
post Aug 2 2008, 07:32 PM
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As has been said, digital inking is still inking, just using a different tool.

But, I will never stop inking. I love inking. I will never stop using brushes and pens and real ink. As long as I'm my own boss, I'll always ink my own stuff. I don't feel that same passion about coloring, which is why I sometimes hire fill-in colorists.

I've never tried a Cintiq, but I imagine it would be sweet.

Edit: There is some inking at the big two that looks like trad inking, but is really digital. I remember the book Marvel Knights, a team book that Chuck Dixon wrote, and the inks were digital in that one, but looked traditional. I don't know what percentage of inks at the big two are digital, but it's probably higher than we suspect.
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Jimmy T
post Aug 3 2008, 10:19 PM
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I see your points and they are valid, but not for a long time, after the apple book came out everyone including the press predicted that within a year or two all comics would be done ALL on computer, that was in the eighties. over fifteen years ago a tablet could output at 1200 dpi and pressure stylus's were used in car and building design. Nothing new and so far it has not worked to well. but I agree that it WILL get there.

I see a few digitally inked books that stand out to me.


And there is not that many as far as inking on quality books. They seem to be killing the art more with darkening then anything else.

There is only one guy I have seen so far that did a good job on a Cintique tablet and it took him more time then it was worth and he jumped off it after that.

But the worst offender is darkening and a bad colorist. Seems to be more prevalent in Marvel then DC. Lot of horrid saturation...but that is another story.

I say this because it boils down to one thing to catch on ... Money.

Now Here's the story,

If you want to ink with a tablet and you know how to ink, you can get by because fans will buy books on hype and they will buy crap if it is packaged right...sad but true.
But the guys creating the book need to be paid. So we take a decent penciler at $450.00 a page if he does a page a day he gets $2250.00 a week after taxes and
insurance that ain't o bad. Some get substancially more plus comps and in some cases % of created characters and sales.


Now take Johhny ink fingers and he can ink with traditional tools and does a solid Job at say $135-140 per page depending where he works (Hear that M***l!) He will ink
an average of a page and a half a day. Now if he does well that is $1050.00 a week, less taxes insurance. He needs quality brushes, inks texture tools, he needs all kinds
of pens quill and tech, etc. then he needs to use these constantly and replentish them as he goes.he drives to shows and maybe inks some commissions and makes table money and maybe not.

So he sells his split of pages with the artist. and supplements the income because every inker does not work full time. If johnny ink Fingers has a wife and kids he is on his board as
much as he can to pay the bills and he gets very little in recognition

So now enters Joe inking tablet and says I can do it cheaper with my tablet because I got it for my birthday and I don't need real ink. He gets his pages and has to set them up in Photoshop.
He spends an hour or so cleaning up the lines. Then he has to set up the layers and and then save the work. Now he uses his stylus to trace the lines..uh oh, The artist has some lines
that are not following the right vanishing point. No problem he erases the line and redraws it with the tablet.

This is just a slight problem but the time it takes compared to using an eraser
and throwing the line down means wasted tiem and unless he does it he is not really inking, he is a tracer. You know the guys that correct line weights and light sources and little things that
are missed or askew because the artist is human and the inkers job is to make the page pop correctly while keeping the artists integrity (Jack Kirby drew I think three hands' and one foot that was
on the cover of FF, How embarrassing was that!.

So now the digital inker is hoping to get a quality page a day at a rate of $140 (I used the higher raTE ABOVE)So he gets $700.00 a week with no taxes and insurance and that was for busting ass
looking at a screen all day and working the stylus ( See Brian Bolland made a lot more money with a name, and could sell work he created with crayons for more then an inker).

Now his wife says to pay his taxes because to get 10/99'd at the end of the year sucks, and little johnny needs braces and the car just broke down. (because he takes out the taxes and insurance plan he
now has less money then my nephew who walks around home depot and has vacation days, a health plan and profit sharing at $800.00 a week) But he loves inking...it was his dream but he could not use a quill
or brush and running a tech pen back and fourth over the lines to imitate a brush hurt his fingers. So he pushes on and now tries to crank ot two pages a day on his tablet to make more money.

In comes little billy digital inker who has a faster system and he colors on the fly. He says to D****C look at this and I will do it cheap because comics are my life
and D**C says "well Joe inking tablet has been sending in some pages, but yours look better lets see what you can do on the next issue." They tell Joe inking tablet his run is over for now but we will
find something for you soon ( Comic slang for "Don't call us we'll call You.)

so Joe inking tablet says to his wife,"it is just temparary, I will get a job at the gas station for now." Little johnny can wait because I need the car fixed to go to the cons and get a job...shoot
I can maybe get $3.00 for a print of my pages and make gas money.

So here we are at the new York Con, Chock full of wonderful artists and Inkers with their beautifully illustrated pages ranging from $10 to $20,000.

Joe inking tablet owes for loan to fix the car. He just shelled out the last of his savings and is standing behind his table with his stack of printouts. Along comes
"The Guy", and says what do you do? Oh I nked for D**C on "Tennaged mutant space muppets" pencilled by Joey Bagadonuts. "where are the inks? "the Guy asks. "Oh I did it
on my Super cintique tablet with the inker 3000 stylus" Joe digital inker says.

"The Guy" Looks at Joe digital Inker as he is holding up a print and says, "this is an original page from the book." "The guy" says, "Wait a minute are you telling me you do it all on computer?". Joe Digital Inker says "Yeah, I get the pencil images and then I trace them on the tablet using pressure to make the image seem more three dimensional."
"Yeah but then where is the orignal art then?" says "the Guy". It's right here, this is what I uploaded to D**C and they made the comic from it. "The Guy" Says, " Then why do you have a bunch of them? How can they all be original? The only thing original is the file on your comupter and you could print all you want!". Joe Digital inker says, "so?". "the Guy" says to him excitedly "If that is the case and I buy this it is just a computer printout that everybody can have, there is no uniqueness to it. Everyone here has original pages that they drew on by hand and it means something to the collector you TRACER!", And with that "The Guy" Storms Off.

Now Joe digital inker feeling regected sits down and puts his head in his hand as fan after fan comes by and picks up the printouts and say, "Hey that's nice, Good Job", "Maybe I will buy one when I am leaving, don't want to carry to much stuff around Comic slang for: Se ya later sucker.".

As Joe Digital Inker slinks int a depression he hears, "WOW! These are freakin fantastic! How much I gotta have one!" As Joe Digital inker turns his head to Terry Austin sitting next to him at the con, and a throng of Fans and Fanettes pushing the table into them (Now you know this is fantasy;-).

Fans are tearing through pages of original art showering Terry from the Isle with thousands of dollars. Joe Digital inker decides to walk around the con. As he walks over by Neal Adams he sees a throng of fans dry humping Neal's leg and slobbering over his art. He next see' D*****Y M***I's table with a throng of fans buying inks and sketches. Over in the carner is S***t w*******s with flowers all over his booth surrounded by adouring masses, and to his right is N***M R****D with a line of fans buying up original artwork.

"Hey look its "The Art Rep" You know the guy that sells original art for the guys and does pretty good too" he hears a guy say walking by him, As he slinks toward the exit door to get a smoke. As Joe lights up he sees J*M S*****n (Hey I love they Guy!) and he says, "Hey J*M You did digital inks on C****C K*D and colored and did everything yourself, right? "Yes Thank you for asking, Did you like it?", "well, yeah, I guess, but what do you do about selling the original art?" "I sell the books and keep the money because I am smart, I don't need original art you Dweeb!(J*m S*****N would never say that, it's what our Joey Digital Inker heard-ed).

So Joe Digital Inker thanked him and walked off.As he walked by artist alley with the teaming throngs lined up for sketches and original art, he thought that there has to be a way to do it, there has to be a way he could make money at a con. So he sat by Lou F******0's table (Because it was the only empty spot) he contemplated on his financial hardship and direction his life was taking. And finally came to a realization. "Learn to INK for real!", not with a tablet or photoshop or anything else but real honest-to-godness HalFoster, Wally Wood, Scott Williams, Terry Austin, put it on paper and slide the sucker across the page inking!

Joe Digital Inker Sprints over to the Dealers section and buys up all the, learn to Ink the comic book Way books he could find.

And today I am writing this story to save others from a life of misery.... Joe Quesada








Just kiddin' Joe, Me and You buddy, Pal, chum. (HA! Suckers did you really think I would name him! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAAHAAHAHH!

And if you really read this whole thing, I'm sorry, but I get carried away with no pencils in the house and South Park ain't on.

Hugs!
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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 4 2008, 01:52 AM
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That stupid Joe Inking Tablet!! :twisted: I always knew that he'd get his! :lol: Just kidding! You don't like Joe inking tablet very much, do you, Jimmy? Well, I can't argue with the original art thing, can I? I was just going over some art yesterday created by David Finch (I'm still kicking myself because of the day I met him in Chicago-- I've loved his art for years! Just didn't remember his name or know his face-- that's a different story). It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? He can sell his originals for thousands!!


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Mark Topolski
post Aug 4 2008, 06:30 AM
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WOW Jimmy, you do really hate digital inking! I am a bit concerned on your comment about tracing in the computer? Why would you comment on that, but inking on real boards is not?

All I know is that the computer is here to stay and no matter what, it will be used more and more, especially when paper comics become to expensive to print and buy, but lets hope that it never comes to that :)

And buying original artwork is great, but I don't think Joe inker would try to sell a print and call it original artwork... at least I hope not! :shock:


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Jimmy T
post Aug 4 2008, 11:19 AM
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I really don't hate it, In fact I have done it a few years ago. But then people don't learn real inking. I don't think it is fair to say that anyone can take a program and ink with a tablet.

And Mark If you are a real inker, you know it is not tracing.

I do love some of the creative artwork done as well like on deviant art.

and main stream comics will always be affordable, their advertising pays them and if the public could not afford them then advertisers would not advertise.

Best!

Jimmy T
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