Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Some minor progress
There's nothing like an hour of Bikram Yoga to renew a girl's ambition.

After four days of staring at the Batman guy's penciling close-up, I'm thinking that it's maybe a little less tight than I originally thought it to be. I mean, okay... one's choice of inker can really make or break your project. But an inker can only do so much with marginal pencils. This guy has some stuff that looks great in grayscale, but once I do my thing on it, his subtle nuances in pencil work are invisible. This is one of my pet peeves with pencilers. I am an inker, dudes. I see the world in black and white. Black and white are all I've got, yo. Don't be throwing me intricately shaded work and expect me to be able to render it. There are many, many shades of grey, but last time I checked there was only one black. Also: ink is not transparent. If you want layers of shit going on, get yourself a good colorist.

But I digress. Yeah. This guy's stuff looks pretty great in pencil. But then I start working on it, and I realize, he's depending a lot on grayscale to get his perspective across. Ain't gonna work. I begin to wonder exactly how experienced this guy is. Or if maybe more established inkers refuse to work with him because he's a dumbass. I really don't know. I mean, homey can draw, sure. But I'm not convinced that he really grasps this "ink" concept.

So okay. Here are the second and third panels as penciled by the well-meaning but oblivious grayscale guy. Observe poor Robin being menaced by Bane. In the next couple of panels, Bane launches that car he was holding in Panel 1 at some poor woman who is holding a bag of groceries. These pencils look pretty good. But upon closer inspection (which you can't see in the scans) homeboy is really relying very heavily on his delicately layered shades of pencil. Especially on Robin's figure on the left there.

And here are the panels after I've had my wicked way with them. Note how flat things are starting to look. This isn't my fault. I inked over what I had. I begin to doubt this dude's sense of perspective. But hey, I've been looking at this stuff very closely for four days with barely a break at all. And when I say very closely, I mean my eyes are inches from the page. The more we look at stuff, the more flaws kind of leap out.

And this stuff is considerably larger at this stage than it will be when printed. So maybe things that look like huge giant uglies now (stop sign, anyone?) will not be as noticeable when reduced to normal everyday comic-book size. Also: flip through any comic and you'll notice that the artwork is not always Super Genius Quality. Most of the effort goes into the focal point, and things in the periphery are more loosely sketched in.

In the panel on the left there, I'm not really sure what the focal point is meant to be. Homey kind of lost me on that one. You'd think he could do a bit better on that closeup of Bane, but oh well.

I realize that I am rambling. But as this has consumed my entire life (and continues to do so) for the past few days, it's really all I have to talk about.

Rant and/or critical analysis of dude's penciling is now over.