Friday, November 03, 2006

Hey, girls, gather 'round...

To those of you who dropped by earlier in the day and found yourselves asking, "Where in tarnation is my Comic Art Friday?" please accept my apologies. It's been a hectic week at SwanShadow Communications. Good for the bank account — for the blog, not so much.

But there's no need to fear: Comic Art Friday is here!

Today's Comic Art Friday is dedicated to longtime comic artist and fellow San Francisco Giants fan "Joltin'" Joe Sinnott, whose beloved wife of 56 years, Betty, passed away earlier this week.

Although his work in comics spanned the gamut of genres and styles, Mr. Sinnott is most vividly remembered as one of the better inkers (in my opinion, the very best) to embellish the pencils of perhaps the most influential artist in comics history, the legendary Jack Kirby, during Marvel Comics' Silver Age in the 1960s. Mr. Sinnott also recently celebrated his 80th birthday on October 16. My sincere condolences to Mr. Sinnott and his family in their time of grief, and belated birthday well-wishes to Joltin' Joe himself.

As I've observed on Comic Art Fridays past, inkers are the unheralded heroes of the comic art field. Long toiling in anonymity, these artists are responsible for transforming the pencil artist's drawings into camera-ready art for publication. But more than that, the great inkers lend transcendent beauty to art that, when it arrives on their drawing tables, may barely be recognizable.

Today, I wanted to share with you three pieces that were finished for me on commission by inker James Taylor. No, he's not the well-known singer of the same name. He is, however, a "handy man" with pen, brush, and India ink, as you're about to discover. James's published work can be viewed in the series Decoy and Para, from Penny-Farthing Press.

Here's an original pencil drawing of Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes, as depicted by Comic Art Friday's favorite "good girl" artist, Michael Dooney.

Now here's that same piece again, with inks by Taylor. Notice how much crisper and sharper the image becomes, plus the almost imperceptible touches of personality Taylor adds.

Next, another Dooney creation — this time, the world's most powerful girl, Mary Marvel.

Mary again, with inks by Taylor. Sweet, huh?

Our third example is one of my special favorites: the very first Mary Marvel in my collection, drawn by the talented Michael McDaniel.

After the ministrations of James Taylor, the eye-catching result.

In upcoming Comic Art Fridays, you're going to be treated to some of the latest creative output of one of my favorite inkers to work with: Bob Almond, currently inking over Kevin West's pencils on Wildstorm's new Nightmare on Elm Street horror comic, based on the popular films of the same name. Bob just put the finishing touches on the last piece in a group of inking commissions that are simply going to astound you. I'm expecting the arrival of these pieces next week, so stay tuned.

For this week — despite the lateness of the hour — that's your Comic Art Friday.


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