For most of my childhood Dave Cockrum was an artist whose work I thought I didn't care for very much. His claims to fame were Legion and X-Men, but I thought Grell and Byrne were much better on those books.
|Posted: 10 September 2020 at 1:57pm | IP Logged | 1
Then I picked up Giant Size Avengers #2 as a back issue. Cockrum is the penciler, and he apparently inked his own work in that issue as well. the book is stunningly beautiful. The splash page features Hawkeye, and remains one of my favorite images of that character.
When I first saw the book I couldn't believe Dave Cockrum was the artist. A couple of months later, Giant Size Avengers #3 came out, which was also penciled by Cockrum, but inked by Joe Giella, and with that, we were back to the Dave Cockrum I was accustomed to seeing.
It was then that I realized what a dramatic impact an inker has on the final appearance of a book. Being 10 years old, before that I had a very oversimplified understanding of what an inker does, and figured if they were just tracing over the penciler's lines, then any one inker would be just as good as another.
I remember reading Byrne's preferences regarding an inker years ago, but I'm wondering how much of a consensus there is among artists about what makes a good inker.
I would assume (maybe wrongly) that most of the time you want someone who will preserve the look of the original pencils as much as possible, but then you've got great artists like Perez and Neal Adams who also ink, and take the time to "fix" the penciler's work while they're at it. How much is that appreciated?
I remember hearing that Ordway was a very dominant inker in an undesirable way, but I think his inks over Buckler's pencils on early issues of All-Star Squadron are amazing (better than either of them have looked without each other), so I imagine the individual relationship between penciler and inker is as important as anything else. Some collaborations just seem to click the right way.
Anyway- does anybody have a favorite inker?
I tend to like Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Terry Austin, Klaus Jansen (amazing collabs with Miller), and very distinctive style. On new comics there is nobody who jumps out to me. Who are today's best?