Friday, August 22, 2008

Monday... Something a little different- Me Inking Duncan Fregredo!

I'm mixing it up a bit today. While looking for an art scan for today's post, I came across something of my own that I had almost forgotten about. I think it's interesting enough to share.

About five years ago, just when my wife was about to give birth to our son, Henry, an editor I didn't know called me from Marvel. When a new editor calls, it's almost always good news. More often than not, it means new work, and getting new work is the best part of the job. In most cases, it's way better than actually doing the work.

In this case, the news wasn't quite that good. The editor, Nick Lowe, did like my work, and was interested in working with me. In fact, he was interested in having me ink an artist I adore, Duncan Fregredo. Unfortunately, I had to jump through some hoops first. Turns out they did like my work up at Marvel, but they liked a few other guys, too. So, they wanted some samples done... without pay, of course.

Normally, I would say no to such an offer right off the bat. I'm not arrogant about my skills or place in the business as an inker, but I do think I've been around enough to not have to do samples without pay. In this case, though, I REALLY wanted to ink Fregredo, and I doubted the opportunity would ever present itself again. He almost always inks his own work.

So, I agreed to do the samples. But, with the birth of my son imminent, I explained that I could only do two of the three pages they wanted. They agreed, under the circumstances.

For today's scan, I'm presenting the results of one of those sample pages. Even though the pencils were very intimidating, I'm happy with the results. I didn't get the gig (not that bad a deal, overall, based on what I heard from the guy that did, but that's another story), but I did prove to myself that I could ink a guy like Fregredo credibly.

The main challenge on this page was to preserve the subtlety of Fregredo's beautiful drawings. The faces here are lovely, but delicate. A heavy hand could easily lose an expression or turn an attractive face ugly. There were also a few things that were just hard to convert to line art. The hair in the last panel is probably the best example of something that works well in pencils, but is harder to pull off in ink.

Okay... enough outta me. Enjoy the, um... competence (on my part, at least), and come back for more tomorrow!


Characters are owned by Marvel Entertainment Group.


Marc Bryant said...

Good stuff. I wish we got more Fegredo on a regular basis.

Will Shyne said...

A nice job. Like Fegredo lots and your comments on the finer points of inking him ring true. I don't think the inker who got the job captured the subtlety you mention at all (though is doing a nice job over Paul Smith at the moment).
I think it's for the best that he inks himself most of the time.