Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday... A quick hit- Silvestri and Baker!

I have to make this quick today and, for the first time, I may actually have to miss a day tomorrow. My schedule as a school board member has been really heavy this week. We're trying to pass a vital bond issue here in lovely Baldwin City, KS, and there is a lot of work to be done. Of course, that's on top of the usual inking, writing, and trying to enjoy my family a little bit! So, dry your eyes and bear with me if I need to take a wee break, please.

I do have time to offer an art scan today, and comment briefly. This is a panel from a Spider-Man book from the late '80s, pencilled by Mark Silvestri and inked by Kyle Baker.

I've always enjoyed Silvestri's work, and Kyle Baker is a huge hero of mine. Artistically, and as a writer, Baker is one of those guy that both inspires and depresses me. It ain't fair that the damn guy is so freaking talented!

Anyway, back when he was first starting to make a living in comics, Baker used to crank out a page or two of comic book inking before going off to work at an ad agency. Baker is a fine artist and a brilliant cartoonist, but he didn't quite fit the mold as a Marvel superhero inker. That's fine by me. His work was different... probably not entirely to the liking of his editors or the guys he penciller, but I find it fascinating.

Baker is doing here what we have spoken about so may times before. He's helping to tell the story. He has stripped Silvestri's very solid work down to its very essence. No pretty lines, no delicate rendering... just action and clarity, stripped down to just what has to be there. I love the high contrast approach. As I recall, this issue came out at a time when Marvel was playing with a new printing process, and a lot of fine lines were dropping out. That was somewhat disastrous for guys like Baker, who were using really extreme line weight variations. Still, the work was exciting and inspiring to me.

Balloons and sound effects fell off this page, hence the stains and empty spaces here.

Okay... enough outta me. Enjoy the genius, and come back for more tomorrow!


Spider-Man is owned by MARVEL!

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