But first, another word about UNCLE SLAM FIGHTS BACK! It'll be out in about two weeks. It is funny stuff, unless you happen to be this man--
TM- Halliburton Corporation
Today's art scan offers a nice look under the hood of comic book production. This is a cover for a DC book that was never published. Kansas City artist Rick Stasi pencilled this cover, and then-DC editor (and always brilliant inker) Dick Giordano inked it. Well, most of it, anyway. Obviously, this piece was never completely finished or published. Dick, like many successful inkers, used background assistants extensively. What you see here is as much work as Dick was ever going to do on this cover. The rest would have been handled by Dick's background guy. If you live in an area where you can find local assistants, it's a nice system. The assistant gets good on the job training, the work gets done faster, and the main inker gets to take on more work. I've had help from buddies on jobs from time to time, but I've never used a background assistant on a regular basis, for two reasons. First, I don't have a local guy here in Kansas that would fit the bill, and shipping the pages around isn't very convenient. Second, I'm just too much of a control freak.
Anyway, there is a lot to be learned here. I left the scan extra large, so you can see (I hope) some of the pencil work under the inks. Rick did a solid job on this cover, but Dick improved it immensely, without any drastic re-drawing. Dick was so good that he could just casually tweak things as he inked. Look at the main figure's left pant leg. Dick streamlined that form, making it sharper and more descriptive of the leg underneath. Likewise with the cuff buttons on that character's sleeve. He also made the woman's dress flow better, using sharp brush strokes to define the forms without over-rendering.
Dick left out little things, too. I guess he thought the rendering on the lady's stockings was too much, so he just left it out in the inks.
In essence, Dick did everything a great inker does here. He left Rick's drawing intact. He left Rick's style intact. He also made things flow a little better. He made everything a little cleaner and sharper. He added his own voice without overwhelming the penciller.
Okay... enough outta me. Enjoy the genius, and come back for more tomorrow!
Whoever these people are, I'm guessing they are still owned by DC Comics.