It has been a long time indeed since an art post. What can I say... I've been busy! But, I am going to aim at getting back on the twice-a-week schedule. We'll see.
Today I'm offering a nice panel from a Superman job by Dusty Abell and Terry Austin. Abell is a solid artist- kind of a cut-rate Michael Golden. Believe it or not, that is not intended as an insult. No one else is Golden, after all. The guy I really want to talk about though, is the great Terry Austin.
Terry's work has meant a lot to me. At his peak, even though I would never try to ink anything like him, I drew a lot of inspiration from Austin. His '80s work over John Byrne and Marshall Rogers is simply amazing. Terry has not done a lot of superhero work lately, and what little he has done lacks some of the delicacy he possessed at his peak. Still, there is something to learn in every Terry Austin job.
I mention Terry's work a lot when I'm reviewing inking portfolios at conventions. I tell a lot of guys to go look at Terry to get a grasp on one thing that is crucial to good inking- confidence. When you make a mark on a page, it has to look like you meant it. You have to sell that line, even if it's the wrong line. In fact, you have to sell it a hell of a lot more if it is the wrong line. Young Kubert knew this. Caniff knew it, too. Ballsy inking can cover a multitude of sins.
That is not to say that Terry Austin routinely makes the wrong line. Quite the contrary. Terry is a good cartoonist. Still, what really makes his work shine is the boldness. When he makes a mark, he makes it boldly and with purpose. Look at today's example. Every line is strong. You can argue that the work could be finer in places, but it's all readable. There is also a certain sheen to everything Terry inks, but I think it works for him.
Oh, and before I go- a cool bit of trivia. Terry inked, with Dick Giordano, one of the most stunning pieces of superhero comic art ever produced, Muhammed Ali vs. Superman. Neal Adams wanted the best for that book, so he got Terry for the backgrounds, and Giordano for the figures (I think Neal pitched in there himself, too).
That's enough outta me. Enjoy the genius, and come back for more Thursday!