Monday, February 18, 2013

Giordano on Getting it Done

I was talking about inking and my inking hero, Dick Giordano, this morning.

One more thing about Giordano. A possibly apocryphal story-

Dick's suggestion for curing slowness as an inker went something like this: Divide a page into tiers of horizontal panels. Usually there are 3 or 4 on a page. Decide how much time each tier should take. In Dick's case, he figured each tier should take him about an hour. So, he set a timer for an hour and got to work.

Dick would watch the timer as he inked. If it looked like he wasn’t going to make it, Dick would start spotting more blacks. Whatever it took, Dick would finish that tier in the hour and move on. He said, in his experience, the pages where he had to spot more blacks were usually better.

I know some will scream that Dick was saying you should hack it out. I think he was dispensing practical advice. Whether he ever actually did that hour per tier and black it out trick, the story gets at something very important to young artists: the work can't be too precious.

Get it done. Make it bold. Make it readable.

The inker's main job is the same as every other job in the making of a comic: tell the story. It's not about making perfect, precious lines. It's about telling a story clearly and efficiently. Be a storyteller!