If you want to see samples of my comics work, head on over to CapsuleZone! If you want to see my graphic design portfolio, just go to Reno Maniquis Graphic Works! Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sometimes I get "burned out" looking at some of today's comic art. it seems that nowadays (especially in US comics), it's either you draw as "photo-realistically" as possible or draw in manga-ish style (oooooohhhh.... now I'm gonna get it).

It's the photo-realistic thing that I'm gonna rant about...

Don't get me wrong. I'm still amazed by guys who draw in this style... John Cassaday, Daniel Acuña, Steve McNiven (to name a few). But sometimes I yearn for simple yet reliable art. Stuff like what Curt Swan used to do. Or Paul Ryan. These guys didn't have splashy visuals. But their storytelling is so clear that they didn't (or don't) need to resort to double-page spreads or extreme pin-up shots. Their panels didn't even need to show too much detail. Just telling a straightforward story was good enough.

Which brings me to something else I wanted to rant about. I think the problem nowadays with most comic artists (pencillers in particular) is that they pour (or would that be "pore?") over too much detail and precision into their pages that it takes them too much time to finish one. I remember reading an interview with Brian Bolland wherein he states that when he was pencilling CAMELOT 3000 back in the 80s, he was inking with his pencil. He tried to dominate the look of the art too much that essentially he was dominating the inker, which took him too long, so that the latter issues came out late.

I think it defeats the purpose of having an inker in the first place. That's why American comics developed the "assembly-line" of making comics before, to make it faster. So much time is saved by having two different people working on the art.

Well, nowadays, we have what some people term digital inking, wherein pencil pages are scanned then cleaned up on the computer. But then again, in order for the clean-up to be not too time-consuming, the pencils have to be as detailed as possible, essentially having the penciller go over his pencils a second time to "ink" with his pencil.

For example, take a look at John Byrne's pencils. They're kinda rough, but just enough information is given that in the hands of a competent inker, the page will come out great. Even Gil Kane pencilled roughly. Take John Romita, Jr., for example. He can pencil two books (at the least) every month and never fall behind schedule. He doesn't obsess on every little detail. But he's still one of today's kick@$$ artists.

On a side note, one of my favorite inkers is Kevin Nowlan. He injects his own style when he inks somebody else, but enough of the penciller's style comes through the art that you still recognize who did the pencils.

You know who's the most amazing penciller of all? Mark Bagley. Man, that guy stays on schedule no matter what. And his art is so full of energy.

Sigh. I've gotta admit, I've fallen into the trap of making my art photo-realistic, too. Lately I've been so obsessed about it that I spend too much time looking for photo references before I draw. Like this pin-up here, for example...

The Paranormals © copyright Carlo Borromeo and Reno Maniquis.

That's why for the PROJECT HERO thing I'm doing for Vin Simbulan, I'm trying to get back to basics. No photo reference, except for backgrounds and other everyday objects. Wish me luck!

Man, this post just went on and on and even I don't know what the single thought behind it was. Must be tired...


Ed said...

Kaya siguro hirap ako makakuha ng inking gig kasi nga gusto nila maraming detail ang bawat panels na mas makakubos ng oras kung iinkan pa ng mga inkers. Di naman talaga necessary na super detailed ang bawat panels, as long as you can tell the story clear.

Gaya mo, tina-try ko rin maging more realistic ang work ko, pero kailangan ba? Natandaan ko na sabi ng "Rejection Letter" ng Marvel, as long as you can tell the story sa bawat pages at nagwo-work yun, pwede ka ng makapasa as penciller.

Sigh. Sa manga naman, masyadong simple. Mas maigi pa ngang pumagitna 'no? ;)

dibuho at espasyo said...

makikiraan lang pre!

actually!d ako marunong sa komics,pero as an interior designer halos pareho ng problema,lahat nagdedepende sa pencil or inker,kahit ano pa ang medium,either grapikal o painting,cguro ganun din sa komiks,kailangan mararamdaman yung konsepto!..salamat!

Reno said...

Ed, tanda ko noon sa mga kuwentong nababasa ko sa mga fan magazines, ang inker ng Marvel na si Vince Colletta ay madalas nagbubura pa ng detalye ng mga penciller para matapos agad ang trabaho.

Dibuho at Espasyo, lahat nga ay nagdedepende sa penciller, kaya't dapat mabilis sila. Yung mga unnecessary details, hindi na dapat pinag-aaksayahan pa ng panahon.


Gerry Alanguilan said...

Bagley is certainly one of the artists that really keep the industry going because he's one of those who does the job of telling the story well and make the work come out on time. Of the artists of this vein my favorite would be Sal Buscema. 100 issues in 100 consecutive months. Not a single one late. Hows that for professionalism? And a damn fine artist too.

They may not be spectuluar visual artists, but without these guys ensuring comics coming out on a regular basis, Marvel and DC will be in deep trouble.

Reno said...

Yup. sobrang saludo ako kay mark bagley.

si sal buscema, ang tindi rin ng output noon sa incredible hulk. i like him best when paired wih joe sinnott. di ko masyadong gusto kapag siya nag-i-ink ng gawa niya.