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Topic: Should Action Comics have a new inker? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Poll Question: Should Action Comics have a new inker?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
86 [65.65%]
45 [34.35%]
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Andrew Hilsmann
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Posted: 13 August 2005 at 12:41am | IP Logged | 1  

Waitaminute, guys -- didn't Gail and John say they'd be on the book a full year? If not, is there some announcement I missed? I think you'll discover that all is not chaos in Editorial, and it seems very unlikely to me that Gail and John will be replaced so long as sales continue to rise on Action. I wouldn't panic just yet. And even a new editor may just ask them to stay on anyway.

After much soul-searching, I voted no on whether Nelson should be replaced. I think Nelson gives JB's art a different look and one I rather like. Now, granted -- I no doubt haven't studied the pencils quite as much as Vincent. But after a perusal of the pencils and inks I find myself feeling that many of the changes actually were improvements. I certainly don't approve of wholesale redrawing of panels, but it was clear from Action #828 that some of the changes I originally assumed to be Nelson's (like the Perez-like paneling experiments I mentioned in my review of that issue) were actually present in the pencils themselves. Aside from the most egregious changes (all duly noted by the Defense), the only trait of Nelson's inks I find truly irritating is the arbitrary scratchy "tonnage" he adds to surfaces (like Shuman's car in #828, Page 1, panel 5) and a fairly frequent, dry lack of variety in the lines of his finer crosshatching. The best of his panels look like fine engraving, and though it's very different from JB's usual style, I certainly do like the look. I should say straight out that I also like a maximum amount of variety in line weights when I look at the inking in a super-hero book. (Terry Austin ruined me at a very early age!). The so-called "sharpie" style of those earliest FF issues (like #237 - "The Eyes Have It!") just did not appeal to me at all. I support Nelson simply because I don't yet believe that drastic personnel changes are necessary quite yet. (Though NO part of Action #829 -- script, art, or coloring -- worked for me in any way. I mean, nothing worked, presumably because of the crossover).

That being said, I also loved the look of many of the pages Larry Stucker inked in this issue. Though I agree with Vincent that he under-inked in places, Stucker's inking has a warm, fluid, supple quality that reminds me of Terry Austin circa 1980, only much more facile and organic. My favorite page of the whole issue is the page where Superman burns out Shrapnel's eyes. There is an almost Rembrandtian quality on certain pages that is several degrees warmer than Terry's and very close in temperature to JB inking himself, though with a much wider range of line weights.  I don't, however, like the widely spaced cross-hatching of page 21, which actually looks like it belongs to BOTD. My reactions to the art are also complicated by the fact that, with rare exceptions on this book like the most recent issue, I just can't stand Guy Major's garish coloring, and prefer subtler, less obtrusive harmonies (like Glynis's or Trish's) that don't draw attention to themselves. With a few months to settle in, and with proper editorial or creative boundaries, I think both would make excellent inkers for JB given certain changes in the pencils and/or inks. I imagine Stucker, in particular, could one day become THE PERFECT INKER for JB's work (even better than Terry ever was), but I think they need to work more collaboratively together than they're doing here.  

If it sounds like I can't decide -- well, I can't. Not yet. But as far as Action Comics goes, I must say that it's certainly very strange to have Superman and Perry White drawn in one Little Foot drawing style, and Lois, Jimmy, and the people of Metropolis drawn entirely in another Big Foot drawing style -- all in the same panel, which is what appears to be happening right now. The whole situation reminds me of that issue of JB's FF where Reed and Sue (incognito) meet all their new neighbors from Al Capp's Gasoline Alley.

If the decision actually is made to replace Nelson -- how about the following off- the-wall suggestion: JB and Nelson could work on a project where JB does very loose breakdowns ala Joe Sinnott, and then Nelson gets to redraw photo-realistically to his heart's content. Hey, it worked for many an artist in the past, and it was common in the 1970s with both the Buscemas. I'd be fascinated to see the end result.

Another suggestion: let Stucker do all the figure work in Big Foot style and Nelson embellish and/or redraw the backgrounds in photo-realistic Little Foot style. I think the end result could be very attractive. In fact, you may have seen it in Miyazaki's MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO.

Edited by Andrew Hilsmann on 13 August 2005 at 1:47pm
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Troy Nunis
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Posted: 13 August 2005 at 12:48am | IP Logged | 2  

and intersting idea to me, just to tweak yours, would be to have JB layout a book for Nelson to Fully Paint.
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Luke Smyth
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Posted: 13 August 2005 at 2:09am | IP Logged | 3  

Should Action Comics have a new inker?  Not my call to make.  I firmly believe that the only influence fans should have regarding the hiring and firing of  any creative staff is through their wallets.  The lunatics do not run the asylum nor should they.

While I care little for the arbitrary changes made to the pencils I will continue to support the book as long as John stays on board.

Ultimately the only person who has any right to request another inker is John himself.  Presumably he has the ear of the Editor or the means to make contact with the Inker and voice his displeasure with what is being done to his work.  If the situation becomes untenable then perhaps the only solution is to walk away on principle.  A double edged sword to be sure.

Matt Reed is right though, any speculation of this nature on the part of us fans should be beneath this Forum.

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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 13 August 2005 at 2:36am | IP Logged | 4  

Some of you all just don't get it, although you are entitled to your opinions.  Under no circumstances at all should an artist of John's caliber have his work butchered as it is being done in this book...period.  Unless he was requested by the editor to make changes and refused, there is NO justification for having an inker make wholesale changes to a penciler's work and I think it's a shame how John's 'return' to Superman has been marred by it.

It's simple enough to see in the latest issue.  Lary Stucker is doing what an inker is supposed to do.  Like his style or not, he's doing his job (and very well, IMO; he's the best of the current crop of inkers over JB the past couple of years).  Nelson isn't in any position to change, "correct" or "improve" anything about John's work.  His style isn't compatible with John's and I don't believe he is on par in terms of his level of draughtsmanship.

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Keith Elder
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Posted: 13 August 2005 at 12:56pm | IP Logged | 5  

I'm ambivelent about Nelson's work.  I don't like his excessive redrawing, but I do like his style and how it looks on John's art.

But... a comic book is a collective effort, with everybody involved.. artist, inker, writer, colorist, letterer... contributing their best effort to make a popular book.  The only one that can take credit or blame for the book-as-a-whole is the editor.  If Nelson's redrawing hurts the book (and I think it does), I am still going to assume he is doing it out of a desire to improve the book.  The editor deserves the blame for either (a) foolishly agreeing, or (b) being too weak to put a stop to it.

We can point to various mistakes or foolish decisions in Action... as we can in any comic, because nobody has made a perfect comic yet.  Let's assume they were mistakes and foolish decisions, rather than impute various professionals with a conspiratorial desire to undermine the success of a comic.

This thread seems far too negative and accusatory..

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Juan Jose Colin Arciniega
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Posted: 13 August 2005 at 10:21pm | IP Logged | 6  

Nelson it's not a bad inker, but it's starting to get on our nerves to see this kind of redrawing. It's a shame that Mr. Byrne has revealed to us that the run on Action Comics 'll be a short one. But i would like to read Mr.Byrne opinions about this redrawing, as his an Gail's, reasons to leave Action Comics!!! 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 13 August 2005 at 10:27pm | IP Logged | 7  

Keith:This thread seems far too negative and accusatory..

You might be right. i think everyone who would vote in the poll probably
have already, so maybe it's time to lock this thread.
I'm still confused as to why Nelson is only making alterations in certain
places, but I have no proof either way, so I choose to leave it at that.
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Mikael Bergkvist
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Posted: 14 August 2005 at 2:55am | IP Logged | 8  

Inking is not redrawing and redrawing is not inking.
The sad part is that the 'redrawings' look really crappy compared to the pencils, and they don't improve the drama of it one bit, and they dont add anything that can be identified in any way whatsoever, so why the heck do it?
That's the real mystery here..
My guess is that he spilled some ink on the original and had to redraw it as a consequence.. it happens..

About Nelson, he's not even doing a half decent job of it anyway, so why are DC keeping him around?
Aren't there any good artists around any more??

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Lars Johansson
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Posted: 14 August 2005 at 3:14am | IP Logged | 9  

I agree with fellow Swede Mikael. Also, this thread is not accusatory. Positive and negative opinions are expressed about the inking. I did not peek at the pencils before reading Byrne's first issue and it clearly looked redrawn. But you have all missed a point, somewhere Byrne himself had a comment about the coloring, where the colorist fills fine lines in a certain way. So I will expand the  constructive critisism to inks and colors assuming that Byrne is right. And why shouldn't he?
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Kevin Pierce
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Posted: 14 August 2005 at 7:06am | IP Logged | 10  

Nelson is not a bad inker at all, but I thought the editors were pushing him to make those changes?
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Thomas Moudry
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Posted: 14 August 2005 at 11:02am | IP Logged | 11  

I must admit, I'm not a fan of Nelson's inks: they seem a bit heavy-handed to me. But as to replacing him, as was stated above, not my call to make.
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Jon Godson
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Posted: 14 August 2005 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 12  

I must admit, I'm not a fan of Nelson's inks: they seem a bit heavy-handed
to me. But as to replacing him, as was stated above, not my call to make.

***********

I find this statement odd, considering that this board is forever full of
opinions about the direction of characters, artists, writers, storylines, etc. -
none of which are our "call to make."
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