Mike Royer is considered by some, the best Jack Kirby inker sighting his faithfulness to Jack's pencils. Others don't like his approach and say he only traced the pencils. Is Royer your cup of tea or not and why?
I think it's unhelpful to say Mike Royer "traced" Kirby pencils and didn't add anything/enough of himself to the art. At the time, because Jack Kirby was doing his most personal stuff - plots, stories, dialogue and editing, it was appropriate that the inker brought out the pure 100% Kirby of the pencilled art. His Marvel work was more a collaborative effort, therefore the flavours of Ayers, Stone, Sinnott was important.
Yes, I could see the words on your avatar. You can zoom in on the avatars just by clicking on them.
I have that final hardcover Fourth World volume that you mention. It's a dynamite book. DC has selected the perfect paper stock for reprinting those old comics, and the reproduction is first rate.
Nice to hear that Mike is a Shadow fan. I loved the O'Neil and Kaluta issues. Denny is one of my all-time favorite comics writers (as is Jack Kirby, of course!), and Walter Gibson's novels are the best things ever done in pulp magazines, in my opinion. I had the good fortune of meeting Mike Kaluta at a comics convention a few years ago and found him to be a first-rate guy -- not only a fine Artist, but a very personable individual as well.
I'm in total accord with your philosophy of collecting and not selling your comics. It's taken me my entire life to build my collection of comics, and they're way too much a part of who I am as a person for me to ever part with them.
I know what you mean about the "sweet spot". I'm not a dog owner myself, but my dad's dog has that same spot just behind his left ear!
... for the welcome. Funny that you say "old school". Or are you able to see the words on my avitar? I know Mike will be at the Portland, OR comic con in November. Last time I was at his place he was busy inking some Kirby lightbox recreations of Captain America vs The Red Skull that he's bringing with him for sale. Hope he does well. THEY WERE INCREDIBLE!! I'm not sure, but that's as close as he'll probably get to Canada.
He's a great guy. I assume there is a way to display art scans here. I'll need to get around to figuring that out so I can show off his original work (no Kirby).
He's away right now enjoying a film festival, but when he get's back he has a hardcover FOURTH WORLD volume he's inscribed for me. It's the last one of the group he received from DC when it came out. I already got an inscribed hardcover Kamandi volume 1.
Really interesting that your avitar is THE SHADOW. I had just bought his entire SHADOW collection (he's a big fan). He was looking to unload his collection of comics (except his file copies of his work with Kirby, I assume) and I just couldn't refuse. He didn't work on the books, of course, but they were the entire 12 issue run (with duplicates of issue 1 & 2) from 1973 and the entire 31 issue + annual #1 of the 1989 run. He didn't want to break them up. He'd only sell them together in order to "help preserve the memory". I liked that. I assured him that they will ALWAYS stay together. I collect, I don't sell, and all my collection will go to my brother and/or grandson some day. That's why I asked him to inscribe my comics and drawings to me rather than just signing them. It might seem strange, but I'm trying to think of something I can put together that would testify to the fact that these comics were from his personal collection. There's no reason I can think of for him to sign any of them so I'm thinking a COA of some kind.
Bottom line, I'm thrilled to get to know him better. Even his dog is warming up to me (I found "the sweet spot" on the side of his neck to scratch lol).
...I wanted to make about Royer is that he's probably one of the few "old school" inkers who could still do work that's appropriate for the contemporary comics market (such as it is), due to the fact that he's always had tremendous flexibility in his inks -- being able to tailor them to nearly any pencilling style, always translating the penciller's statement to hard ink lines in the most suitable way.
Hey, K-R4me, welcome to WiK! I agree with you one hundred percent, 'cause Mike is MY favorite Kirby inker, too. That's a dynamite Etrigan avatar you have there. It doesn't get much better than a Kirby/Royer Demon! As you say, you're fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Mike in person. He's one of the few remaining comics pros I'd still like to meet, if he ever makes it up to the Toronto area.
I don't wish to take anything away from Jack Kirby's other inkers, but there was always something about Mike Royer's style that stood out for me even from my childhood. I didn't pay too much attention back then to the name's of the inkers in the comics I read, aside from Johnny Severin, but I remember the work. And I remember Mike's work more than others. For me it was unique, an artistic statement in itself.
I'm new here, and I do not own any work by Kirby, but no other artist endures in my memories more than he. Mike Royer added a touch to Kirby's work, while leaving the drawings so absolutely Kirby at the same time. Being a novice, I always thought that's what an inker was/is supposed to do.
Fast forward to the present. I learn I live in the same town as Mike. I've met with him on seperate occasions and spoke for hours (well, actually I mostly listened) at his home, and look forward to future visits. I've aquired one of his recreations of Kirby's DEMON and also some of his original Disney work. He is a very kind and gracious host, and a very funny guy. It's been a honor getting to know him and I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to do so outside the convention scene.