Mike T's picture
Posted by: Mike T | March 19, 2014

What a Great Splash!

This art jumps right off the page! (Just like it's supposed to IMO) The blacks are superb! Syd's inking has improved in leaps and bounds since he began on this book. He's much more in control of his lines, and appears to have overcome the shakiness seen six months earlier. Much less mud too. No doubt he saw how his earlier inks looked and adapted.

Did I read somewhere that Mr. Shores came out of retirement when he began on Captain America? It seems like Stan wrote that back in the day, but I can't remember for certain. If so, that would explain the dramatic improvement in his technique, which is much more visible in the original zoom art than on the printed pages. ...Not that there was anything wrong with his earlier work...

I may have to add Syd to my favorite inker list if I come across more like this. Kirby pursists kan kiss my keester, this is exceptional "embellishment" on another energetically explosive intro to a Klassic King Kirby Kreation, rendered at the height of the King's career. THANKS TO THE TOMS AND TO EVERYBODY ELSE WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE!

starquack's picture
Posted by: starquack | March 19, 2014

Hear! Hear!

I agree. This is a great page.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | March 19, 2014

Quake Err!

Make yourself scarce you fat liver on legs, you are starting to give me an appetite!

starquack's picture
Posted by: starquack | March 19, 2014


Like Pâté de Foie Gras do you?

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | March 19, 2014

Duck Duke!

OK Daffy, don't play smart with me… and choose your side:
That's "pâté" or "foie gras" but you can't be both on my plate.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | March 19, 2014

PinPoint of Interest

Hey, it's probably a decent piece of Shores work but Kirby is still sorely missing in action so, as much as I hate having to bash such enthusiasm, I'll point you two at the Syd Shores tribute single Pin which is having a conversation with himself on Pinterest.

I already have enough trouble shaking off my back some annoying Colletta Crapsters.

Thank you for your interest.

Mike T's picture
Posted by: Mike T | March 19, 2014

G'won, play the field!

Sounds like fatigue is setting in there, Krackles. And what's this--self hatred of your bashing? Sure hope I didn't cause that, as I've now begun to look forward to your rapier commentary.

I say just go for it. Don't limit yourself to hatin' Vinnie. Play the field. Spread the hate. I'm sure there's more where that came from.

But seriously, it's way cool how you always want more Jack from the inkers. The reason, obviously, is your love of Jack's art. And you totally dig the pure Jack to the point where the "corrected" Jack or the "embellished" Jack is only a diluted Jack to you. You can't accept diluted Jack, you want the real deal.

Maybe you're right. But I look at corrected Jack, and I feel like I'm seeing Jack how I think Jack might have seen Jack. Inkers that don't add or correct, aren't they lazy or careless in their art?

I'm convinced that Jack picked his battles on the bristol board. If he would have been paid more per page, he'd have taken more time to perfect his work. Instead, very early on in his career, he learned how to draw detail to a certain degree that looked great exactly the way he left it, but in the hands of a skilled inker/finisher could look even better. That somewhat abbreviated degree of detail, sometimes very fleshed out while sometimes omissive but always excellent, freed him up to focus on the big picture, which for Jack was way bigger than anything anybody ever imagined.

After a while I think it became ingrained. I think a very young Jack could do a Wally Wood / Sky Masters job on his work if he'd had the time, but after years or decades of pencilling pages to support his family, I'd guess that he grew nearly incapable of such perfectionism in that regard. But that's a small price to pay for his evolution as artist/storyteller/universe_builder, and we're all the better for it.

So when an inker adds detail or fixes Jack, I'm thrilled. I'm convinced Jack liked most of it himself. He knew he was the spark, and he enjoyed seeing all the fires he started being nurtured. Now I may be full of crap, but that's how I see it. Jack was the Borg, his inkers' distinctiveness merely added to the Kirby Kollective, they did not triumph over it.

I wish there were more stats of his pencils. Photocopies lose all the grayscale. That's actually what inking does, and is in fact intended to do--lose the grayscale. Pencil art can be so beautiful due to its inherent nuances. But to trying to capture that in a hard medium--india ink--is a cluster f_ck. A wide gray pencil line looks like shite if its a wide black line.

So for any inker it's a mighty big challenge to transform pencil art into hard black and white without screwing it up, let alone avoiding submerging the pencil artist to some degree. It just is, and you have to find ways to compensate in the hard medium for the lost nuances of the pencil. If you've never tried, it ain't easy, let me tell you. Some very good artists who worked on Jack couldn't even come close to compensating (Think Thing v. Hulk). Vince Colletta could, and so could Syd Shores. I'm not saying they always did, but they sometimes did. They elevated Jack's art. Some of Collettas later Thor pages are among the most beautiful of any Kirby ever. It's a real bummer that at the peak of Jack's career, and for the entire Gold and Silver age for that matter, that the ink artists were not paid enough to be able to put their best into every page, but that's the reality of the economics of the days when comic books sold for 10 to 15 cents.

Well, Krackles, thanks for YOUR interest. And please give me the link to that conversation you refered to.

MRE1957's picture
Posted by: MRE1957 | June 28, 2014

I agree with Mike to a "T".

It's never bothered me that an inker embellishes the pencils. Back in the mid-to-late 60s, each month I looked forward to seeing Jack's work being rendered by different inkers because it gave each of those books an individual personality. However, having only one inker (first Colletta, then Royer) do all of the Fourth World books did make sense since they were all part of an overarching concept. Pure Kirby vs. Embellished Kirby? Hey, I love both because at the end of the day, it's all Kirby, jack!

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