DC Graphic Novel, Issue 4, The Hunger Dogs, Page 11



Pencils to Inks

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DC Graphic Novel, Issue 4, The Hunger Dogs, Page 11
Luigi's picture
Posted by: Luigi (not verified) | May 26, 2012

Bad inks

I've always thought that Hunger Dogs were poorly inked, and this page confirms my sensations.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | May 26, 2012


...THIS page is a candidate for recreation. Needs to be totally re inked to do justice to Jack's pencils. Word balloon placement is horrible in panel one--by all means, block the more important element of the composition rather than use the open space Jack provided at the top for balloons. Jack's balloon placement should have been adhered to. The inking in general is terrible--way too much feathering and over rendering on the figures.

I think I'm knowing how Krackles feels when he sees a page of Jack's inked by Colletta, 'cause I'm getting that feeling when seeing this.

Chris Knowles's picture
Posted by: Chris Knowles (not verified) | May 26, 2012

I like a lot of Berry's 70s

I like a lot of Berry's 70s work- it gave Kamandi and OMAC a suitably otherworldly kind of vibe. But this is dreadful, as was all of his 80s work over Jack. He's a very talented pen and ink artist, but he just lost his voice. I really, really wish Royer inked all of Jack's 80s stuff, other than Destroyer Duck. And I don't wish that about a lot of the 70s stuff he did.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 26, 2012


This makes Colletta look like Mike Royer. Absolute butcher job. Stories were circulated at the time Kirby's pencils needed "fixing." By that assumption Kirby never drew anything which didn't need fixing. The inks on Orion's face in panel three are criminal. The pencils are very strong on the page as a whole.
If I had the money I'd have Mike recreate every page of The Hunger Dogs except those where his original inks survived.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | May 26, 2012

My two cents

Yes, this IS bad inking but Colletta has done worse on a regular basis while Kirby was at his peak!

Pete Von Sholly's picture
Posted by: Pete Von Sholly (not verified) | May 26, 2012

bad is bad

Bad inking is bad inking whoever and whenever... Kirby did not alays get the inkers he should have. The examples you guys point out are surely some of the worst. I also cringe at what Paul Reinman and George Roussos did! They may have been good sometimes, but when they were not... oh baby!

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | May 27, 2012

This is B(r)AD Pete!

I don't agree.
There's bad and there's bad with everything in-between.

As for whenever… Some inkers did ink Kirby's layouts while others had full pencils to work from.
That's not exactly the same thing.

Early Kirby inkers had choice to make in order to "finish" the job, like spotting black.
Colletta, on Thor, was working on fully rendered pencils he totally obliterated when he wasn't busy erasing them.


I don't dislike the work of Paul Reinman like some people do.
He did produce some great work and, at times, not so great but he was most of the times a fairly decent inker.

Bill Goodwin's picture
Posted by: Bill Goodwin (not verified) | May 26, 2012

Dialogue Ballons

Moving the dialogue balloons around was a mistake too. In panel one, the changes cover up a good shoulder and leave behind an empty space which the inker seems to have filled with faux-Kirby machinery. WTF?

tsol's picture
Posted by: tsol (not verified) | May 26, 2012

Weren't other inkers

Weren't other inkers involved? I remember *really* hating these pages but some others were more Royer-esque and looked pretty good.

ken bastard's picture
Posted by: ken bastard | May 26, 2012


Moving the balloons was a critical mistake. It upsets the flow between the top two panels and robs the first of the power in Orion's arm. Flow was always key in Jacks layouts making it easier to tell the story.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 27, 2012

It's complicated.

Kirby first created a 23 page classic called ON THE ROAD TO ARMAGETTO. The complete story was inked by Mike Royer. The story was created inpart because DC was reprinting THE NEW GODS 1-9 in a Baxter paper format with two issues of the original series reprinted in each issue of the reprint. Needing something to fill out issue #5 they had the great idea of having Kirby create a new story. KIrby passed with flying colours and most people who have an appreciation of Kirby's work post 1970 see OTRTA as one of Kirby's best stories. DC was not entirely happy with Kirby's tight elegant narrative mainly because they reprint was designed to promote a line of toys based on the characters, and Kirby had created a story which did not fit their plans. DC decided to have Kirby create a new story to fill out the last issue of the Baxter reprint, and had Kirby expand OTRTA into a graphic novel called THE HUNGER DOGS.
Kirby was already dealing with some health related issues by this time, but he was still able to produce superb artwork given a reasonable deadline. It's a testament to the power of Kirby's will, energy, and story telling ability that on a tight deadline he was able to weave the original 23 pages into a much longer narrative encompassing the graphic novel and EVEN GODS MUST DIE the story which was published in the the Baxter reprint. Both THE HUNGER DOGS and EGMD were heavily retouched by Greg Theakston. The 23 pages of Royer inks were restored for the OMNIBUS reprint.
Sadly ON THE ROAD TO ARMAGETTO has never been properly published. The complete story was published in very small size in the back of the FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS Vol. 4.
Although the artwork is often ruined by heavy handed inking, I love both EGMD and THD. The reworked narrative is not as tight and seamless as the 23 page ON THE ROAD TO ARMAGETTO, some of the artwork is understandably rushed, but the stories took on a life of their own. ON THE ROAD TO ARMAGETTO deserves a proper presentation though, and it's a pity it was not included full size in the OMNIBUS.

Jay W's picture
Posted by: Jay W (not verified) | June 9, 2012

Hunger Dogs Inking

One of the things that bothered me about the Hunger Dogs inking, was the "sheen" that Theakston seemed to apply to the inking of D. Bruce Berry. Berry was a weak inker on Jack's work, but adding that just made the figures look muddy, not powerful. Admittedly, at the point of Hunger Dogs, Jack's pencils had declined, and Theakston undoubtedly felt that he needed to had a more contemporary spin to the inks. i just don't think that it worked out very well.

Dave Elliott's picture
Posted by: Dave Elliott | December 1, 2013


Anybody know the history of the enlargement of the art area? It looks like the lettering was done to the panel borders and type area on the printer DC paper. Was it expanded after it was lettered? If not then it is an awful lettering job, but if it was expaned to hit the graphic novel format after, it would at least make some sense.

Oh to have had Mike Royer ink all of this.

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