Artistram3d1's picture
Posted by: Artistram3d1 | July 15, 2011

Bicentennial illo

One of my all time favorite Kirby illustrations, inked by one of my favorite inkers, Frank Giacoia.
I get goosebumps every time I lay my eyes on this.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 15, 2011

Welcome aboard Artistram

Whoop--there you go Artistram--you just became Krackles best friend on this site by saying Frank Giacoia is one of your favorite inkers. You'll be hearing from him again pretty soon I'm sure.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | July 15, 2011

Giacoia or Verpoorten?

Welcome to WHATIFKIRBY, Artistram, where we love to debate the identity of embellishers who have inked various pieces of Kirby art over the years. Which pieces, you ask? Pieces like this one, for example, which I'd say was most likely inked by Jumbo John Verpoorten, not Feerless Frank Giacoia. Why? Well, Jumbo Johnny did lots of inking on Kirby's seventies Marvel work which was either credited to Feerless Frankie or not credited at all...and this picture was one of the latter. Take a careful look at it. Doesn't it look more like Verpoorten's inking style than Giacoia's? Of course it does! Then compare it to the inking style used on the FRONT cover of BICENTENNIAL BATTLES, which was definitely Giacoia's work. Are the two styles the same? Of course they're not! Conclusion? Giacoia inked the front cover and Verpoorten inked the back cover. Nuff said, true believers!

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 15, 2011

Agreed

That is Verpoorten.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 15, 2011

Verpoorten

Wait a minute! Are you suggesting I change the credits for this page to Veroorten or are you just screwing with our minds? I agree it doesn't look necessarily like Frank Giacoia and I've heard there were plenty of ghost inkers who filled in for Frank too but are we/you/ect. certain? I want cold facts not beliefs...

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | July 15, 2011

Re: Verpoorten

Well, we can put it out to anyone else who cares to chime in on it, but I would say with a fair degree of certainty that it's Verpoorten -- and Frank agrees with me. There were no credits given for the cover inkers in the actual BICENTENNIAL BATTLES book, so to credit the inking on this piece to Giacoia is to just go on the assumption that he did it -- without any reasonable evidence or verification. And as I mentioned in my previous comment, the inking styles on the front and back covers do not match. So why would someone make the assumption that Giacoia, who clearly inked the front cover, also inked the back cover? You just admitted that it doesn't look like Giacoia's work, and it's a known fact that Verpoorten was one of the people who did a lot of inking on Jack's '70s Marvel stuff (particularly on Cap) that was credited to Giacoia. Not only that, but the inking on this picture just looks like Verpoorten's style. Lastly, not that I'm trying to sound boastful or anything, but I've spent most of my life studying Kirby's work (as Frank obviously has, too) -- with a special emphasis on his '70s Marvel period -- and I think I'm as good a judge of the art on that stuff as just about anyone around...so yes, I guess I am suggesting that the credit be changed to Verpoorten...because in light of everything I just said, it's my considered opinion that he inked this page.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

Verpoorten/Giacoia?

Hey, Krackles--you want to weigh in on this?

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 16, 2011

Verpoorten it is

Thanks Frank and John for your opinions and supporting evidence Frank sent. Its obvious that the page was inked by Verpoorten.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

Verpoorten inks

No problem Tom--you're welcome. We just want to make sure the proper credit is due where it belongs, correct? I believe that Captain America annual 4 cover may be inked by Verpoorten also. Jumbo John's style reminds me of a cross between Sinnott and Royer. He did some nice inking on Jack.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | July 16, 2011

Verpoorten Inks

Definitely -- credit where it's due. And I'd say yes, that Cap Annual cover looks like his work as well. That's a good summation of his style, Frank: a cross between Sinnott and Royer. No wonder he was such a good inker on Kirby!

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 16, 2011

Leave it to chance?

With all due respect to everyone involved in this interesting discussion, is it wise to change credits based on assumptions? This case is a very difficult one. I can clearly see why most of you think of Verpoorten and I agree far too much to be confortable. A lot of the brushwork could certainly have been done by John.
At the same time, I'm rather positive about Frank doing some work on this piece, if only for some retouching.

For this reason and without clear evidences of the contrary, I would rather leave the credit to Frank Giacoia.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 16, 2011

Frankie and Johnny

Come on guys, I'm out of town since a couple of days and you already mess up with two favorite of mine?

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

C'mon now--

Krackles--with your discerning eye and the study of Jack's work and who inked him, you should be able to see the differences in most cases.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

Leave it to assumption?

There was never any credit given to whom inked this piece in the book. Wouldn't the assumption be that Giacoia inked it? I understand there were many inkers in that book who didn't get credit.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 16, 2011

Eye knows Frank…

… but most cases means some will still elude me.
I'll admit that's such one, how frustrating!

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 16, 2011

Leave it open…

… but, until someone backs up this claim with facts, first there, first served.

I say, Frank Giacoia is still the prime suspect.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

No need to be frustrated

Yeah--some of this stuff eluded us or we were a little slow on the take until someone notices or we take a closer look. This is part of the fun though to discover these things together.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

No credit?

So you're saying no one gets credit? You can't tell Frank Giacoia didn't ink that?

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 16, 2011

To be Frank…

… I can't tell for sure but I lean on Frank.

So, just to make it clear for good and Frank, leave the credit to Frank Giacoia.

Damn it!

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

Hey--Krackles...

I did ask if you wanted to weigh in on this--and you have. I thought you knew Frank's inks and would help clarify this piece--but--you're not sure. I am sure--I, with some others here can see the differences. You act as if we want to take something away from Frank--I think it would be false to Frank to give him credit for something he didn't do.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 16, 2011

Inking credits

Since both inkers are no longer with us, it would be difficult to get hard evidence which one inked the pages so the only way is through analysis. The question is who is qualified to make that decision and how many experts are needed to make that decision. I originally put Giacoia as credit based on the dealer selling it telling me thats who inked it however that book was inked by many inkers and the back cover was not credited to any one of them. So it could be any of those inkers or any other inker that was available on Marvel's payroll.

I could also add a message in the Notes section stating the possibility of the page being inked by Giacoia. Be good to have standard way of evaluating inkers but that would be difficult.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 16, 2011

Signature styles

Y'know you look at this stuff all your life and you would like to think that you can identify inkers signature styles. You know a Joe Sinnott from a Frank Giacoia by looking at the work without seeing the credits. I remember as a kid when I picked up FF annual 5 and Joe Sinnott was credited as the inker--I knew then as a 11 year old that it was inked by Frank Giacoia. You identify these things because it's ingrained in you, and I took a big interest because I wanted to be a comic artist. So I did study this stuff to learn from it. I became very versed at inking styles. Does that make me an expert?--maybe.

I looked at that treasury piece and saw that it wasn't Giacoia--Why?--because I didn't want it to be Giacoia? No--because I recognized the style as not being Giacoia.

I guess if there's no credit, Tom--you can say "inker unknown" and then see if the so-called experts weigh in.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 17, 2011

Re: Signature Styles

Frank with your professional history and background, you are an expert. The samples you shown in your email to me demonstrates the inking styles of both and how this page doesn't look like Giacoia. I guess putting a note makes sense too.

Based on Krackles comment, I was thinking that if there were a network of 2 to 4 other "experts" that could be sent a link to weigh in on who a page's inker was, like a review panel then it would give some weight to the credits. These "experts" would be mentioned on the site with bios. Assuming these experts had the time and will. Just a thought.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 17, 2011

Review panel

I'd be on board for that if it would help.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 17, 2011

Board of trustees

Tom,

Being out of town with just an ipad in my hands and no access to my comics, I have to thank Frantic Frank (Fosco) for providing me with the scans to compare.

From my experience in comics, an expert analysis is no definitive evidence but rather an informed opinion, sometimes accurate, sometimes not so.

That's why, I find your proposal of having a board of experts and adding marginal notes interesting and balanced.
By the way, an even number (3 or 5) would help to get a clear majority.

Just in case, I didn't make myself understandable, I had doubt already about Giacoia being the inker but without clear evidence I was proposing to leave the original credit but opened with a note added.

Now, based on the scans provided by Frank, I'm leaning on Verpoorten with a second inker adding a few bold strokes not unlike Giacoia's style.

Count me on for the board if you need me.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 17, 2011

Kirby Trustees Board

I would propose :

The Kirby Kracks
The Kirby Kommittee
The Silver Board
The Fantastic Five
The Kracklers

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 17, 2011

Consider this.

Okay--during the 1960s and 70s this is the thing we need to get past. Most of these pages were usually inked by one guy--the days of the assembly line inkers is a thing of the past. ONCE in a while there may be a rare exception of more then one inker, but that was likely an uncredited assistant. If the page was touched by anyone else it was by someone in production to make a correction or move something to accommodate copy/lettering.

Yeah--I know we may see a face inked by Giacoia and then it's passed on to John Verpoorten (who did work at the Marvel office) and or John Tartaglione--that's an exception--but we see the credits for that (at least in favor to the two Johns). Most of these other guys worked at home and alone. So to be passing pages back and forth wasn't an option or conducive--they had deadlines to meet and this was before Fed-X and the internet.

I think Verpoorten played a big part in inking Jack at this time because he was in the office and part of the production crew. It may explain why we see a seldom something started by Frank only to be finished by Verpoorten. I don't know if Tartaglione was part of production? It may explain his and Verpoorten's pairing in the credits and the exception of more then one inker. And do we know that they both may have inked on the same page?--or did they split the pages between themselves?

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | July 17, 2011

I totally agree...

...with Frank's comment here. It would also be false to Verpoorten to deny him credit for something he did do.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | July 17, 2011

Again, I'm in total accord...

...with the sentiments Frank expresses here.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | July 17, 2011

Excellent Observations

Excellent observations here, Frank. Verpoorten and Tartaglione both worked in the office, but Giacoia worked primarily from his home. It's well known that Giacoia's problems getting his assignments done stemmed largely from his preference for watching TV to sitting at his board and working (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, to his unhappiness and dissatisfaction with being recognized primarily as an inker, not a penciller).

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | July 17, 2011

Observations

Thanks John. I was getting ready to say something about Frank's work ethic in "Consider this" but it started to seem like I was rambling on--so I deleted that part. I was going to say that Frank couldn't sustain a consistent flow of work which is why you see his stuff in spurts for a few months or so on any given penciller. And I suspect that Frank was meant to be the main inker on Captain America but Verpoorten and Tartaglione stepped in to get it finished to meet deadlines.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | July 17, 2011

Re: Observations

For sure Giacoia was meant to be the main inker. I'm not sure how much of it is Tartaglione, because it's fairly difficult for me to differentiate between his stuff and Verpoorten's, based on how little I've seen of Tartaglione's CREDITED inking on Kirby. But if you take the two of them as one (and I suspect it WAS mostly Verpoorten), what you'll see is that Giacoia was fairly consistent up 'til issue 204; then Verpoorten takes over on--and is credited for--issue 205. Giacoia comes back for 206; then 207, 208 and 209 look like they're inked almost entirely by Verpoorten, even though they're credited to Giacoia. Finally, with #210, Mike Royer steps in and ends the merry-go-round, inking all of Kirby's remaining issues except #213, which was done by Dan Green.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | August 2, 2011

Here, Nick...

...follow this thread--this is where it was discussed about Verpoorten's inking, and the issues of Cap he was involved in.
Feel free to clarify, Nick.

Anonymous's picture
Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | August 2, 2011

I'd add my agreement that

I'd add my agreement that Verpoorten inked this page.Verpoorten followed Kirby's lines closer than Giacoia's, although a little differently than Royer. Giacoia would have made some corrections and likely have fixed the eyes.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | August 3, 2011

re: I'd add my agreement that...

Hey?--is that you Nick?

I remember when first seeing this I thought it might'a been Joe Sinnott.

nick caputo's picture
Posted by: nick caputo | August 3, 2011

Yes, it's me. I don't know

Yes, it's me. I don't know how I became anonymous

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