Jim Shooter: The inking rant

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TimTownsend's avatar
Here's a good, in depth article on inking by former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief, Jim Shooter:

© 2011 - 2021 TimTownsend
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Wescoast's avatar
Great article!
Robo-Bug's avatar
Thanks a ton for sharing this, Tim. Much appreciated. :D
JonasTrindade's avatar
Jim say all great, thanks to sharing Tim.
RandySiplon's avatar
This is an actual question, and I am not trying to be a smart ass or anything. Doesn't the penciler do the spotting of blacks for the most part, or am I missing something? These days most pencils I see are super tight and fully rendered with shadows all placed on the page. Just curious, thanks.
TimTownsend's avatar
Depends on the penciler.
seangordonmurphy's avatar
Someday you and I will have to record a digital inking rant. While drunk.
ThaliaLemon's avatar
As long as you share the results I'll supply the first pitcher!

....from Canada.
deviantART muro drawingComment Drawing
TimTownsend's avatar
RandySiplon's avatar
I find it interesting that he knows so much about a subject he HAS NEVER ACTUALLY DONE. No disrespect to Shooter, but I'd rather have an article on inking by Tim Townsend. So get on that, will ya? lol
mcd91's avatar
Actually Shooter is also a very able artist. He did some issues on Magnus, and they are quite decent. So to say he doesn't know a thing about inking is not correct.
RandySiplon's avatar
Wow, I've been a comic book fan for almost my entire 36 years on Earth and I never knew he was an artist, my bad. Not sure if that is entirely my fault as a quick Google search turned up absolutely nothing. I wasn't really trying to bag on Shooter. The point of my comment was to get Tim to divulge all of his inking secrets to me via a series of articles. Because we all know the best way to become a better artist is to read about it and not through hours upon hours of dedication and practice, right?
ToddMoniz's avatar
Thanks for the heads up!
MagiKinchi's avatar
What say you, Master Townsend, yourself of what was written - I'm-a-curious....
Ashinson's avatar
excellent article - the words from the pro's are super helpful to those just getting going as it gives you some structure to place little tips - thx for the forward.
urban-barbarian's avatar
Truthfully I don't think Jim gets what John was saying about "spotting blacks". John was dead on with his instruction. The problem is, it's a very, very advanced way of looking at a page. The majority of working pencil artists don't incorporate those theories in their work. Phenomenal inkers like Klaus, Giordano, Palmer, Williamson and others understood those theories and it's why we recognize their talent.

Today's inkers are far too frightened too add black or create shadows. But, today's pencils are much tighter. So adding more black may not seem appropriate. Overall, however, I don't think today's inker has the basic drawing skills to give them the confidence to add or subtract or edit anything. It's a real shame.

Being adept and skillful with a brush or pen is one thing but an inker must never stop being an artist.
TimTownsend's avatar
Im with you. I think he was getting a little hung up on semantics.
RichardPace's avatar
Jim Shooter tends to take actual knowledge of art fundamentals and transform them into sets of rigid rules where they stop being useful and start becoming hindrances.

Witness his "spotting blacks" nonsense; it's obvious he doesn't know how the term originated or the way knowledgeable artists would plan out the dark areas in panels and pages to direct the composition.

It's an article where he parrots many of the things far better people have already said elsewhere, but, like a parrot, doesn't understand what he's saying or how it applies.

urban-barbarian's avatar
Spotting blacks ideally means things like framing. It doesn't mean "spotty" blacks speckled on a page. He doesn't quite get it.
RichardPace's avatar
The has all sorts of misunderstandings about art and storytelling running through his approach. At times he reminds me of someone trying to tell a poorly-remembered joke; most of the set up is there and he recalls the punch-line, but the missing bits are what made it work.
ashigaru's avatar
Excellent article! Thanks for posting this!
mcd91's avatar
While I mostly agree I don't get his spotting black rant. I always interpreted it as figuring out the dark areas from the bright ones. For example which part of the building throws a shadow, where does the light come from etc. I've never seen it as putting down random patterns.

BTW, there are two great, albeit very long, Shooter interviews available, just consult Google and type in Jim Shooter interview. Very insightful.
rschuch's avatar
Very cool and informative. Thanks for the link.
waki2's avatar
Just an awesome article, and insight to inking. Thanks for sharing that Tim.
Muady's avatar
Good to know that im making atlest a few things right... some not so much^^

What is this spotting black he speaks of, i never heard that before.
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