Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Turtles Inks

Here is the inked version of the penciled page I posted recently.


bustedacres said...

Looks great--I like the hand in the foreground of the last panel in particular.

Yesterday I bought "Birds of Prey" 66, the Michael Golden issue you inked. Good to see his work again, and your styles seem to mesh well. I noticed it was inked by you, by Scott Hanna, and by Golden himself. What was the story there? Did he intend to ink it himself and then get behind?

Side note--Jack Staff comes out today, and if you don't already read it, you should check it out. Paul Grist is a really fun writer/artist, and maybe he'd be someone you'd have in Draw?

Hope you're well,

Mike Manley said...

Thanks. Golden was hard work to ink... since his penciling was sooo tight. It was a dream job in some ways and a lot of hard work in others. I have been a fan since I was a kid reding his Micronuats issues.

I was suppoesed to ink it all but Golden fell way, way way wayyyyy behind schedule, so i lost out on inking those pages, I even penciled and inked two versions of those pages Golden inked himself from scratch because DC neede to have the books ship, but Golden also penciled and inked them the same weekend so they went with his. I had my pages posted on my message board a while back.

There is an interview in progress with Grist as a matter of fact and I will schedule it when I have it finished.

bustedacres said...

Glad to hear you're already a Paul Grist fan; he's the guy that got me to enjoy superhero comics again. With characters named Brainhead and Tom-Tom the Robot Man, I was sold instantly.

What is it with all these fantastic artists who have such trouble with schedules? I love Michael Golden's stuff, and I think Tony Salmons' artwork is totally inspiring--and almost scary at times. . .it's as though he's not sure he even cares whether that drawing looks like a person or not, he's just enjoying slopping ink on the page. But then right next to it, there's such power and excitement; I really love his stuff.

For a while there, it seemed like none of my favorite comics guys could keep up with a regular schedule (I know that I can't keep up with one at present, which has kept me from really trying to get work in comics). Nowadays, though, I'm so impressed by Caniff and Robbins and Toth and Krigstein and Kirby and Eisner, and I don't get the impression they ever had any problems with deadlines. I read Eisner said he never missed a deadline in his life.

Not to mention Kirby drawing something like five books a month! Lord.

HumanPerson said...

Golden is great. I really got into the Micronauts series a few years ago when they were in the .50 cent bins. I can't remember the other stuff Golden did in that era, but i've picked up a bunch of them. He might have done some Iron Man (?)

I still love that old-looking Turtle on the far left!

Mike Manley said...

Funny how you mentioned those two artists, both who are very talented, pretty unique, especially Golden, and two artist who always had deadline issues.

The big difference between artists now and artists then is that those great comic artists were often first generation children of immigrants trying to escape poverty, war, crime etc. They were not making more than $5 a page in the 40's, and speed was a must. thus they were trained for hard work, and rewarded for hard work and speed. That entire generation knew war, depression, persecution and the value of $$ and hard work, today peope are pussies!

The field just isn't the same today.It's like a vanity press in many ways, and in general most artists just don't want to work that hard. Some artists are rewarded despite being slow, blowing deadlines, often costing fellow freelancers income and the company money if they are popular enough. Conversley, artists who deliver on time, do good solid work are routinely fucked over and give short shrift in editorial offices if they are not "hot" and editors seem to fight over the same 10 guys because they are competeing for way to 'stunt up" sales and sell more product to fewer aging babyman fans in a market that is stagnat at best. New readers or potential readers are flocking to manga not Batman, thus we as a industry have trained fans to reward and expect this type of "event" publishing, just as the memory scent of the high 90's brief $hot$ speculator-event publishing market destroyed the stability of the influx of new readers and growth as an industry as a whole. New readers would routinely come in, become a fan of say, Fantastic Four,X-men etc., and proceed to buy back issues. Back issue sales often being upwards of 40-60% of the avaerage retailers income. Now I bet it's 15-20% at best.

The retailers effect the artist in the long run, a 'trickle down" economics. If lets' say Alex Ross covers mean a 10% boost in retailer orders that means Ross does more covers for DC. Also if that means editorial get's the idea then that "realistic art" is in, then artists who may have a different and as legitimate style are suddenly out of favor. These are often forces that you as an artist have no control over at all and all you can do is keep your nose to the wind and not count on any one source of income.

bustedacres said...

That's how the market/industry looks to me, too, as an outsider. It has done much of what the movie and music industries have done, it seems, to focus on a "star" mentality instead of a story mentality, which is of course nothing but marketing.

That's not to say that I don't get excited that Frank Miller is doing a new Batman story--I was a big, big fan of his for years--but now that I'm older, I've learned that stars make crap, too. I'm still trying to figure out DK2 and whether it's actually good or not--but I think the artwork STINKS in it, and I hate saying that because I love a lot of his other stuff.

It's frustrating to watch, though--how movies are motivated to cast stars instead of the actors who might be suitable and thereby tell the story more effectively (why for God's sake was Keanu Reeves in Dracula? or Constantine, for that matter). Or when albums are made not for the purpose of selling great music but so that Jessica Simpson or U2 can capitalize on a deal with Pepsi or iPod.

For me it has been very difficult to find comics to buy on a monthly basis--I still love comics, but I can't find much that keeps me coming back month after month. I guess that probably has a lot to do with the "star system" as much as anything.

That said, and to bring things full circle, that's what I so love about Paul Grist and "Jack Staff". He makes comics like they used to make them.

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