Customer Reviews: Art of Comic Book Inking
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on April 2, 2014
This book is very professionnal. Starters AND advanced inkers will find all the tools usefull. Alf of the fun is at the end where we can exercise inking on 8 double pages. Fantastik!
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on March 29, 2014
Wow. What a fantastic book. I ordered this and the DC Comics Guide to inking at the same time and this one was immediately and obviously 'the one' (but get the DC guide too). Great instruction and theory. A big part of the genius of this book is the section where they have an artist draw up a tight comic book page and send a copy to 5 or 6 different inkers in the industry to ink in their own style and to add their own commentary. Amazingly informative. And THEN, when you feel confident in your learning there are those same penciled comic book pages folded on bristol board included the back of the book. If you are trying to find some good instruction on inking comics START HERE.
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on June 25, 2013
Though the first half of the book contains what most how-to ink books have, the second-half is where it shines. Learn to ink from straight from masters themselves; from rough pencils to finished inks. Great book to have in you reference library.
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on January 7, 2013
Just an interesting aside: this book was recommended to me by none other than Mike Royer (one of Jack Kirby's main inker), after I sent him an e-mail suggesting that he write a book on inking.

The content has been covered by other reviewers, so I'll limit my review to the instructional value of this book. Cutting to the chase, this is an excellent book for learning how to ink traditionally, with a brush and maybe some pens.

It has two sections: theory and practice. In the theory section, you learn about light sources, line weights, contours, feathering, & cross hatching and how these combine to help emphasize characters and story.

The practice section is the second half of the book and this is a goldmine of tips from established inkers. The way the second-half of the book works is as follows: (1) a penciled drawing from an artist like John Buscema, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, & Steve Rude is shown; (2) five or more inkers ink that page and provide commentary about the tools they used and their inking philosophy.

By flipping back and forth between the penciled drawing and the different ways of inking it (and reading the commentary!) you'll eventually learn how inking works and what a well-inked panel looks like. Maybe you won't be able to ink like the stars, but you'll at least be able to better appreciate and comment on inking.

So, why not five stars? To be a comprehensive book on inking comics, there needs to be a chapter on inking digitally or on how to adapt these "manual" techniques to "digital" tools like Photoshop or Illustrator. You can probably figure out how to do this on your own, but it would be nice to have a chapter on this.
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on October 19, 2012
The book was exactly what I needed. I felt I had a really good grasp on penciling and after visiting a comicon with my comic, the publisher recommended this book and it is amazing.Great condition,
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on July 29, 2012
This volume contains some valuable information about the art of inking over pencil drawings, for the comic books, however, misses some key issues. The fold-out section, where the reader can ink over the non-reproducing blue is worth the price of the book, however. Gary Martin is quite the accomplished inker, however, he's improved since the book was written- the volume should be updated. This book is really only for those whom are already familiar with the way that comics are produced. It is more aimed at the traditional comic book production; newer comics painted digitally will be somewhat different, but use some of the same skills. People who are fans of pen-and-ink drawing may wish to have a look, but may not want to buy this volume. It does fill in a missing place on the shelf, for a library of comic book production, and is far superior to the 'DC Comics Guide to Inking'.
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on April 6, 2012
A true masterpieces on comic book Inking and some history of the are and it greatest Inker of the pace not just a how to do book.
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on March 11, 2012
First off, I would recommend having a basic knowledge of inking and drawing prior to picking up this book. (Knowledge of comics is helpful too!)

I am predominantly a pencil artist, however for the greater part of the past decade I have "traced" my pencils in ink. My though process did not include any way to make my illustration look better. Within the first 25 pages of this book, I had several enlightened "Why did I not think of this before!?" moments. I have read through the book a few times now and have gotten around to practicing some different styles (I might update this post later on with examples). For what it's worth, giving me a better idea how to make my illustrations better and more professional looking far exceeded the price of admission.

A few notes if you had read the other reviews... This book contains several blue-line art boards from professional artists. I would recommend taking them to a print shop and having them reprinted several times on your personal flavor of paper/board. Keep them in the book if possible, because it would ruin the binding without them. (That is my only concern with the book. I would have preferred a "folder" style, meaning the book can be removed with the pages secured on a separate spine.)

Many reviewers commented on the authors use of brushes. I use Copic technical and brush pens (Copic - Multiliner Pen Set - B2). The author is not a dinosaur by any means, but that is his preferred style of inking. A good artist learns to adapt depending on the materials and what they have to draw. Also, as the author states himself in the foreword, it "doesn't mean [he] is saying that [his style] is the only way to ink".
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on October 3, 2011
Two words -- holy cow.

You're not going to find a better book on inking comic books out there. This books goes through the basic stuff you see in any other book on making comics regarding tools and basic theory but where it shines is when the author, a highly talented inker in his own right (the guy inks Steve Rude on Nexus, so you can't ask for better than that!), lays out numerous examples of inking from one set of pencils and shows you the difference in various approaches.

One of the most memorable xamples is when he takes a Steve Rude pencil drawing of a generic male flying Superman-style and inks it with a few different approaches -- his own style (which is pretty classic and feels "Wally Wood" inspired), the "Neal Adams" approach, the "Rudy Nebres" approach, the "Adam Hughes" approach and the "Scott Williams" approach. You really see what kind of options pen and ink offer when it comes to lighting and defining a pencils drawing.

The section on lighting the face is worth the price of admission alone -- light on copy, you just see a few dozen faces inked with different light sources. This is an invaluable look at one of the hardest aspects of inking -- making a face look genuinely shaded rather than a face with black crap all over it. Gorgeous.

It's also highly valuable to see the texture guides Martin provides -- from trees, to metal, to rocks, you really do see it all. It's in these types of sections that Gary Martin's book succeeds where Klaus Janson's fails. Klaus simply picked actual examples of inks from real comic book pages and while it's certainly worth looking at, it doesn't give you the immediate "oh, I see" comprehension that seeing the same exact art inked several different ways gives you.

And the best is still yet to come, as the book ends with the pencils art of greats like John Buscema, Steve Rude, Jack Kirby, Adam Warren, Gil Kane and a few others being inked by some of the most legendary names in funnybook history for inks -- Tom Palmer, Terry Austin, Scott Williams, etc.

You really, really see the difference inking technique makes when you see a Steve Rude Nexus page being inked by Gary Martin, Tom Palmer and Scott Williams. The whole feel and style of the page changes drastically. Not only that but it gives you each of these pencil samples done in blue line at actual size so you can ink the same pages the pros did for practice!

The bottom line is that this book is a welcome addition to any comic book artist's library and an invaluable guide to anyone struggling with learning to draw and render objects in ink.

I've read and looked through tons of comic "How To" books and easily give this my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. Anyone who wants to ink needs this -- just remember, get the 2nd Edition, printed in 2005 (the one I have has an ISBN of 978-1-59307-405-0)! Apparently, this was originally published as 2 different books and then compiled into one massive volume with the 2005 2nd edition.
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on October 18, 2010
This,and it's sister book by the same title but much larger with more examples, is probably the best book on the 'old school' method of inking-non digital comic inking. It is now,apparently,out of print. Which is a shame because even if you don't ink 'old school' style you should be familiar with the methods and styles.
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