08 Nov 2011

As mentioned in my blog entry “What’s in a Name?”, I discussed two unsung heroes in the Inkwell Awards world, Serge LaPointe and P.J. Magalhaes.  This time around I wanted to give thanks (which is perfect just before Thanksgiving for us Americans) to two more.

One is legendary artist Michael Netzer. For those not aware of his career history and accomplishments you can look him up on Wikipedia or his own website.  The first time Michael was involved with us indirectly was in trying to assist Dave Simons when his health and finances had gone badly.  Dave was a committee member and we look after our own and Michael is a dedicated, giving man who tries to help when he can.  Last June he graciously donated to us two pieces of original art initially slated for the Gene Colan fundraiser (again, to assist Gene who was in poor health and having financial issues) because they didn’t need them anymore due to the overwhelming donations already collected by Clifford Meth who was Gene’s advocate. Those pieces sold at our live charity auction at our first awards ceremony at the Charlotte, NC Heroes Con.  Then I recently asked Michael if he would be able to design a logo for our Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship.  Previously we’ve been fortunate to have logos designed by Dan Panosian (Inkwell Awards) and Gina Kirlew (Ms. Inkwell),  with all work donated to our non-profit’s needs.  But I really wanted to see one done up for Dave.  And Michael didn’t hesitate to offer to do one.  Please keep in mind that Michael is a much in-demand illustrator with a busy work load.
Yet, within a couple of weeks he came through, as promised.
Dave would be so proud.

Lastly, I’d like to express kudos to long-time artist Bob McLeod.  He’s been primarily known as an ink artist over the decades of his impressive career but he’s also done his fair share of full pencils and his own pencils & inks.  The reason I am calling him out is not because of his work necessarily, or even the donations he’s given us to raise funds, but for the contribution he’s put forward for the art form of inking itself.  On Facebook some time back I discovered his feature “When the Inker Really Made a Difference” (probably an extension of the features in his Twomorrows‘ magazine he edited ‘Rough Stuff’) where he showcased what inkers were often replied upon to do back in the silver and bronze-ages of comics, which was to finish the often-sketchy and unfinished art, called layouts or breakdowns.  This skill meant the inker had to be versatile and confident with his/her drawing skills enough to take the barest of drawings and bring them to life.  He focused on this because the craft of inking has changed a lot in the last 15-20 years where pencilers will more often than not render things as tightly as possible, leaving the inker to seemingly trace over the work, adding little of their own skills, bringing almost nothing of themselves to the table (or the pencils are colored and printed as is without an inker at all).  I took notice of the feature because the Inkwell Awards website used to have an Inking Samples section showing before & after (pencils to inks) files, side by side, to fully illustrate what we do.  And with Bob doing this work online he was making my life easier finding material to use;-)  With our revamped website we will soon be adding back the section with the old info and files as well as new material with many from him, with his permission.  And anyone who can draw more attention to recognizing what the best inkers do, part of our mission, is certainly a hero in our book.  Thanks, Bob!

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