With digital "inking" becoming more and more popular, there is a lot of discussion going on about traditional inking and it' s future place in comics.
Let me first get this out of the way...
I have nothing against digital inking. What ever you choose to use to create comics, just make it look good. It really doesn't make a difference what tools are used, if the end product is an enjoyable read. That said, i choose the brush and nib as my weapons of choice. They work for me, and i have a deep appreciation for original art.
has written extensively about original art. He has covered all the bases in a much deeper manner which insightful than anything i could write.
So, with so many artists using digital media to create comics, what is the future of traditional inking? I'm an optimist, i see a bright future. Inking used to be the default means of creating line art. It wasn't a choice someone made. With digital media coming into play, there is now a choice. So, i see digital media weeding out the casual inkers, the default inkers. Traditional inking well be left to the artisans, the craftsmen, those with a vision who are passionate about the medium. I see a the mid and low level inkers disappearing. What will be left is a class of high level ink artists. Cartoonists who CHOOSE to ink, specifically and with passion and intent. They will shape and mold the medium, breathing new life into it. If someone chooses to take the long road (traditional inking) versus the quicker route (digital media) then they must have a purpose in doing so. With that purpose will come some amazing work.
The new HD iPad will allow the reader to see traditional inks better than print medium ever could. So, i don't see the death of print as a threat to traditional inking.
What inspired this lil rant was this years inkwell award nominees.[link]
Once again i feel that the ballot seems to truly ignore the trailblazers of our industry. We are in a time where some of the greatest inkers of the medium are emerging while a group of masters continue to develop the craft. So, i have decided to start promoting the art of inking, and those who are defining the future of it while bringing awareness to the past. I do not feel like the Inwell Awards are a solid voice for our future. I am certainly no master of the craft of inking, but i am passionate as hell about it, and will do my best to celebrate this craft and raise awareness of the past and future of inking.
I run the SEQA dept. at SCAD Atlanta, where is teach as well. My students know my passion for inking. A passion which i share and teach on a daily basis. Every fall i teach a an advanced level inking class where i am lucky to help develop the next generation of inkers while celebrating those who came before them
Also, I will soon release a tumblr blog with interviews and art. Look out for...
"The Black Label Ink Socitey".... Always dipping, Neva slippin.