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Artists in Action
March 15, 2008 4:37 AM   Subscribe

Drawing Superheros... Youtube videos of comics artists sketching and inking. Direct links: John Romita and Joe Kubert, John Buscema and Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Gibbons and Travis Charest.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (16 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was great. I loved seeing the differences in their working styles; Gibbons was so precise while Kubert was all over the place, and yet all the pieces turned out nicely in the end.

I wish they hadn't edited some parts, though. I would have liked to see how Gibbons did those straight lines emanating from Green Lantern's (?) chest. Did he use a straight-edge? Freehand? Who knows?
posted by Nedroid at 6:27 AM on March 15, 2008


It's interesting how some seem to sketch out the whole figure, and close in on the final design, while others seem to be tracing straight out of their heads with ink. I could sit and watch people draw all day.
posted by splatta at 6:40 AM on March 15, 2008


After watching Romita draw Spider-Man, I can't help but wonder if all of the artists on his various books have cursed Ditko for all of those webbing lines in Spidey's costume (and rejoiced after Secret Wars).
posted by camcgee at 9:00 AM on March 15, 2008


Romita: Spider-Man

Buscema: Captain America

Sienkiewicz: Elektra

Gibbons: Green Lantern (well, a GL)

Charest: Superman

Kubert: Man-Bat

WTF, Joe?
posted by camcgee at 9:09 AM on March 15, 2008


"The last guy (Sienkiewicz) looked like he didnt know what he was doing, but at the end, his drawing was good."

Oh, YouTube commenters.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:34 AM on March 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somebody sure phoned it in, huh? Let's call him Joe K. No, no, that's too obvious. How about, J. Kubert...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:46 AM on March 15, 2008


Thanks. I often get paralyzed while drawing, suspecting I'm doing everything wrong. It's freeing to see that there are so many different approaches. Never been much into superheroes, but I like watching talented artists draw.

Here's Peter de Seve, New Yorker cover illustrator and character designer, drawing: 1, 2, 3
posted by TimTypeZed at 9:49 AM on March 15, 2008


This is an awesome post, thanks.

TimTypeZed,

Wow, he is amazing. I love his vision and style. Thanks for the links.
posted by dozo at 10:13 AM on March 15, 2008


I am thankful no one dubbed by techo, cock rock, polka or any other sort of music over these. The sounds of the pencils and pens scratching, paper moving, breathing and other ambient noises are not only more pleasant but they tell you something bout the way people work. Interesting how the acceleration of a pen tip is easier to hear than see (e.g., Dave Gibbons). It's rare I see a short clip online that documents a process that I don't want to mute immediately.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 10:13 AM on March 15, 2008


I liked the contrast of Sienkiewicz after Buscema, whose art reminds me of old Prince Valiant comics, good but not to my liking - too old fashioned. It was a kind of a stark perspective on the evolution of modern comic book art style. Romita, you could put him in a medically induced coma and he'd still be able to draw Spider-man.
posted by effwerd at 10:16 AM on March 15, 2008


Great post, thanks!
posted by interrobang at 10:22 AM on March 15, 2008


Wow! What an amazing post.

This is precisely what I want to do for a living. After watching them all, I found the Bill Sienkiewicz the most inspirational and the John Romita one the most intimidating. Sienkiewicz had those huge, confident brush strokes - he was all over the page and he knew just what he was doing. I liked the bit where he used that scrap of paper to block off the headscarf especially.

The Romita one was terrifying. Like effwerd said, Romita could have done that drawing from a coma. He was so precise, so surgical, and marks I thought were mistakes at first went right where he wanted them. God damn, I don't think I'll ever be that good.

It was interesting to see the different points at which they decided to switch from pencils to pen. Or brush, in John Buscema's case. I would have liked to see more of the beginning stages of the Travis Charest drawing - when the clip opens, Superman is pretty much drawn. I'd have been really interested in how he got to that point. I wonder if the editor's decision to jump-cut past that footage and the tendency for Charest's comics to ship four months late are related in any way? It's not that it was uninteresting video, it's that Youtube won't host an hours long clip.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:23 AM on March 15, 2008


Somebody sure phoned it in, huh? Let's call him Joe K. No, no, that's too obvious. How about, J. Kubert...

Oh, MetaFilter commenters...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:05 PM on March 15, 2008


> After watching Romita draw Spider-Man, I can't help but wonder if all of the artists on his various books have cursed Ditko for all of those webbing lines in Spidey's costume

Teaching myself to draw as a kid I found spidey's costume to be like artistic training wheels. You have all these extra lines to shape the character with. I could draw a passable spider man long before I could pull off the silver surfer.

It's awesome to see the Sienkiewicz piece. He's always been one of my favorites. I've always studied his work and been somewhat baffled as to how he's working it out in his head. It's ggod to see someone who's work I idolize using my favorite tool, the white-out pen.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:11 PM on March 15, 2008


I dunno, Elektra looks like a battered wife. It's as though Sienkiewicz wasn't sure what to do with the left side of her face.

Most excellent post.
posted by disgruntled at 7:17 PM on March 15, 2008


This is very cool, but where is the Rob Liefeld clip?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:52 PM on March 16, 2008


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