MAKE COMICS: INKING PANEL
SHAWN MARTINBROUGH AND SCOTT HANNA AT NJ COMIC EXPO

AMBER LOVE, SCOTT HANNA, SHAWN MARTINBROUGH
AMBER LOVE, SCOTT HANNA, SHAWN MARTINBROUGH

AMBER LOVE 30-NOV-2015 I had the pleasure to moderate the Make Comics: Inking panel at the first New Jersey Comic Expo featuring Shawn Martinbrough and Scott Hanna. There was so much more I could have asked them, but we only had one hour. Don’t forget, you can sponsor the show at Patreon.com/amberunmasked.

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INKING COMICS:

I began with some basic information asking Shawn and Scott what some of their favorite projects have been. Scott works for DC and Marvel steadily; Shawn works for the major publishers too, but he spends plenty of time in indie comics (Thief of Thieves now being made for TV) and graphic design also.

Scott emphasized throughout the hour how ink enhances texture and details that you can’t see with pencil work alone. If inkers are not fantastic artists in their own right, they will not be good at inking.

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“You have to know how to draw really well first. Then you have to know how to do texture and depth and all the subtle things, because to me, inking is the expertise of line where every line means something and it’s there for a purpose.” ~Scott Hanna

TOOLS:

The panelists addressed which tools they’ve used for specific purposes.

“It’s really about what gives me the greatest variety of line.” ~Shawn Martinbrough

You can tell which pencillers don’t understand inking as well as they should because of “dead lines” which happens when someone is not varying the thickness, weight, or pressure of the ink on the paper.

LINEWORK BY SHAWN MARTINBROUGH
LINEWORK BY SHAWN MARTINBROUGH
INKS FILLED IN BY SHAWN MARTINBROUGH
INKS FILLED IN BY SHAWN MARTINBROUGH

TEAMWORK:

They spent time discussing the relationships between inker and color art. Then we pulled it back around to how inkers need to work with the script and penciller closely enough to make the story be its best.

Be dependable.
Be fast.
Be good.

If you build a solid reputation, you’ll have people requesting you to be their inker.

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MAINTAINING HEALTH AS AN ARTIST:

One thing about being an artist is that you don’t get sick days. You also probably have to pay for your own insurance which, let’s face it, probably doesn’t cover anything. Shawn and Scott shared what they do to exercise and manage schedules that can demand working 12-14 hours in a day. Scott has never had pain issues with his hands or wrists and it’s likely due to his techniques and ergonomic setup.

LINKS:

Scott Hanna: http://artsandfashioninstitute.com/

Shawn Martinbrough: http://shawnmartinbrough.com/ AND http://vergeproductions.com/verge/

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GALLERY OF SHAWN’S WORK FROM THE PRESENTATION: