Saturday, 10 May 2014

THE TITANICALLY TALENTED TEAM-UP OF KIRBY & AYERS...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you - NAMOR really is
wearing red trunks in the above page from The FANTASTIC
FOUR #6.  That's the colour he wore when he was revived in FF #4
back in the early '60s.  He'd obviously turned them in for a green pair
by the time #9 was published, and (until recent softcover MASTER-
WORKS and OMNIBUS editions) most subsequent reprintings
 of his first two appearances recoloured his trunks green.

However, that's not what this post is about.  I wanted to show
just how good an inker the recently deceased DICK AYERS was
by showcasing a couple of pages of JACK KIRBY art he'd worked
on.  Originally, JOE SINNOTT had started to ink FF #6, but for
some reason couldn't continue after a few panels and the job was
passed to Dick ('though the Sinnott panels were left in).

Anyway, look at panel 5 in the above page - it looks as good as
a WALLY WOOD inked panel, which means that it's very good
indeed.  Kirby was firing on all cylinders at this time in his career,
and Dick was right alongside him.  Brilliant page - I love it.

The page below comes from The AVENGERS #8, a story I
first read when it was reprinted in a British weekly periodical called
TERRIFIC back in 1967.  Aside from the memories it conjures up
of my childhood, it's as fine an example of '60s storytelling and
comicbook artistry that you're ever likely to see.

Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers - not only a class act, but a
difficult one to follow, I'm sure you'll agree!

8 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Kid, when you mentioned the news about Dick Ayres I was trying to think where I'd seen his inking as the name was familiar. I see from the panels above that it would have been in Complete FF when they reprinted the original stories from the early '60s. When I was reading Marvel comics in the '70s/early '80s I didn't really understand or appreciate how important the inker was but now I can see what an amazing difference the inker makes - compare Kirby/Colletta with Kirby/Sinnott. I'd even say that "dual artists" is more appropriate than artist and inker.

Kid said...

The Complete FF comic was one of my favourites (got every issue), but I wish they'd never added The Invaders to its line-up at some point. I have to say that I liked Colletta's inking on Thor; seek out my post called 'So, Vince the Prince - Or Forgetta-Colletta'. It features some great Thor pages from Fantastic.

Colin Jones said...

I didn't say I disliked Colletta just that his inking was so different from Sinnott. I remember reading a Conan story drawn by John Buscema and inked by Pablo Marcos - Buscema's art was almost unrecognizable under the Marcos inking, again I didn't dislike it but the inker makes such a difference. I don't know if you've seen the film "Chasing Amy" but there's a scene where an inker is at a comics convention (I think) and he's accused of being " a tracer". It's a very funny scene but the inker is much more than a tracer!

Kid said...

I think I've seen that clip - don't think I've seen the whole movie, CJ. Dual artists? That's why Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson were often credited as Swanderson. In a few cases some inkers are only 'tracers', but that's usually because that's all the penciller wants them to be.

Gey Blabby said...

You say red trunks, I say a red nappy.

Ayers doesn't do anything flashy with his inking, but his placement of blacks in that FF page is especially effective. And that small image of Iron Man in the middle panel is one I've always liked.

Kid said...

I'd say that the only thing wrong with the page, GB, is that the space between Namor's arms in panel 2 is a bit too wide to be anatomically accurate, but aside from that, it's a belter (nappy and all).

Gey Blabby said...

Now that you mention it, and the more I look at it, that is a strange panel. You'd expect the arms to be getting closer together as they approach the shoulders.

Kid said...

Curt Swan did a similar thing in Superman #233 - not quite as obvious 'though.

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