Inks are Key Welcome Back to How to Draw Manga! As AP’s current submissions editor, I come across plenty of work from many different artists. Most of the work I come across is all full of potential and I have every reason to believe that the future of American Manga and AP Comics will be secure for some time. A lot of you have great talent and I am glad you are reading this right now. One of the things I notice right away in a submission is the inking. Of all the work out there right now, it is the inks which the public will mostly get to see. “A salute to all you hard- working inkers— the wind beneath every pencil- ler’s Indeed, we all seem to underestimate the importance of good linework these days. Everyone wants to be a penciller, but it is the inker who dictates whether the pencils truly become spectacular or not. Truly, the inker has the power to literally make or break pencillers. A top-notch inker brings out the best in an artist and a mediocre one will ruin good pencils. So allow me this small moment to salute all the great inkers out there who silently support all the great pencillers we know and admire. Now, on to our subject for the month—Inking! Many of us here at AP ink our own work. Many Japanese artists ink their own work as well. This “one-man band” synergy is a vital component for bringing about the best in a storyteller. While specializing in pencils can be a ticket to the big time, guess what—when that goes away, one will find one is not trained to do the other aspects of the work. Personally, I like doing comics the “one-man army” way. It keeps me from being too pigeon- holed in one specialty. Being proficient in all aspects of comics production is a sure way of staying in the business long after many others have gone. The Tools of the Trade Behind the enjoyment of doing comics, drawing and executing them is serious work. For ink- ing, a stable environment is a must to enable you to get the most out of your performance. Here is a picture of my drawing table in my editor’s cubicle at AP. Arrayed before you are the tools of the trade. I use Zig and Micron pens almost exclusively now. Keep those rulers handy nearby. I also like listening to music when I draw—hence the radio—usually soft music if I am drawing gentle curves. I only listen to fast music when I am in a hurry. Are we ready to ink??? Here we are at the beginning. You will notice that my pencils are rather rough and unfinished. This is the by-product of inking my own As long as the artist un- derstands what he envisions for the outcome of the piece, the pencils need not be too tight. You may want to begin with more detailed pencils when you start off, though. The first business we will attend to is the face. I use a .005 pen on the face, starting with the eyes, nose and mouth. The hair is done with the same pen, then I switch to a .03 for the edge of the cheek all the way down to the neck.
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