Old-School Comics Art Gets A Lot Older

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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9 Responses

  1. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    Ah well – years ago our local art supply store told us they had stopped making Duo Shade boards. We believed them.Now I can do quite a bit more on the computer to create gray tones and effects. I can even create the exact look and feel of the Duo Shade boards – and it is much easier and will reproduce far better.On the other hand – I tend to keep a heavy stock of paper and brushes for fear that those might also go the way of the Duo Shade.

  2. Andrew Pepoy says:

    Being the luddite I am, I still love duoshade board, as can be seen by the original run of "The Adventures of Simone & Ajax" right here on ComicMix. I haven't used much of it in a while, but I was planning to do a story with it soon. Had a small stock of my favorite pattern left, but had to settle for my 2nd-favorite when I just called and ordered some. It was the only pattern left. *sigh*As for Mark's comments on other supplies, my once-infallible Strathmore 500 board is very inconsistent in quality, usually only one side or the other being usable, needing to test it for bleeding before doing any work on it, my Winsor-Newton Series 7 brushes are of an entirely different shape than they were a few years ago and of poorer quality bristles, my Speedball points now bend out of shape and my Hunt points snap. I still prefer to draw pages on paper, but I wonder how long I'll have that luxury?

    • mike weber says:

      I still prefer to take pictures on film with my trusty Olmpus Pen FT half-frame SLR – but, these days, the only place that can print my pictures is almost seventy miles away and is the most expensive photoprocessor in the area. (And i'm not sure *they* can anymore, really.)And how much longer will i be able to get 35mm film, for that matter?

      • Mike Gold says:

        Mike, I give it about a week.Of course, we're making all these luddite comments on the Internet, using our computers. As my dear departed father said from his Buick Skylark whenever we passed somebody on the Interstate who had broken down, "Get a horse!"

        • mike weber says:

          Yeah. Even the best prosumer DSLRs can't match the image quality i get on my half-frame negs.But that's not important; everybody looks at pictures on their computer now, anyway, which can't match the resolution and dynamic range of good old photo paper, so they can't see what they're not seeing, as it were.Many years ago, Jim Baen was cutting out a step and using a 600 dpi office-quality laser printer to set "type" for paperback books. When someone pointed out that 600 dpi type was inferior to the standard metods of typography that other publishers used, Baen's rely was "Yeah – but when you're printing them on toilet paper, who can tell the difference?"

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      Andrew, I gave up on the Winsor-Newton Series 7 brushes ages ago. I use the Niji Waterbrush now – at a little over $5 a pop I can grab a new one every issue. Plus, no dipping! I'm picky – but this brush is every bit as functional as the old WN 7.

  3. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    I'm in the minority here… But I bred myself in the digital age, and I feel like guys like Kirby and Ditko wouldn't poo-poo the computer. As a tool, it opens up an near infinite world of possibility. Not that I don't respect the ways and means of the old school. I love it dearly… but in today's publishing world… where editorial demands push artists and writers "back to the drawing board" at a moments notice? Thank god for photoshop.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Jack Kirby was quite the innovator. Even in his work for DC in the 1970s he was doing those fantastic photo montages and having them screened so that they would reproduce on the thin toilet paper comics were printed on at the time. If the computer came around back in his day, he would probably have seen it for what it was: a fantastic artistic tool. Then again, Jack wasn't big on mechanical shading techniques — there isn't a lot of Ben-day (them little dots, as opposed to Little Dot, who was comics' greatest OCD sufferer) or Zip-A-Tone or Duoshade in his stuff.It's a bit harder to second-guess Ditko, but I tend to agree here as well. Take a look at all those beautiful wash tone jobs he did for Archie Goodwin over at Warren Magazines. Beautiful. But, again, he didn't use a lot of the other shading tools that were available to him at the time.But we'd never have had a Roy Crane without that stuff. Not the Roy Crane we know, a giant among cartoonists.I'm quite the fan of Photoshop myself. You can do amazing things with Photoshop, a really good scanner, a laser printer, and a $100 bill

      • mike weber says:

        "I'm quite the fan of Photoshop myself. You can do amazing things with Photoshop, a really good scanner, a laser printer, and a $100 bill"From CycleToons magazine's Wizard of Oz parody, "Hogg in Ozz":"All you need to get home is magic … and money. This is the 1970s, you know…"(Art by Bil Stout, BTW – one of the greatest stylistic chameleons it's ever been my pleasure to encounter in comics and illustration.(In one CycleToons piece, the story of how he hadn't had anything in CycleToons for a while because he was working on "Little Annie Fanny", Stout meets some of the "Giants of the Field" – "Wally Weird! Billy Older! Jack Drawfast! … and the biggest giant of them all – Harvey Kurtzguy!" – Wood, Elder and Davis each brilliantly caricatured in his own style, and about eight feet high … Kurtzman {Exclaiming "Gah, prunes!"} ditto – except about three feet tall…)