Test – Inking Rob Liefeld
Last month I received the job of inking an issue.
It was a superhero, sorry, supervillain independant publisher comicbook.
The author was quite Rob Liefeld influenced on his drawing style. He used Rob’s pin-up looks on its narrative layout and wasn’t easy to deal inking it. For that matter I decided to study early Youngblood issues in order to focus this inking duty.
It left me thinking: what would be inking the real Rob Liefeld?
Rob means controversy. Throughout the years the name of Rob Liefeld was a synonym of daring poses, criticism towards his narrative skills and caused as many loyal fans as haters. However, he still is on the first line of mainstream comics and keeps working since the late eighties. People either loves him or hates him, there are not grays en between.
For me, as a early Image comics fan, I have always admired Liefeld’s vision more than his drawing style, BUT in the end I have found that inkers have helped Liefeld to enhance his pages on several occasions. For instance an early Danny Miki transformed Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood pages completely from issue #7. It was well focused and detailed and those issues is my favorite Liefeld.
So I thought, what would feel like inking the real Rob Liefeld? Of course this wasn’t a official job, so I decided to look for some penciled page of him and I found one on a website… (hmmm… let me look for the original link… ok, here it is: http://www.eonprod.com/ready-to-ink-pages/yb_bloodsport001/
I printed it and I started inking… you know what? it was one hell of a ride. I used mainly Hunt 102 nib and some brushes over the hair of Shaft.
Must admit I underestimated Liefeld. It took me several hours focusing on the main figure and after that the back panels were quite difficult to make the difference between figure and background. For that reason I decided to grow Shaft’s overline. At the end of it I used some splattered ink as a background to separate himself from the back.
Liefeld has a dynamic trace line which I felt very comfortable regarding movement lines and feathering. For that the result of quill lines were the best option.
So, after all, I think that inking that page was a real excitement and it left me discovering another layer of this artist.
What happened to that project who drove me to this Liefeld Inked test ? well, after 8 pages and a cover the author decided to think his style through and he frozen off the project.