Acknowledging those who bought El Viudo Pt 1: Telling apart


Ignacio Aranda, With a one original page of El Viudo, La cueca del Manco.

This post is dedicated to one of my personal El Viudo customers, Ignacio Aranda.

Well… more than a month after the release of the El Viudo book here in Chile I see how the reaction of the public is. 

There are out there some online reviews – both in spanish – where you can find how some of the chilean comic book connoisseurs thinks of the comic.



Both reviews agrees that’s a good book, that it has a strong graphic research database and the story is great to read. Also, both suggests that the wait was long to see this print. We all hope that the next issue won’t take that long. 

One thing that calls my attention is that both states that we, as a team, we use the mainstream american comic book standard by using a penciler+inker in this book. That’s a kind of label i am not uncomfortable with, but still is noticeable that both websites points that. Maybe I am too involved with this tag-team status and calls my attention this kind of things.  

Which makes me connect with a comment that Ignacio gave me: “I read the book, but I am not as good at comics to tell apart penciler from inker’s work, so I can’t tell you if your duty was good or badly executed”. 

That’s also funny, never thought of the fact that the inker must be noticeable. For me, in my stage, that I have in mind is Terry Austin‘s motto of the inker.

“I’d just like to add tat I suspect Inking is much as the same as dancing, if you think too much about what you are doing, it spoils the flow”, – The Art of ComicBook Inking, Gary Martin,  Dark Horse Books.

So, like a bass player, the work of an inker is to help pencils get to another level and keep the pace of the entire book. 

Ink job el Viudo Combined 200 dpi

El Viudo – Las Coplas del Diablo, Page 19. Comparison between pencils and inks

Take a look at one of the best page – imho of the book, Where Rodrigo kills with his pencils. I used in that  mostly brush. By that time I thought that the 50’s look would be better accomplished using a simple Pentel Penbrush, I also used fine liners, like the Staedler 01 micro pen for some details, with the help of the Hunt 102 Quill and my usually beloved Dr, Martin’ s white ink. Rodrigo’s pencils leaves me a lot to flow along, most y with the textures and chrome effects, and I guess that page sums everything up. 

Panels 1-3 are quite the same: The environment I did it using both micro pen and hunt 102,. You can see the difference between the two of them on panel 1: First plane (dog) was inked by micro pen, but the textures, both vertically and the ground-like terrain, was inked by using quills. You can see that the detail on the faces at panel 2 and 3 is not as neat. That’s because I used micro pen. 

Panel 4 is another story and it supposes the beginning of a new form of understanding the page. I remember that Page 19 was the first I inked after NYCC and remembering what Mark Morales told me, made struggle with detail, which you can see in full scrap-glory at the bottom of panel 4. I focused on three aspects of the rendering; Detail, must show like a crash car should look like, with all the inside parts and such; Planes: While the characters are in the background and the table is the foreground, the car is in the middle ground; and most importantly, textures and light, since the rendering should make obvious what kind of materials the car is made of.

However, and this is the goal of this post, despite what you see from the pencils to the inks, I did not “invented” or “corrected” or “fixed” anything Rodrigo originally penciled. I only tried to make the whole thing pop-up from the point of view

So in order to explain how to tell the difference between the penciler and the inker’s job, well, in my opinion is not that important to tell if you dig what you see. For me that’s the best compliment you can give me.






Born in Barcelona, 1977, now I live in Chile. I'm currently working as a inker or letterer for several American, New Zealand or UK publishers like Beyond Reality Media, Alterna Comics, Advent Comics, Insane Comics, IDW Publishing, Ariete Producciones and Dogitia among others.

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