Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dave Gibbons and John Byrne

Things have been more hectic than usual here at Champagne Central and the newer, more-frenzied pace of my daily existence doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon. Nonetheless, I've got a couple of bits of comic news to share.

Pretty much any comics fan knows of the work of Dave (Watchmen) Gibbons, one of my artistic 'heroes' in the comics biz. The guy is a legend, plain and simple. Personally, I've loooooong admired Mr. Gibbons' storytelling, composition, and clean drawing style. In fact, almost twenty years ago, a friend of mine wrote in my senior yearbook in high school that I should never give up my dreams because maybe, one day, I might reach the level of someone like Dave Gibbons.

This week, the stars have aligned nicely and an unexpected hole in my inking schedule has been filled with the opportunity to ink his work as I pitch in on a Green Lantern Corps issue that Mr. Gibbons is writing and drawing.

It's really, really hard work.

Not only is it intimidating as hell to try to translate and enhance the work of someone whom I admire so much, but his clean and precise drawing style leaves very little room for error. Artists who noodle more and throw in tons of detail give you plenty of room to hide mistakes. With Mr. Gibbons', the inks are either going to work or they're going to fail miserably. So it's been a painstaking few days and I expect the next week will be equally so as I try to do his work justice. I haven't been very happy with anything I've done over him so far but it always takes me about 10 or 11 pages of working with a penciller before I begin to feel comfortable and able to contribute something to the art. Hopefully this will be the same. I'd hate to only have one chance to ink his work and blow it miserably.

On the other side of things, I found out today that John Byrne, another of my comic book heroes, is pencilling a ten-page Green Lantern Christmas story that I wrote a month or so back. I've been campaigning for about the last year or so to get a chance to work with the brilliant Mr. Byrne and finally, all my begging and pleading to Peter Tomasi has paid off. To say that I'm thrilled is a huge understatement. There's only one other person in comics whose work has been as influential to me as Mr. Byrne's has and, off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone who has produced more quality comics for as long and as consistently as John has. X-Men, Superman, Fantastic Four...there's literally nothing he hasn't OWNED at one time or another. In the list of all-time great artists, Mr. Byrne is easily in the top five with plenty of room to spare.

And now he's drawing something I wrote. It's literally a dream come true and, on top of everything else, I'm inking it too.

What a great week in my little comics world, that's all I can say.

4 comments:

antonio said...

KEITH!!!!!!!
KEITH!!!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I hope one day to be in your shoes!! :)

JESUS ANTONIO

Chris Yeoman said...

WOW! That is brilliant news Keith! Congrats! I have total faith in you with the inks on Dave's work, you'll do great! I'm THRILLED about the KC/JB team up too! Will it be a random Christmas issue released, or within the GL title itself? I can't wait! :D

robskiles said...

Brother,

I have chills. You never give yourself enough credit. This aught to give you some confidence; here are two Icons working with you. My experience outside comics is that people won't put their rep. on their line; they wouldn't work with you if they didn't have confidence in your ability. Good going man!

malinda said...

Well. I don't want to be like everyone else....so...monkeys. :)