Friday, February 10, 2006

Jamal Igle: Rock Star

It's been a while since I posted anything comic related on the blog. Seeing as most of the people that read this are comic fans, that's probably not a good idea on my part. Comic fans that feel neglected are a dangerous lot, especially when they're dressed as Wonder Woman or a Klingon.

Anyway, this is a page of Jamal Igle's pencils from Firestorm #25. I hope I don't get in trouble for posting it, I can't see how it could possibly give up any spoilers to the issue or anything but it's a good example of what I think makes Jamal's pencils so great: Good basic storytelling.

The script for this issue called for a nine panel grid on this page, meaning nine panels of the same size and shape. It limits the layout possibilities for the page, you're tied into that format and it's not the most exciting page layout in the world. I actually like the grid quite a bit, I think it can be used to great effect but at the same's very rigid and unforgiving.

Strike two on this page is that nothing is really happening. It's a scene between Firestorm's father (Alvin) and his girlfriend (can't think of her name, is it Gemma?) sitting and watching a news report and having a conversation. The script is very static visually, there's just nothing exciting happening. Actually, that's not true. To be fair, it's a character building scene and it's very cutely written. But from a visual standpoint, those aren't always the most exciting scenes to look at.

Strike three never crosses the plate on this page because Jamal saves it with a mighty swing of his pencil. His use of body language, expressions, choice of angles for each panel, and plain, old fashioned good drawing skill makes it a much more interesting page than the mental image I got while reading the script.

This is my third full issue over Jamal and, now that my commitment to also inking Batman is finished, I'm able to really devote myself to his pencils. I'm having a great time with his stuff and I feel like I'm really starting to understand how to bring out the best in his art. I don't have an overpowering ink style. Some guys feel the need to impose their own sensibilities over the pencil art. I actively try to remain as invisible as possible and I think I'm slowly starting to understand how to let the best of Jamal's work shine through without getting in the way.

This is on my plate to ink early next week. I'll post my inks for comparison when they're done.

Thanks for reading,

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