Monday, August 08, 2005

Wetworks #14

Inking Portfolio #6
Wetworks #14
February 1996

It would be a couple more months after inking Whilce on the trading cards before I worked on my first comic book after Aster #2. In this time I do remember inking Whilce on several pages of Wetworks pages. I distinctly remember inking a 2 page spread with a HUGE mutated Dozer letting loose in an undergound chamber with a community and huts and scrambling monsters. I remember doing pencilling on it, specially on the backgrounds, and I was pretty happy how it turned out. For some reason or another, those pages were never published.

I was then paired with Roy Allan Martinez and I inked a Wetworks werewolf pinup over his pencils as a "test". Roy observed that my inking "cleaned" his art, an observation shared by some of his friends who offered the same opinion to me directly. I interpreted that to mean that some of the nice grittiness inherent in Roy's art had been reduced. I adjusted my inking to try and maintain more of Roy's grittiness in an unused Wetworks cover, but to my eyes, it still looked a little too clean. It frustrated me a little bit, but it didn't stop me from continuing to try.

To this day, I maintain that nobody can really ink Roy as well as he does. His own inking has a wonderful spontaneity to it that looks effortless and instinctive. Even then, I ended up inking Roy again on almost 10 full comic books for Wildstorm.

What I liked about inking Roy was I was allowed to pencil in backgrounds, textures and other detail from time to time. The panel above is an example of my inking over Roy's pencils, but at the same time I pencilled and inked in some of the tech details on the various platforms.

I worked long hours inking this issue because I wanted to make it look as good as I can make it. There were some pages where I added an inordinate amount of detail in an effort to impress perhaps. Maybe I had something to prove. Maybe I wanted Whilce and people at Wildstorm to see that we take the job seriously, and I didn't want them to regret giving us the job.

Edgar Tadeo was brought in to ink 2 pages when we became pressed for time. I felt a little bit threatened, specially because Ed is a very *very* good inker and I was concerned that they might do away with me and get Ed instead on a regular basis. That pretty much drove me even more to do a good job. Ever since then, and I think Ed might not even admit to it, but I think an unspoken rivalry between us was born from it. It was a friendly rivalry of course, which manifested itself in jokes threatening to break each other's hands.

I was so excited when this issue finally hit the stands because it's the first one that carried my name on the cover. It was such a thrill going to a store and seeing your name on the cover of a comic book. My excitement probably got the better of me because I pointed to the comic book in the store, bragging to the salesgirl, "That's me! That's my name! I did that!" That was the first and last time I did anything like that, but the thrill of getting something published and seeing your name on it has never diminished.