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There are details and rendering that seem very un-Joe Simon like to me. Especially in that last panel.
Lot's of different opinions on Simon's inks. My feeling is much of the confusion comes about because people think of Simon as the inker, but I think there is growing evidence that's not the case. Aside from a period in the late 40's I don't think Simon inked all that much of Kirby's work. And I think Simon did more penciling than he's often given credit for. Many stories all through the 40's which are for the most part penciled by Kirby have a page or two penciled in whole or in part by Simon.
Frank feels this page isn't inked by Simon, but to me it's a page that I think was inked by Simon. The face in the last panel looks just as I would expect a Simon inked panel to look. In fact Simon might have penciled it, panel five looks like Simon might have drawn it was well.
Y'know Patrick, the more I look at this I think you may be right. It's looking less like Kirby and more like the kind of stuff we saw from the early forties inked by Simon. Kirby may have done some loose layouts on this page and the only panel that looks remotely like Jack's work is panel 6. That last panel looks like it could be two faces from that one face--one from the other if you block out each half and look at the half showing. Eyeballs are looking in two different directions.
Frank, Right, I wouldn't rule out the whole page being drawn and inked by Simon. Even though they are small the houses in the backgrounds look primitive, they remind me of the huge contrast between Kirby's cityscapes and Simon's in the old Newsboy Legion stories. Kirby's buildings always have an Art Deco flair to them, then in the same story you might see something which looks like a rectangle with little squares on it for windows. Panels four and six look like Kirby, but the rest looks off.
I'm looking at this page and I'm wondering where do you, guys, find an evidence of Kirby's hand on it?
I see nothing. Not in the pencils, not in the inks, not in the layouts.
This would be the page here at "What If" which best captures Joe Simon's role.
I would think Kirby had nothing, or very little to do with this page.
The layouts (2nd and 4th panel particularly) look somewhat Kirbyesque to me. They also remind me of Marvin Stein as does much of the inking.
Panel four does resemble Kirby. I would guess it's a swipe.
Use the Zoom feature on the art, and study the inkline as compared to the Marvin Stein Space Busters page.
Its hard to confirm wheather or not Kirby had involvement in this page however I agree that if Kirby was involved it wasn't by much. I could credit Simon as the first penciller and Kirby as the second. Stein as inker? Joe as second inker?
It looks like Jack to me--the approach looks like Jack--the wide stance of the guy wearing a hat in panel two is very typical Jack and very unlike what other artists were doing at the time. Jack tended to work in layers--foreground, middle ground, background, which gave his work a lot more depth than the work of other artists and that is evident here as well.
It's early work and the inks are somewhat heavy handed--but it looks like Jack's efforts to me.
Erik, it's precisely because it barely "looks like Jack" that we have doubts.
If Jack did pencil this page – something I don't rule out as a possibility – then, the inker has been so heavy handed that he inked Kirby (almost) beyond recognition.
That's a feat few inkers ever achieved.
Page one from this story does look more like Jack, and it looks like Kirby's penciled lettering in the balloons on page one. The penciled lettering on this page is more completely erased, and very difficult to make out.
I just don't see Stein here under the close scrutiny of the zoom feature. Stein has a very assured line. This page under zoom shows little "fishhooks" at the beginning of pen strokes, which is something a real slick inker wouldn't have in his line.