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DC Graphic Novel, Issue 4, The Hunger Dogs, Page 59

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DC Graphic Novel, Issue 4, The Hunger Dogs, Page 59
thestikman's picture
Posted by: thestikman | May 27, 2012

¡Krimes against Kirby!

In pencil, and un-cropped. this page is a well conceived design, and bursting with energy. How much money did they save in 1986 dollars, by having the art cropped (and re-inked)? Certainly seems silly now. I believe if I had known that this sort of butchering and revisions were going on in 1985 or 1986 I would have tried to stop it! As bad as turning the cover of Hulk #1 into an hack-job-ad for Tales to Astonish 60.
As for the inking, I don't know if this is retouched (as is page 4 of this book), and although I admire Berry's inks from a few years earlier, the inking of this page appears to suck a lot of the energy off of the page. The adjusted uniformity of teeth, fingernails added to what to my eyes, was an armored hand, added feathering, and "Kirby-squiggles" replaced by more standard metallic effects. Kulminating with Krimes against Kirby! Kirby Kropped! Krimes. KRIMES! KRIMES!!! I apologize for all the capital letters and exclamation points, folks, but I worked myself up into quite a lather. Grateful to see the penciled version.

ken bastard's picture
Posted by: ken bastard | May 28, 2012

And...

...who's stupid idea was it to change Jacks jagged caption box into a stupid rectangle? Berry? Those cap boxes were a nice little design touch to Jacks books. Funny the things you notice and like about an artists work.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | May 28, 2012

UGH!

I'm at a lost. All the extra added details and changing things is totally unnecessary. There needs to be a graphite edition of Hunger Dogs--THAT--or get some competent inkiers on it and redo the whole thing.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 28, 2012

Newly Discovered?

Tom, Where did these pencil copies come from? They aren't listed in the Kirby Gold Index. Another grear page ruined by horrible inappropriate inking.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | May 28, 2012

Re: Newly Discovered?

Yes I was lucky to get them from Jeremy Kirby. He must have bunch of them he mentioned, from Roz. He periodically sells them on ebay. This included 15 pages of Hunger Dogs (actually 14 since 1 page is a double) and 9 pages from Captain America 210 including cover. I've purchased something like 20 photocopy pages from him in the past.

I felt it was very important to win this auction so the pages were not lost to someone keeping them in a portfolio case, away from study. All these pages get scanned at high resolution for the Kirby Museum and I plan to post them all on the site in an article since all the pages are not paired up with original art...

You might also note Kirby's hand writing in the bottom left. He also did it on another page showing he was tweaking the panel text. In that page the original panel text is different than the published version. Again I hope to post these all soon.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 28, 2012

Bless You Tom

Wow, this is really exciting news. It's also a little scary. If you don't mind??
1. How many more pages from THE HUNGER DOGS and EVEN GODS MUST DIE does Jeremy have? I agree these are very, very important. It's also a case where the art work is badly compromised by the inking. My own view is THE HUNGER DOGS is a great story, one of Kirby's crowning glories. It's incredible to me the way he was able to pull things together with all the adjustments DC asked for on short notice.
2. Does Jeremy know if he's sold copies from THE HUNGER DOGS in the past and if so did he save copies for himself, and does he know who the pages went to?
3. Have you thought of asking Jeremy if he will consider selling all remaining copies he has directly to you (assuming you're interested)?
4. Would Jeremy consider allowing you to make scans of what he has left in the event he'd rather sell them to the highest bidder, or hold on to them?
5. Does Jeremy have an index of the copies he has.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | May 28, 2012

Bliss

From my experience, I'd give this advice:
Don't get too excited by your expectations, Pat.

Unfortunately.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 28, 2012

Exciting as it stands

Well even these pages are a major revelation. It also indicates the pages are (or god forbid were) out there.
I wouldn't expect DC would spring for having Mike Royer recreate the pages, but a graphite edition might be possible?

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | May 28, 2012

Answers

2. Does Jeremy know if he's sold copies from THE HUNGER DOGS in the past and if so did he save copies for himself, and does he know who the pages went to? 

I don't have this information and its difficult to get from him.

3. Have you thought of asking Jeremy if he will consider selling all remaining copies he has directly to you (assuming you're interested)? 

Yes I've asked him. Still waiting for a response.

4. Would Jeremy consider allowing you to make scans of what he has left in the event he'd rather sell them to the highest bidder, or hold on to them? 

This too was asked when Rand and I was at WonderCon this past March. He seemed willing to have us go to his house and scan what he has but it never worked out with his schedule. We are still looking for a future opportunity to scan his art/photocopies.

5. Does Jeremy have an index of the copies he has.

I doubt it but I can ask. To be honest its not easy to get information on his art and photocopies. It is not a priority in his busy life.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | May 28, 2012

A Post on Mail

3. Have you thought of asking Jeremy if he will consider selling all remaining copies he has directly to you (assuming you're interested)?

Yes I've asked him. Still waiting for a response.

---

An advice from somebody who cares:
Go and pick them up yourself, don't let them be mailed to you.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 28, 2012

Oil and Water/Gilding a Lily

BTW On the level of just looking at the ink lines you can see Berry has technical facility. It isn't that he can't control his tools. Where the inking fails is it's style is a complete mismatch for the very complete pencils Kirby turned in. Personally I like Kirby, I also like Steve Ditko, and Joe Kubert. Ditko and Kubert in general inked their own work. Since it's Kirby's style I like. An inker who sticks to Kirby's pencils is the one I enjoy.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | May 28, 2012

re:Oil and Water/Gilding a Lily

I agree with you, Patrick.

It's not so much being incompetent. There's skill there that should have followed closer to Jack's pencils. I'm not so sure this is all Berry, there may be a second hand in there. It's almost like the mentality is, "Hey, this is going to be a graphic novel so let's put more into it. Let's give it more prestige."

ken bastard's picture
Posted by: ken bastard | May 28, 2012

Other hands

I think this has some Theakston on it. Berry wasn't much of a "featherer".

Chris Knowles's picture
Posted by: Chris Knowles (not verified) | May 28, 2012

Wait- Berry wasn't much of a

Wait- Berry wasn't much of a featherer? Have you seen his solo work? This is more dreadful stuff- they should have shot all of this from the pencils and had Theakston color that.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 28, 2012

Comic Book Fans

Frank, Part of it I think is by the late '60s comic book fans were starting to move away from an appreciation of cartoon stylists like Kirby, Ditko, Frank Robbins, etc.. For what ever reason more illustrative styles were in vogue.
Kirby by contrast was moving ever further away from naturalism. Now I was very happy to see Kirby's style evolving just as it always had. Kirby was not an artist like John Severin (whose work I also love) who tried to stay in one place. I assume the thought was Kirby's art would be made more to the liking of modern fans by heaping loads of feathering on top of it. The result is work which looks ridiculous. People like myself didn't like it, and people who already didn't like Kirby didn't like it. I like all different sorts of artists and styles, but I want each artist to look like himself, not like someone else. If Vince Colletta penciled a story I would not sit around thinking how great it would look if Kirby inked it. Let Colletta be Colletta.
Berry was really very skilled, you can see this in that back-up feature he did for Silver Star.

Hans Kosenkranius's picture
Posted by: Hans Kosenkranius | May 28, 2012

Re: Oil and Water / Gilding a Lily

I do agree there may have been a 'prestige' mentality at work here - let's just add more detail to justify charging a graphic novel price tag. But keep in mind these interior originals are also 14" x 18" in size which were the largest used for production since the 1960's. That may have had some impact on Berry's inking style for this work. A style which was considerably more minimalist on Kamandi given the smaller size paper to work with.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | May 28, 2012

Jacking up Jack

Patrick, my man--you should write a book--you're a wellspring of knowledge.

As far as styles "evolving" for lack of a better word, this time in Jack's work comes after guys who are great on their own merits. Neal Adams, Berni Wrightson, Barry Smith, around 1969, 1970. Then John Buscema who takes over Conan. Artist who's work was much more rendered and realistic. Then the new breed, guys like John Byrne, Walter Simonson, Frank Miller. The comic fan was becoming more accustomed to the more real and grittier styles. I guess at this time it dictated in the minds of editors Jack's minimalist economy of line needed tweaking and more rendering.

Chrissie_H's picture
Posted by: Chrissie_H | May 28, 2012

Theakston worked on all the

Theakston worked on all the pages, some of them (like this) more subtly than others. You can see his whiteout FX on the large head & shoulders at left, inside mouth and on shoulder. Pointless tinkering but it's there.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | May 28, 2012

Thick as Stone

As well intentioned as I'm sure Theakstone has been, each and every tweaking he did on Kirby's work was unnecessary.
It's unfortunate so much harm has been done by "helping" hands.
Kirby already had more than his share of tamperings from brain damaged editors during his career.

Come On, IDW, BRING ON THE KING's EDITION!

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | May 28, 2012

re:Bless You Tom

All pertinent information from Patrick if we're gonna redo this graphic novel. Lol.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | May 28, 2012

Shout it from the roof tops!

Come On, IDW, BRING ON THE KING's EDITION!

Hear, hear!

Chrissie_H's picture
Posted by: Chrissie_H | May 28, 2012

The feathering is Berry's.

The feathering is Berry's. His own artwork is covered in this kind of feathering. What bothers me is how it kicks in halfway through this and EGMD (pgs11-13 of HD don't count; they were contrinuity insert pages after EGMD was added to the stew)... which makes me think that at some point, some Editorial Type actually instructed Berry to start doing this to mitigate Kirby's 'awful', passe cartoonishness.

The Theakston touches on here are quite minimal, although I guess he should be credited.................

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | May 28, 2012

FLYNN A STORY OF OLD NEW YORK

Berry's personal style, which does include a lot of feathering, can be seen in the back up story FLYNN A STORY OF OLD NEW YORK featured in the first four issues of SILVER STAR.
It seems impossible to find an image from it online.

ken bastard's picture
Posted by: ken bastard | May 28, 2012

Feathering

Maybe I should have specified that he didn't do this kind of work on other Kirby material. My bad.

Chrissie_H's picture
Posted by: Chrissie_H | May 28, 2012

BTW the book was published

BTW the book was published Spring '85, not '86.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | May 28, 2012

1985

Good catch Chrissie, updated.

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