I respect all aspects of art that goes into comics. One thing I respect the most, is the function of inking the drawing. It's a completely different discipline than pencilling and just as important. After a long hiatus from drawing, after I started planning the graphic novel, I decided to digitally ink my pencils. I would draw the old fashioned way and then scan them in for drawing. I used a Wacom Intous tablet to do so. I think it turned out okay. But drawing on the tablet on my desk and then watching it on my screen, I felt a little disconnected. Once I finished with the graphic novel I decided to give hand inking another try. That's what I've been doing over the last 8 months, reteaching myself how to use inking tools before starting work on the comic series.
My hands are not what they used to be. 20-some years of working on a computer have taken their toll. I'm a marginal inker, but when you add the cramping of my fingers I tend to waver a bit. It's just not as crisp as I'd like it. I can't afford to pay an inker for the book. So I've decided to return to digitally inking as much as I'd rather not.
This time however, I've bought a Pen display. Now I can ink directly on the screen. I've been practicing and I'm liking the results. I think most might think the computer is doing it for me. It's not. It's still my hand doing the work. The program is just steadying the linework to keep it crisp. Here's an example both inked and then colored using the display. I think you'll like what you see.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.