Category Archives: Kirby Inking Kirby

Captain 3D

I have decided to examine Simon and Kirby’s most neglected superhero, Captain 3D. So set your computer to 3D viewing. What your computer does not have the 3D view feature? Oh well, I can see most of you have not upgraded to the latest Pear computer. In that case through the magic of Photoshop I will convert scans of the Captain 3D #1 comic to restore the line art. Seriously I have never been a fan of 3D comics feeling that it is largely a gimmick where too much is lost (color) with too little gained. Besides I find it an annoyance to have to wear special glasses just to read a comic.

By their very nature, superheroes require a suspension of critical judgment in order to be enjoyed. I think the barrier is even higher in the case of Captain 3D due to link between the comic’s 3D gimmick and the hero’s jumping out of a book when viewed with special glasses. Along with the ability to come out of the book when needed, Captain 3D has a power pack that allows him to fly. Otherwise Cap, and he is referred to by that nickname, does not seem to have any special powers or strengths. Captain 3D’s main adversaries are the cat people. The cat people had in the past killed the rest of Cap’s people and now want to enslave mankind as well. Normally Cat people look no different from the rest of the population but when viewed with the same 3D glasses that release Captain 3D from the book, the cat people show their feline features. However Cap also fights more everyday criminals as well. Like many superhero comics of that time, Captain 3D has a young sidekick named Danny, the guardian of the book of D.

Captain 3D
Captain 3D (December 1953) “The Man from the World of D” page 11 panel 4, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mort Meskin

There is little doubt that Jack Kirby penciled all of Captain 3D #1. Perhaps more then any other comic book artist, Kirby has worked on supplying the extra dimension to comic’s flat plane. He has done so starting perhaps from his days at Timely until the very end of his career. I am not sure how he felt about 3D comics but he came to them already knowing how the images should be composed. Joe Simon’s comments about this can be found in his book “The Comic Book Makers”. There Joe’s basic premise is that the images should project out of the comic, not into. The actual art found in Captain 3D confirms Joe’s observation; there are only a few panels that project into the page. One of them is very effective despite breaking this rule; it is a composition that would be repeated years later in the comic book Battle. Late in life Jack would adopt a style where perspective would be exaggerated to such an extent as to appear unnatural. This style is exemplified by a pose the Kirby would use often where the hero jumps toward the user with one arm held straight and fist closed. Captain 3D has the earliest example of the pose that I am aware off, although without the extraordinary exaggerated perspective. After Captain 3D the pose would not be repeated for many years, but obviously it was not forgotten.

In his book Joe Simon describes Al Harvey requesting Simon and Kirby to produce a 3D book. Neither Joe, Jack nor any of the artists working for them had any experience with making such a comic before. An outside artist had come to Harvey saying he figured how to make 3D comics himself and offered to show Harvey’s people how. Harvey wanted the comic done quickly in order to cash in to what looked like a lucrative craze. As an incentive Harvey offered special rates but I sometimes wonder if Simon and Kirby had every turned down a job because they were too busy.

Joe says the Captain 3D book was created by him, Jack, Mort Meskin, Steve Ditko and “other key artists” working for the S&K studio. As I said above Jack Kirby was responsible for all the pencils. The inking is another question. Frequently the inking has been attributed to Steve Ditko by comic art dealers. Not long ago I saw one offering a page from Captain 3D as created by Steve Ditko, never even mentioning Jack Kirby’s involvement! Determining inking attributions for the Simon and Kirby studio is fraught with difficulties as inking credits were never provided. So comparison of inking methods with that used by different artists on their own work is the only technique that can provide help. There is the added difficulty in a case like Captain 3D when a number of different artists were involved on the same project. If that was not enough, the acetate used to create the 3D effect was a very unforgiving and unfamiliar material for the artists to ink on. Brush control that the artists normally exhibited cannot be expected to show up in the Captain 3D inking. Therefore it would be the risky, to say the least, to try to sort it all out. So naturally I cannot resist.

Captain 3D
Captain 3D (December 1953) “Iron Hat McGinty and His Destruction Gang”, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mort Meskin

The inker easiest to spot is Mort Meskin. I have previously discussed Mort’s inking techniques. Despite the problems acetate presented many of those techniques can be found in Captain 3D. Here the inking technique that seems to stand out the most is Meskin’s manner of doing picket fence brushwork (for explanations of some of my terms please see the Inking Glossary). Although picket fence crosshatching was part of the S&K Studio style, Mort’s can usually be distinguished by “rails” that are lines of strong but even strength, almost like wires laid down on the page. Even the “pickets” tend to be more mechanical then those by S&K. I have found picket fence brushwork in 13 pages all but 2 of which look like Meskin’s work. Mort also had a way of depicting clothing folds with multiple long parallel, sometimes overlapping, brush strokes. Perhaps because of the difficulties acetate presented, I have found this Meskin brushwork only on 4 pages. Meskin had a special way of drawing and inking eyes and eyebrows. He modified it when inking Kirby’s pencils but it sometimes still retains enough of his personal touch so that it can be recognized. In Captain 3D I found 9 pages with Meskin’s eyes. Mort occasionally would place on one side of a form a wider then normal line that also served as a sort of shadow. There is one page that has this Meskin technique. I came to notice that Meskin sometimes gave a sinuous shadow to Cap’s helmet; this can be found in 6 pages. All together I attribute 11 out of 32 pages to Mort Meskin. For those interested these are “The Man from the World of D” pages 5 and 8 to 11; “The Living Dolls” pages 2, 3 and 10; “Iron Hat McGinty and His Destruction Gang” pages 1 and 9; a figure of Captain 3D in an advertisement at the end of the book.

Captain 3D
Captain 3D (December 1953) “The Man from the World of D” page 10 panel 2, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mort Meskin

Mort Meskin did an outstanding job on the splash page for “Iron Hat McGinty and His Destruction Gang”. However for me the tour de force of the entire book is page 10 of the “The Man from the World of D”. You can tell Mort was struggling with the acetate surface but he still managed to create a masterpiece in the bottom, almost splash-like panel. I believe there is a reason Mort put so much effort here, this is probably the most powerful image that Simon and Kirby had every produced. I am not referring here to the graphic qualities of the image but to its subject matter. Simon and Kirby never went the extremes such as could be found in EC comics. That is not to say they avoided violence; guns, knives, whips and other weapons can be found but S&K usually refrained from making the use of these devices so obvious. The only exception to this seems to be found earlier in the Captain America art where one time they even went so far as to depict the hanging of a fake Captain America and Bucky. Even then we only see a back view of their dead bodies.

Captain 3D
Captain 3D (December 1953) “The Living Dolls” page 7, pencils and inks by Jack Kirby

The next most easy to spot inker in Captain 3D is Jack Kirby himself. Jack’s involvement to the inking should not be too much of a surprise. After all it was a rush job and Jack would finish pencils before all the inking had been completed and so would be expected to join in. What is surprising is the inking technique he adopts for Captain 3D. Kirby does not use the Studio inking brushwork that was ubiquitous of his inking at that time. Instead Jack works in a style remarkably like the Severe style that would not appear in his inking for several years hence. I think Kirby used this style because it allowed him to work more quickly and it overcame some of the difficult problems presented by inking on acetate. Missing from the Kirby inked pages are techniques like picket fence crosshatching or drop strings. Part of the Severe style is a technique of inking a clothing fold with simple elongated ovals or tapers sometimes attached to a thin line giving it the appearance of a narrow stem ending in a long leaf. This brushwork is found on two pages I attribute to Jack but only in a single panel of one of them suggesting that there Kirby was retouching another inker’s page. Kirby was an excellent inker which gave him an advantage in interpreting some of the nuances of his own pencils. The acetate undoubtedly made it difficult for Jack to achieve such subtleties. Nonetheless I feel I have detected nuances in the treatment of eyes and eyebrows that look like Kirby’s hand. Although Kirby’s brush can be confidently detected Jack did not ink much of Captain 3D. There is not much to go on but the two small heads found in the introduction look like Kirby to me. More certainly Kirby’s inking are panel 1 of page 7 of “The Man from the World of D”, page 7 of “The Living Dolls”, and page 5 of “Iron Hat McGinty and His Destruction Gang”. There are some other possible candidates that I will discuss below.

Captain 3D (December 1953) “The Man from the World of D” page 4, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Simon

I have not yet presented to my readers a thorough examination of the inking techniques used by Joe Simon. Joe presents a particular problem in determining inking attributions. My normal methodology is to examine the inking of art penciled by the artist to find clues on how that artist might in turn ink Kirby’s pencils. Unfortunately Simon did not pencil much art during his collaboration with Kirby. Further Joe has shown himself in the past as adept at mimicking other artists’ styles. While at Fox Joe did such a great job that even experts have missed his signature on some of the covers and attributed the art to Lou Fine. Joe has also mimicked Kirby’s pencils and there is no reason to believe he would not also try to do so with Jack’s inks. Therefore what I present below should only be viewed as a preliminary assessment. Joe Simon’s brushwork was coarser then Kirby’s and in particular his clothing folds did not have the same almost puddled appearance as those Jack used in this comic. In Captain 3D 6 of the pages have a coarser brushwork that looks like Simon’s to me. Like Meskin, Simon has a way of doing eyes that can sometimes show through when inking Kirby’s pencils; 3 pages look like they have Simon’s eyes. I previously mentioned that in Captain 3D picket fence crosshatching was used by Meskin but not by Kirby. There are 2 pages that have picket fence brushwork that do not appear to be Mort’s. I feel that they were done by Simon, but it is possible that this could be misleading due to the difficulty of inking on acetate. Both Simon and Kirby used shoulder blots and these can be found among the pages I attribute to Simon. Shoulder blots do not appear on any of the pages I have credited to Meskin but they do on one that assigned to another artist to be discussed below. All total I credit Joe Simon with inking 8 pages of Captain 3D. For those interested these pages are “The Man from the World of D” pages 3 and 4; “The Living Dolls” page 2; “Iron Hat McGinty and His Destruction Gang” pages 2 to 4, 6 and 8. Keeping in mind the problems about distinguishing Simon from Kirby and the difficulties presented by working on acetate it is quite possible that some of the pages I have attributed to Simon might actually been done by Kirby. Particularly suspicious are the number of Simon pages found in the last story. Assuming that was the last story actually penciled it is just where we might expect the greatest inking contribution by Kirby.

Captain 3D
Captain 3D (December 1953) “The Man from the World of D” page 2, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Steve Ditko

Those keeping tally would realize that there are still a number of pages in Captain 3D that were not done by Meskin, Kirby or Simon. I believe most of them were done by the same artist. I credit them to Steve Ditko but frankly this also is very provisional. Since I have not done a careful review of Steve Ditko’s earliest efforts I really do not have a lot of inking traits to rely on. The most distinguishing feature of his inking, at least compared to Simon and Kirby studio artists, is his reliance on a pen for most of his spotting. Some fine pen work does show up in Captain 3D. However there are often brush spotting on the same pages sometimes covering over some of the pen lines. Some of this may be Ditko’s own efforts but some of it looks like Joe Simon going over and strengthening Steve’s work. The presence of a shoulder blot on one of these pages supports that suggestion. The lower part of the man’s jacket in the last panel of the page 2 of “The Man from the World of D” shows a type of feathering that I have never seen before in work produced by Simon and Kirby or artists that worked for them. Ditko also seems to have his unique touch in his way of doing eyes that shows up in Kirby’s pencils. I notice that Ditko had his own way of inking Captain 3D’s helmet. Ditko would create two simple bands or when the top band was near the peak it would be formed into a small semicircular field. All in all I assign 8 pages to Ditko; “The Man from the World of D” pages 2, 6 and 7; “The Living Dolls” pages 5, 6, 8 and 9; “Iron Hat McGinty and His Destruction Gang” page 7.

Captain 3D
Captain 3D (December 1953) “The Living Dolls” page 4, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by unidentified artist

I am concerned that since I do not yet have a good handle on Ditko’s inking style, especially on acetate, that perhaps some of the pages assigned to him may actually been done by some other artist. There is one page (page 4 of “The Living Dolls”) that I simple am not comfortable to assigning to any of the artists that I have discussed so far. I feel this indicates there was at least one other artist inking Captain 3D but I have no idea who he was.

Captain 3D
Captain 3D (December 1953) “The Man from the World of D”, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mort Meskin

I have saved for last a short discussion about the cover. The art for the cover was also used as the splash page for “The Man from the World of D”. Therefore it would have been done on acetate in order to achieve the 3D effect. It must have been a difficult task to ink on acetate carefully enough so that it could also be used for the cover. Perhaps because of that spotting is very minimal. It appears to have been done with either a pen or a fine brush. This might suggest Ditko inking but I feel it was actually done by Meskin. Meskin did not do much fine inking in the other interior art but some does show up particularly on splash pages where greater effort was made as for example the first page of “Iron Hat McGinty and His Destruction Gang”. The method used to spot the muscular forms on the cover does appear similar that used in the splash. Captain 3D on the cover also has eyes that suggest Meskin’s personal style. There are not much clothing folds but some on the upper torso are made using close parallel lines like those Meskin prefers. Finally Captain 3D’s helmet has a sinuous curve to the shadow; a device similar to what Mort used in the interior art.

The final breakdown is 12 pages inked by Meskin, 8 pages by Simon, 7 2/3 pages by Ditko, 3 1/3 pages by Kirby, and 1 by an unidentified inker. This is a little misleading because one of the pages attributed to Kirby consists only of two small heads and one of the pages credited to Meskin is an advertisement with only a single figure of Captain 3D.

In my next post I hope to discuss Captain 3D #2.

Battleground, Jack Kirby’s Return to Atlas

Battleground #14
Battleground #14 (November, 1956) “Mine Field” page 2 pencils and inks by Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby turned to freelancing when the Simon and Kirby studio failed. Battleground #14 (November 1956) was the first of his freelance jobs to be published. It also marked Kirby’s return to a company that he left almost 15 years before. Jack probably still remembered Goodman’s unfulfilled promise of royalties for Captain America, but Kirby had a family to support and so had to swallow his pride. His reentry job was a short five page war story called “Mine Field”. The job should have been easy for Jack, only a couple of years before Kirby drew, wrote and edited for Foxhole, a war comic for Simon and Kirby’s own publishing company called Mainline. One story for that title, “Hot Box”, was only two pages long and Jack still managed to make it a masterpiece.

“Mine Field” is a simple tale. A somewhat bumbler of a soldier gets separated from his outfit during a night patrol. He becomes lost in the dark and by daybreak finds himself close to the enemy’s position. From his observations he realizes the Germans plans to lure the Americans into a mine field. Upon dark the soldier rearranges the German marker and finds the way back with the outfit. The table has turned and the enemy falls into their own trap. It is a good story, just not one that plays on what would normally be considered Kirby’s strengths. Jack likes his war action up close and personal and that is not what this story is about, although Jack does manage to sneak in some typical Kirby action in the last panel. But it is because the story does not have a lot of action that it provides a showcase for how good an artist Kirby was. I provide an example page above. Note that there really is not a lot happening on this page. We find the hapless soldier fall into a shell hole and his unsuccessful attempt to find his comrades. Yet by altering the view point and careful use of the landscape Jack manages to make it all interesting. Kirby is able to do this throughout the story. This sort of low action story may not have been the best vehicle for Jack, but he still managed to make it look easy.

Jack’s pencils are always at their best when inked by his greatest inker, Kirby himself. For this story Jack’s inked in a manner which I referred to as the S&K Studio style. That style is categorized by bold brushwork and some unusual techniques. In the image I provide above, note the use of the picket fence pattern (see inking glossary) in the second and fifth panels. By itself there is nothing unusual about Jack’s inking in the Studio style, he had often used it in the past. What is surprising is that this style appeared in a work at this late date. At this time Jack had adopted a similar style but with a finer brush for Prize romance covers or a simpler style without techniques like the picket fence brushing for romance story art. However the inking in “Mine Field” does show one important trait agreeing with both the Fine Studio and Austere styles. Spotting has been downplayed giving the entire art a lighter look. Black areas tend to be limited coverage but when used are done by filling the area with ink. The inking for this story was not as masterful as Jack would shortly do for Atlas in Yellow Claw #2 and #3. However in its own understated way it is a beautiful job without any signs of rushing and loss of control found in “Afraid To Dream” that Kirby also did in the next month.

I have already remarked above how the plot for “Mine Field” was not typical for Kirby. I also find that the actual text writing does not have Kirby’s “voice”. Jack’s writing usually includes exclamations that are a little over the top. I find none of that quality in the script for “Mine Field”. Therefore I do not believe that Jack had much to do with the writing for this story and that he was working from a script supplied by Atlas. This sets this story apart from most pre-Implosion Atlas work which either Kirby seemed to have a lot of control over the writing (Yellow Claw, “Afraid to Dream”, “No Man Can Outdraw Him” and “Pokerface”) or at least some input to the plot (Black Rider Rides Again).

Battleground #14
Battleground #14 (November, 1956) “Beyond the Call of Duty” art by Joe Maneely

In my posts for this blog I generally avoid comparing other artists to Jack Kirby. It really is not fair and can result in overlooking the special talents these comic book artists possessed. Effectively Atlas made just such a comparison between Jack Kirby and Joe Maneely and judged Maneely as the better artist. Presumably this judgment was made by Stan Lee and it continued as long as Joe Maneely was alive. It was Joe that was the most frequent Atlas cover artist while Jack did not even get to do the covers for comic books titles where he did all the interior story art. In Battleground #14 Joe got the most important first story while Jack’s contribution was delegated towards the back. But this does not seem to reflect the actual merits of the two stories. Maneely is working from a script with much more action then what Kirby had. For a war title this should almost insure a more interesting story, yet Kirby’s piece is a much better read. Maneely just does not seem to know how to make the action exciting. Under Joe’s hands all of the artwork seems dry and unmoving. Even today there are those who say Joe Maneely was a great artist. I just do not understand exactly what they feel Maneely did so well.

Strange Tale Indeed

Strange Tales of the Unusual #7
Strange Tales of the Unusual #7 (December 1956) “Poker Face” page 1 pencils by Jack Kirby

A giant alien arrives in an odd cylindrical spaceship. Without any attempt to hide, he makes visits all over the world. People’s responses vary, the Russians fire with all their available weapons, most citizens of Indian hide in the bushes but a few approach closely, New Yorkers gawk but quickly get bored and return home. But it seems that no matter how the people of earth react, the alien completely ignores them and just goes about his business. Only nobody can figure out what he is doing. He just seems to go everywhere with his weird gadgets. The answer to the riddle is provided at the end and of course it is an unexpected explanation.

When I was young I remember reading some DC comics, Superman, Batman, the Flash and so on. What I remember most about them was how boring they were. My DC phase did not last long and was never very intense. I then progressed to Marvel pre-hero fantasy, which was still filled with stories very much like “Poker Face”. I remember enjoying them very much for a while. Eventually I got tired of the formula. It may sound strange but I found the use of a surprise ending repetitious after a while. So I drifted out of comics. But later I somehow stumbled on an early Fantastic Four (probably FF #4) and I was hooked, a confirmed Marvel junkie.

This is another of those pre-Implosion Atlas where Kirby inked his own pencils. As described in Chapter 6 of “Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking” the spotting was a pared down version of the formerly used Studio style. Jettisoned from that older style were brush techniques like drop strings and picket fences. New to the inking was the use of a pen, often in parallel lines to provide grays.

Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 1, Introduction

Most of the work by Jack Kirby that people admire they only know second hand. They know Kirby inked by Dick Ayers, or Kirby inked by Joe Sinnott, or Kirby inked by Mike Royer, and so on. By its very nature this means we are seeing various artists’ interpretations of Kirby’s pencils. Even in his late years when Jack pencil’s provided indications of how the spotting should be done and inkers tried to be faithful to the pencils, it is still an inker’s interpretation. This is the state of affairs during Jack’s more recent career when he did extremely little inking.

Earlier, during the Simon and Kirby years, things were very different. Most, if not all, of the S&K studio artists inked their own work. The inking style for each artist seem unique and consistent. Most did not produce enough output to support heavy use of assistants. Mort Meskin was more prolific so perhaps he was an exception. However for Jack Kirby we have some eye witnesses such as Martin Thall who have reported group inking sessions at the S&K studio. Examinations of the finished product adds support to this because often different hands seem involved. However other observers such as Carmine Infantino have reported Kirby providing the final inking touches to his own work. Who inked what is often the subject of contentious debate since the comics do not provide credits and comic book experts rarely provide explanations for their attributions. Someday I may wade in with my own inking attributions, and even explain why, but this is not that day.

After the breakup of the S&K Studio Jack began to do freelance work. We find Kirby work published by DC, Atlas and Prize. Among the early freelance period I see some consistencies in the inking that indicate one hand at work, I think we can rule out Joe Simon since there is no evidence that he ever did any work at this time for DC or Atlas. Further the style is dissimilar to the inking found on some of Simon’s own work of the period. Nor does the inking style match that by artists who in the past did work for S&K such as Mort Meskin, Bill Draut or Marvin Stein. The spotting is done with enough talent that I think we can rule out some new, unknown inker. Besides which although at times Jack might have been doing enough penciling to support an inking assistant this changed. Kirby began to supply DC and Atlas with just penciled art with the publisher assigning the inking to others. After that this inking style only appears in Prize’s Young Romance and that was not enough work for Jack to support any inking help. My conclusion is that this inking style was Kirby doing his own inking. As such it provides a rare opportunity to see Kirby first hand.

I have mentioned this inking style previously. Once when I was discussing the break up of Simon and Kirby. Again more recently when I posted on The Black Rider Rides Again. I think it might be interesting to examine the evolution of this inking style. To do so I needed to give it some sort of designation. I thought of referring to it as Kirby’s late inking style but I suspect that is too confusing. The inking may be late in his inking career since it was the last style that Jack used while he still commonly had a hand in inking his own work. But Kirby had a long career and using a term such as “late” to describe a period that ended in 1959 just seems inappropriate. So I am going to call it Kirby’s Austere Style of inking because of its typical lack of embellishments.

To understand the development of the Austere Style is really helps to go back to what it evolved from. I think the best place to start is toward the end of the Simon and Kirby studio. But like an old adage, to tell that story I have to tell another story. I need to describe how inking of Kirby pencils was done in the S&K studio. This is a very different topic from who did the inking.

Pages of S&K art went through distinct stages. These stages are known because sometimes comics book titles were unexpectedly cancelled. When this happened work on future issues was already in progress. Work on any of these cancelled titles would immediately stopped no matter what stage it was in. Sometimes the art could be salvaged for other projects, but not always. Not a lot of these unfinished pages survived but what has tells a consistent story.

The first stage was, of course, the penciling. This included rough placement for the work balloons and captions. Some covers in this stage have been published in The Jack Kirby Collector. But the rough placing of balloons can be observed even when a page has advanced to further stages because it often was not completely erased.

Unpublished Boy Explorers
Boys Explorers (unpublished) art by Jack Kirby

Next the lettering was done along with inking of the word balloons and the panel borders. It is in this stage that most unfinished pages are found and it is the stage that I can provide an image. Note that Kirby’s pencils are still uninked. Jack’s drawing is pretty tight but he does not shown any indication of how blacks are to be arranged. Outlines are provided and the folds of the clothing is indicated by simple lines. On one hand the inker was given clear indications of where ink lines should be applied. On the other hand application of black areas, what is called spotting, was completely left up to the inker.

Unpublished Boy Explorers
Boys Explorers (unpublished) art by Jack Kirby

For the third stage line inking was done. Since for the most part Kirby’s pencils were tight this required little more then the ability to carefully follow Jack’s lines. This meant that finesse with the inking pen or brush was more important then artistic ability. I suspect that often the outline inking was done by studio assistants and after the studio breakup even by Kirby’s wife Roz. Sometimes there seems to have been no real attempt to adjust the width of the inked lines. In the example I provide above it is almost as if the outlines were made by bending wire. If the outline required any emphasis it could be introduced in the next stage. We shall see in the next chapter that a more artistic inking of the outlines would sometimes be done.

The final stage, known as spotting, supplied the blacks to the image. As remarked above there really was nothing in the pencils to indicate how this should be done. For good results a talented inker would be required. But it is a simplification to call this one stage. Particular spotting chores, such as foliage or backgrounds, could be assigned to different artists. However there did not seem to be any fixed procedure for how or by whom this was done. Jack, Joe or both could do the final touch ups.

S&K studio inking was a different thing altogether then how inking was handled in the Silver Age and beyond. Then the penciler’s work was handed over to another artist who would provide all the inking. Under such a system it makes sense to say a particular piece was drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by say Dick Ayers. Unfortunately people apply the same terminology to Simon and Kirby art. When they say a Kirby piece was inked by say Joe Simon what do they really mean? That the Joe did all the work, both outline and spotting? Or that he did just the spotting? Or could it be that Joe’s did some spotting along with others? Generally I try to be specific about what type of inking I am talking about.

Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 2, Mainline
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 3, A Lot of Romance
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 4, Prize Covers
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 5, Harvey
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 6, Atlas
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 7, DC
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 8, More Harvey
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, Chapter 9, More Prize
Jack Kirby’s Austere Inking, A Checklist and a Glossary

other post with Kirby inking Kirby:

Strange Tale Indeed
Battleground, Jack Kirby’s Return to Atlas
Captain 3D