My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things
or: Get Some Slop In There

This week we're going with a blast from the past in the form of X-Men Unlimited #50 which was largely met by fandom, as I recall, with a collective "meh." Win some, lose some.

Be that as it may I had great fun doing it. Partly from working with Lone Wolf and Cub scribe, Kazuo Koike (though I'm not really sure how much of the story was his as opposed to his assistants) but, mostly from a sense of freedom I was starting to allow myself around this time. It had finally dawned on me that, speaking for myself only, the best work comes not from control but from surrender.

By 2003 I'd been drawing for near 50 years and inking with a brush for more than 30. It was time to get out of my own way and just allow what was inside me to happen rather than try to force things. The figure in the last panel of Pg 4 may be the best bit of inking I've ever done. The simplicity, grace and naturalism of it haunts me to this day. Why can't it always be that easy?

Happy Trails

3 Comments so far

Rebecca's picture

do I mention Alex Toth, but this reminds me of some of the things he could do in ink (sometimes even with what would seem to be a pretty ratty Sharpie marker)... simple on the surface and yet alluding to so much! Was he someone in animation you were aware of or even crossed paths with at all? I'm deep into that Genius Animated book of Toth's art, so he is on my mind lately. I'm only a little aware of Lone Wolf and Cub manga, had a couple of the early translations (also Kamui, Mai and some others).
Smitty's picture

As a result I was influenced by his work long before I knew his name. Only met him once very briefly at SDCC just before DinnerCon. He was going to dinner here while I was going to dinner there. I don't think he knew of me at that time. I later got stories from multiple sources that he was impressed by my work on Leave it to Chance but I never checked them out for fear they'd prove untrue which would have crushed me.
Rebecca's picture

for the reply. Glad you got to meet Mr. Toth however briefly. There was an artist on Scamp comics I thought was amazing but never knew his name until only a few years ago... Al Hubbard. My first favorite cartoonist!


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