Monday, May 21, 2007

Art in close-up: Ghost Rider 2099 #18

Welcome to another installment of 'art in close-up', where I take an original page from my collection and take a closer look at it. This week:

Ghost Rider 2099 #18

Page 2

Pencils - Ashley Wood

Inks - Jim Daly

Letters - Richard Starkings/ Comicraft

Colours - Christie Scheele/ Malibu

Writer - Len Kaminski

Quick summary: An evil robot called L-Cipher has taken over an amusement park with his minions (gotta have minions). The place is ablaze, and SHIELD has called in the Ghost Rider of the future to help out.

Kicking things off, the full page:

There's a lot of unique elements to this page, in terms of the rest of the stuff I have. First off, the art goes all the way to the edge of the original page. The bleed area (which you usually don't see printed, but is there just incase) is half an inch or so in from each page edge, the bleed area itself being half of that size deep. So, there's usually a consistent 'frame' around an original page of art. In the printed version, there's no margins on the page at all, and the original reflects this.

This was quite a big purchase for me, I had to fork out $96US for it, not including shipping. I was going to be charged $50 to get it delivered via Fedex, but screw that! Thankfully I have internet friends in America, so got it sent to one for a fraction of the cost, then they sent it to me. Much cheaper. GR2099 is a pretty obscure character, I guess what drove the price up was that it was promoted as an Ashley Wood original. He certainly did the pencils, but it's the ink work that makes this page, and the comic credits Jim Daly with that (no mention of him in the auction...). Wood's GR2099 art regularly goes for the amount I paid, whether or not they feature GR at all, so this is a case where I had to take a hit simply for the name of the artist, when I was after it primarily for Ghostie. Them's the breaks.

Panel 1:

The lettering is all pasted on. The cool stylised text up to is for L-Cipher (Lucifer, incase you didn't get it :p). The whole cyber-speak thing is dated now, but back in 1995, Len Kaminski was the man.
The vertical white dotted lines on the sillouette are actually nicks out of the paper, not white-out. I'm not a major fan of this type of art, though I do like this. Hated the way Jae Lee used to do things, and I preferred Wood's work in this time period when he was inked by Daly. I was already familiar with Daly's work, he did art for a few cards for the Rage CCG (that I'm a fanatic for), and liked his odd take on things. Still don't think this is a particularly good style for action and fighting, but it's good for setting mood.

Panel 2:

The colourist adds a nice extra dimension to this, with the light on GR's back. There's a fair bit of white-out in the flame, can't tell what it's covering. I'm guessing that's a satellite dish at the top? More of those vertical white lines that cut into the page. I wonder what was used?

Panel 3:

There is so much detail in this. More cuts on GR's body, the white marks on the SHIELD guy are white-out, as are all the larger blobs. GR's eye's were whited out heavily after the ink splashes were done. I'm guessing Daly used a brush for this, since the ink's all nicely even, no different shades, or the marks you get when blacking out large sections with a marker. Lots of really fine lines on GR's head and chest, and the SHIELD's hair. I love how the panel almost seems to fade out down the bottom. I can't decide if I like the flame more on the original (which is nicely stylised), or what the colourist did with it.

Panel 4:

Feels more like a space filler (not in a negative way) than an actual panel, but what else am I gonna call it ;) This is one of the reasons I went after this page, because I wanted to see just what the hell was going on in this bit. It's been inked fully black, and then gone over in white ink (paint? Is there such a thing as white ink?). Also a touch of white-out to make some parts heavier. Also a fair bit of work put in by Christie Scheele. The flames are a nice scene-setting touch, showing that the characters are outside a huge fire, without actually providing an establishing shot.

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