It seems like at least partially a Marvel Comics-produced effort as it focuses on Jack Kirby's time at Marvel, and isn't reluctant to pile both him and Marvel to the ceiling with praise, but there are still some interesting things to be found in there. I hadn't known Kirby worked in animation and strips early on, for instance, and you get to hear about how he worked, what his peers thought of him, and so forth, oh and they have some interesting insights from other Marvel artists, including some whose work I like a lot--people like Walt Simonson and Neal Adams.
Although his "blocky" style certainly looked as though it followed the geometric construction techniques described in Stan Lee and John Buscema's well-known 1978 guide, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, to hear the eyewitnesses in this video tell it, Kirby, legendary for churning out five or whatever full comic pages in a single day when necessary, appears to have drawn with little or no preliminary layout phase--just going straight from blank page to final pencils, and not necessarily doing those in any sort of structured order, but maybe putting in a hand here, a head here, and so on until they all connected.
That explains why his proportions were sometimes a bit loosey-goosey, and eh well it sounds kind of like how I'm drawing A* now, frighteningly enough. Come to think of it in fact, on today's page I drew the shoulders, then the hands, then the arms in between them--all directly in ink with no preliminary sketching, of course. >_> I can't say I recommend drawing this way (and I'm unbelievably worse / slower at it than Kirby, certainly!)...but it is kind of fun. ;)
Kirby, mind you, mostly worked in pencil, leaving the inking part to be completed by others as he churned away on more and more pages--which, from the looks of the many penciled pages they show in this video, is in some ways a real shame, because his pencil work has a really gorgeous, subtle range of tone in it that was ENTIRELY lost in the flat and minimalistic inking that was usually laid over it; just look at his pencil renderings of the Thing (the orange rocky guy in the Fantastic Four) in there, for instance: almost every little flat facet of his body is carefully shaded in a slightly different tone of gray, yielding a really great volumetric effect--pretty much reduced to black and white by whoever would come along and ink it, no doubt. Jeepers.
Oh, and all those times in the video that people say Kirby invented that "Kirby Krackle" bubbly energy effect--well, he very well could have come up with it on his own, but similar patterns had been used by others to illustrate space energy in comics well before Kirby popularized it in the States.
I have some other artists I've been wanting to talk about for a while so I may as well do it now! I've mentioned Travis Charest's "Spacegirl" before--a single wide black and white panel science fiction comic :o--and some time after that I found his blog, which is conveniently called Travis Charest's Spacegirl. There you'll find links to semi-recent continuations he's made in his Spacegirl story, new stuff about what he's working on these days, and links to other slideshows of his work, including a fascinating compilation of his art from the Weapons of the Metabaron graphic novel, as well as some of his older work on Jim Lee's Wildstorm Comics series, WildC.A.T.s.
But not...a whole lot else. See, Charest's career took an unusual twist when, in 2000, just as his hyper-detailed, bold pencil and ink work had been getting him noticed in American comics, Charest...moved to France. From what little I know of European comics, they emphasize a rather more fantastic artistry than one finds in the typical American superhero comic style, and I suspect that's what attracted Charest, whose style was starting to go beyond the norm over here. So he went to France, started work on the latest graphic novel in this "Metabarons" series...and seven years or so later, he had about thirty pages done.
That's about a page every three months--not exactly a Kirby-esque page rate. :P If you look at the Metabaron art in his slideshow, you'll see that it is incredibly detailed, but still, that isn't going to keep a publisher satisfied at the rate of one of those pages every ninety days. So the second half of the book was finished by someone else (the difference in art was explained away--apparently somewhat awkwardly--as a flashback sequence or something), and Charest came back to the States, where he's finally started working on a few comic pieces here and there.
Charest's weapon of choice is the Rapidograph technical pen, and finding that out was what got me interested in the things, as I thought gee it would be super if I could get so detailed and cross-hatchy like he does. And his ink wash, like he did with Metabaron, is done with "Rapidograph" ink, which I *think* is probably Ultradraw like I tested recently. Even so, the slow, patient movements the Rapidograph requires are not for me, as I discovered, so I have to admire what he can do with it all the more. Hopefully he'll keep Spacegirl going too!
In my ink device investigations I had someone mention to me that artist Jae Lee had inked with a razor. That mystified me for a while--how would you get ink flowing down the blade? :o--but I guess maybe what that meant was using the blade to shave away bits of black inked paper surface, to create white blast effects and the like, as demonstrated in this video. Maybe?