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Encyclopedia > Penciller

A penciller (or penciler) is one of a number of artists working within the comic industry. The role of penciller formed from the studio habits of early comic book production. To achieve a fast turn-around time in the production of comic strips and comic books, the production of the art was split between artists in an assembly line approach. The penciller draws the comic book in pencil, after which the work is sent to an inker who finishes the page in ink to make it ready for publication. See comedian Stand up comedian List of Comedians List of British comedians comics comic book comic strip underground comics alternative comics web comic sprite comics manga graphic novel List of comic characters This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the... Adriaen van Ostade. ... 1913 Ford Model T assembly line. ... A selection of colored pencils. ... The inker is one of the two line artists in a traditional comic book, or graphic novel. ... An ink is a liquid containing various pigments and/or dyes used for colouring a surface to render an image or text. ...

The penciller/inker formula was largely the result of the limitations of early printing processes, which required comic book pages to be prepared as camera-ready line art. Today, improvements in printing technology have given birth to techniques that were previously unavailable. For example, in the past it was rare for comic book art to be reproduced directly from the pencilled pages without inking, but this practice has become somewhat more common. (The artist Gene Colan is notable for preferring to work in this way when his publisher allows it.) In addition, it is now fairly commonplace for comic book art to be reproduced from full color, painted original art using four-color process. In these and other cases where there is no penciller/inker division, the credit is usually listed simply as "artist." Nonetheless, despite these advances, the assembly-line approach to comic book art largely persists in the mainstream comics industry, for reasons of both expediency and aesthetics. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Line Art. ... Gene Colan (born September 1, 1926) is an American comic book illustrator who sometimes worked under the name Adam Austin. ... Color printing is the reproduction of an image or text in color (as opposed to simpler black and white or monochrome printing). ... Kittens are often considered quite cute. ...

Note that the penciller is not responsible for lettering any of the dialog or captions on the page, though a penciller may occasionally be called upon to design elaborate display lettering for titles or sound effects. Calligraphy in a Latin Bible of AD 1407 on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. ... The term dialogue (or dialog) expresses basically reciprocal conversation between two or more persons. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Because a penciller does not usually create finished art, the extent to which the pencilled pages resemble the final, inked version varies depending on the artist.

Most pencillers develop a preference for the work of certain inkers and vice versa. Some penciller/inker teams have enjoyed long and celebrated collaborations when their styles mesh particularly well. In less successful cases, an inker's style may not complement that of the penciller, or the inker's own style may be so prominent that in effect it buries the work of the penciller.

In earlier generations it was more common for artists to use a loose pencilling approach, in which the penciller does not take much care to reduce the vagaries of the pencil art, leaving it to the inker to interpret the penciller's intent. Today many pencillers prefer to create very meticulously detailed pages, where every nuance that they expect to see in the inked art is indicated in pencil. This is known as tight pencilling. Jim Lee is an artist who exemplifies this approach. Fantastic Four #1 (1996) cover by Jim Lee. ...


A comic book penciller usually works closely with the comic book's editor, who commissions a script from the writer and sends it to the penciller. Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. ... The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ...

Comic book scripts can take a variety of forms. Some writers, such as Alan Moore, produce complete, elaborate, and lengthy outlines of each page. Others send the artist only a plot outline consisting of no more than a short overview of key scenes with little or no dialogue. Stan Lee, the founder of Marvel Comics, was known to prefer this latter form, and thus it came to be known as the Marvel Method. Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953, in Northampton) is an English writer most famous for his work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. ... Stan Lee at the 1973 San Diego comic con Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922, New York, New York) is an American writer, editor, Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Comics, and memoirist, who — with several artist co-creators, especially Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — introduced complex, naturalistic... Marvel Comics is an American comic book line published by Marvel Entertainment, Inc. ... The Marvel Method, pioneered by and exemplified in the works of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, is a method of comic book creation wherein the author (in this case, Stan Lee) would plot out the rough outline of a story, and the artist (Kirby), while drawing it, would help fill...

Sometimes a writer or another artist (such as an art director) will include basic layouts, called breakdowns, to assist the penciller in scene composition. If no breakdowns are included, then it falls to the penciller to determine the layout of each page, including the number of panels, their shapes and their positions. Even when these visual details are indicated by a script, a penciller may feel when drawing the scene that there is a different way of composing the scene, and may disregard the script, usually following consultation with the editor and/or writer. The term art director, is an overall title for a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games. ... A script breakdown is an intermediate step in the production of a play, film, comic book, or any other work that is originally planned using a script. ...

Tools and Materials

A penciller works in pencil. Beyond this basic description, however, different artists choose to use a wide variety of different tools. While many artists use traditional wood pencils, others prefer mechanical pencils or drafting leads. Pencillers may use any lead hardness they wish, although many artists use a harder lead (like a 2H) to make light lines for initial sketches, then turn to a slightly softer lead for finishing phases of the drawing. Still other artists do their initial layouts using a light blue colored pencil because that color tends to disappear during photocopying. A selection of colored pencils. ... A ratchet-type mechanical pencil A mechanical pencil (also propelling pencil, clutch pencil, or Pacer after a Papermate model, a genericized trademark) is a pencil containing an internal mechanism which pushes (propels) the thin graphite lead through the tip. ... A couple of very simple pencils A pencil is a handheld instrument used to write and draw, usually on paper. ... A small, much-used Xerox copier in a high school library. ...

Most comic book pages are drawn oversized on large sheets of paper, usually Bristol board. The customary size of comic book pages in the mainsteam American comics industry is 11 by 17 inches. The inker usually works directly over the penciller's pencil marks, though occasionally pages are inked on translucent paper, such as drafting vellum, preserving the original pencils. The artwork is later photographically reduced in size during the printing process. Bristol board (also referred to as Bristol paper) is a heavyweight paper used for technical drawing, illustration, and other two-dimensional art forms. ... Mid-19th century tool for converting between different standards of the inch An inch is an Imperial unit of length. ... The inker is one of the two line artists in a traditional comic book, or graphic novel. ... In optics, transparency is the property of being transparent, or allowing light to pass. ... Vellum (from the Latin for wool or pelt) is a sort of parchment, a material for the pages of a book or codex, characterized by its thin, smooth, durable properties. ...

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I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove.
Once in the pencil factory—$4,000,000 in machinery and building, all capital accumulated by thrifty and saving parents of mine—each slat is given eight grooves by a complex machine, after which another machine lays leads in every other slat, applies glue, and places another slat atop—a lead sandwich, so to speak.
I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.
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