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Topic: Q for JB: Pencilling Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 October 2020 at 4:10pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I recall you describing your art in an interview and using artists to describe the stages of your process -- something like, "I draw like Ditko does the lay-outs, Kirby does the breakdowns, and Neal Adams finishes the pencils..." or something.

Do you remember describing yourself in this fashion? Is anything like this still true?

(As always: Thanks!)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 October 2020 at 4:41pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Yup, thatís pretty much what it was.

Of course, the elements were and are in constant flux.

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 15 October 2020 at 4:54pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Very cool. The funny thing is, I couldn't remember exactly how it went, but I kinda remembered WHO you referenced and then puzzled it together based on what made sense visually.

One thing that got me thinking about this is that, there are several spots in Elsewhen-- certain places, shadows, hair, faces, details-- which (to me) look more authentically like Neal Adams than anything you've ever done.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 October 2020 at 6:34pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Probably stone cold swipes!!
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Jonathan A. Dowdell
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 7:32am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Mr. Byrne, now that your drawing a regular series again -- for all intents and purposes -- how is your speed at penciling a page? I think you said years ago that you could pencil 2 1/2 books a month. Is that right and could you hit that pace these days?  Thx
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 8:03am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

My speed varies a lot these days, but hangs mostly around 2 hours per page.

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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 10:36am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Two hours per page? Wow. (For those of you who might not know, that is FAST.)
JB, what influences how quickly you do a page? I'm guessing part of it is reconsidering what angle tells the story best after it's been laid out, how much detail is necessary (especially in the background) and so on, but I am probably missing some variables.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 4:01pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I think JB's "fearless use of perspective" (as someone put it) and, over the years, more adventurous panel shapes make the Neal Adams influence pretty overt. Of course JB's style isn't as "dramatic-realist" as Adams' (not a criticism, just an observation) but in superhero comics that really, really doesn't matter.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 4:25pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

2 hrs per page sounds darn fast.... hmmm, 6-8 hours per day = 3-4 pages per day. 47 weeks a year x 5 days per wk (3 wks vacation + 10 federal holidays) = 235 working days x 3-4 pages per day = 705 - 940 pages per year = call it 32 to 43 22 pg. comics per year, or basically 2 2/3rds to 3 1/ 2 monthly titles in a year. That sounds faster than anyone I've seen since, like, Kirby? All the more amazing given these are full pencils with remarkable details and backgrounds, plus this is a group book meaning more figures drawn in more panels.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 5:16pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Iíve always been fast. It was what really got me my first assignment at Marvel. Speed and dependability used to matter.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 6:47pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Fast, dependable and -- crucially -- good.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 16 October 2020 at 7:01pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Over the years I've tried to compile a list of artists that have been able to draw 2 or more books per month. There's Kirby and Ditko, obviously, and John and Sal Buscema. But there weren't many since the 70's. George Perez was on FF and Avengers at one point, JRjr had been on multiple books here and there (like Peter Parker and Thor at the same time). Who else?
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