I have come to the conclusion that no one, and I mean no one, can ink Betty Blonde except for me. You see, the rough drafts of Betty Blonde have little lines going everywhere, not perfect, straight lines for a guide. A lot of the inking if also very ad libbed, especially places like Mr. Nobody’s hat or Spike’s spikes. It’s pretty confusing. That’s why I like to do it myself. Also, I think inking is just as crucial to the cartooning process as drawing or jokes are. Maybe even more so. I believe the way you ink really influences people’s first impressions of your comic strip. For example, I find FoxTrot a lot more visually appealing than Calvin and Hobbes even though Calvin and Hobbes is a lot funnier. There’s something about the chunky lines and constant cartoony style of FoxTrot that draws me in. Sure Calvin and Hobbes is more artistic, but at first glance it doesn’t grab my attention. Calvin and Hobbes is an acquired taste (I’m just speaking for myself.)
I lied actually. ‘No one and I mean no one’ is not true. Christian is my back up inker in case of emergencies. He knows my style better than I do. Also, if I happen to have a favorite aunt or uncle or cousin or devoted Betty Blonde fan (of which there are many ) or friend or worker or grandparent or interested onlooker in the house, and they feel like inking, then I will relinquish the pen. (generally a Bic z4, with a 0.5 point. Works wonders.) I’m even more willing to give up the pen if the volunteer is stressed. Inking is wonderfully therapeutic, sort of like coloring, especially if you have a Dad that’s willing to share his homemade popcorn and read aloud a history book to you. I recommend taking it up sometime
Drop on by around 5:30 PM sometime… I’d be happy to hand over the z4.
On a different but related note: I’ve heard tell that professional cartoonists use brushes or fancy fountain pens with India ink. India ink. Isn’t that fantastic? I don’t know if it’s actually from India, but it sounds awesome, and that’s good enough for me. You know how some people dream of Ferraris, yachts, and high social status ? I dream of India Ink, an NCS membership, and (just maybe) a Reuben Award.