Keith Giffen the artist has taken a back seat to Keith Giffen the writer in recent years. The announcement of the upcoming comic series "Dominion" from Image Comics had fans clamoring for Giffen's return as a penciler on the book. CBR News has learned that when the new series hits the stands, fans will be getting more than they bargained for.
The book, written by Giffen and collaborator Ross Richie (producer of the "Mage" movie) was to be inked by Claude St. Aubin ("Punx"). However, extenuating circumstances have prevented St. Aubin from completing his work on the first issue of the series. When the inker's unexpected departure from the project made it doubtful that "Dominion" would hit it's target release date, colorist Lovern Kindzierski stepped in to save the day.
"There's a reason that in the past five years, when it comes to collaborators on comics, Lovern's name is always at the top of my list," Giffen told CBR News. "He is the best kept secret in comics and it's about time more people found out about his many talents."
The colorist will be digitally inking the first issue of the book. For consistency he'll be re-doing the pages that had already been inked by St. Aubin, working from photo-stats. Giffen and Richie couldn't be more pleased with the results.
"It's spectacular," enthused Giffen.
"I was so blown away by the pages when I first saw the new pages that I threatened to kiss 'Vern on the lips," Richie told us.
"That's not motivation," was Giffen's response.
The technique bypasses conventional inking by using the digital colorist's toolkit to raise the pencil grays to ink blacks. This means that fans of Giffen's artwork will be seeing a very pure representation of his pencils for the first time anywhere.
Richie is impressed with the effect. "Seems to me that a lot of pencillers who would like to control their work in a more precise manner and already pencil in a tight, detailed style will flock to this technique," Richie said. "It gives them a clarity and precision they can't get anywhere else."
Kindzierski felt the deadline crush, having to do the inks and colors in the same time-frame he had been allotted for just the colors. The work was made even more challenging by the fact that he had to work from photo-copies rather than the original pencils.
"I have a little more latitude when I'm scanning from pencils," Kindzierski said. "There's more information, but a Xerox has already dropped out information."
The second issue of "Dominion" will be inked by Dave Elliott who, like Giffen, has become better known for his writing than his art skills. However, Elliott started in the comic business as an artist, before his duties as publisher at Atomeka press pushed him towards the business side of things.
"Dominion" #1 is due out from Image January 2003. For more on this series, read our August interview with Giffen.