Here’s a piece I inked a while back. For years, I inked with a quill or a brush, but more recently, I’ve started using a program called Manga Studio. The line work I can get out of it is very clean, very precise, and very detailed. Almost anything I can do with a pen, I can do in here. It’s not an auto-trace program. Every line is drawn with my Wacom tablet.
It just starts to make sense when you look at how art for comics are handled today. In years past, I would get a box Fed-Exed to me, ink the paper pages, then ship them back to the editor, or the letterer. For the most recent job I did, I downloaded high-res scans from DC’s FTP site, printed them out on bristol board, inked them, scanned them back in, and uploaded them. If I leave it all in the computer, then I save quite a bit on steps, and there’s nothing lost in the printing and scanning. There are no original pages to sell later, but it’s a commercial job, so my goal is to be efficient. I can also ink in layers, so my finished product is much more useful to the colorist afterward.
This particular piece was inked over a scan of Jim Lee’s pencil art, which I downloaded from somewhere on the net. It was not very high resolution, but I had enough to work with, and I was very pleased at how it turned out.