Inking Gil Kane’s Green Lantern

This is a bit of a reblog from when I first did this inking, back in 2018. I was pleased with how it came out, but this time I thought I’d add the other versions for comparison. My source for Gil’s pencils was Kevin Nowlan’s blog (this post specifically). I really like Kevin’s work but I wanted to try my own spin—which I think came out somewhere between Gil himself and Ralph Reese.

Anyhow, more recently, I found a version actually inked by Gil, too! So that’s an extra interest factor—there are four versions of this piece to look at here! Lemme know what you think!! 🙂

In order: Gil Kane’s pencils; Gil Kane’s own inks; Kevin Nowlan’s inks; my inks.

Green Lantern Gallery cover pencils

Green Lantern Gallery cover GK inks

Green Lantern Gallery cover inks

Gil Kane's Green Lantern Inked by Me

7 thoughts on “Inking Gil Kane’s Green Lantern”

  1. Chrissie,

    Always fascinating to compare/contrast pencils and inks. Kane’s art has been inked by numerous artists over the years ranging from successful to weak and watered down. Some of my favorite inkers over Kane are Dan Adkins (his favorite), Tom Sutton, Wally Wood, Tom Palmer and Ralph Reese (at least the ones that come immediately to mind). Oh yes, Kevin Nowlan is up there too. I quite enjoyed your interpretation, it adds depth and layers to his pencils and has a good, strong feel. I hope to see more of your inks over Gil (and others if the mood suits you like Kirby or Herb Trimpe!)

    1. You know, I’ve never gone anywhere near trying to ink Herb. I’ve tried Kirby a few times, with so-so results. Maybe I’ll look for some good Trimpe pencil examples. Might be fun.

    2. Some penciller / inker partnerships are made in Heaven (Jack Kirby & Mike Royer, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer), others in Hades (quite why Jack let Greg Theakston perform any task more complicated than cranking his pencil sharpener is utterly beyond me).

  2. I like the black ground that you use in your interpretation. It really makes the figure pop. I like your treatment of GL’s abs best. I feel that there is a real subtlety in Kane’s pencils that even he loses a bit when he inks them. I feel that less is more when it comes to inking that muscle group and that the line weight and darkness of the actual pencils is enough of an emphasis.

  3. Nice work, Chrissie!
    Gil was notoriously critical of his inkers. The one time I had an in-depth conversation with him, he described one of his most prolific DC silver age inkers as “the abortionist,” and he referred to a contemporary inker as “that fucking ____ _____.”
    I met Gil in the early 80s, when he was still drawing Action and Sword of the Atom, and he was inking his own work beautifully. Alas, he was enamored of markers, and we all know how those originals have (not) stood the test of time.

  4. I agree with Norris about the black background adding to the drawing.

    As Tom noted Gil could be quite critical about his inkers. When I spoke to him at a NY Con years ago we spoke of many aspects of comics although not so much inkers. I do recall asking him to sign two covers he drew: one with the Flash praying which was a sentimental favorite since it was one of the earliest Kane covers I recall buying off the stands (his reaction was something to the effect of “a damn Infantino layout with the hero crying” but when I showed him the next cover I was forgiven, it was a Mighty Marvel Western starring the Rawhide Kid looking up from a desert stream with the two killers reflections in the water. He explained that it was one he designed and one of his favorite covers.

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