Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lousy Inks!

I only had one issue remaining to complete all of the last fifteen issues of FANTASTIC FOUR that Kirby wrote and illustrated. That issue was #97. Like most of the stories Kirby was writing for the book toward the end, this one was very simple in theme and plot. It involved the FF being met with a nebulous menace that turned out to be a monster somewhat like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. In the end, the fellow turns out to be a lost alien with its mate in tow and they both escape from the Four and into outer space on their ship. It's the kind of thing Kirby was writing and illustrating in his very earliest days at the embryonic Marvel Comics.

I had not seen this issue since I first read it as a kid. And I have to say that while the story is simple it was not a bad effort on Kirby's part. However...the inking job performed by Frank Giacoia is one of the worst I've ever seen. It's possible that he was rushed and was pulled in on the job because Joe Sinnott was not available for some reason. I have no idea what the deadline was like, but the result is easily one of the worst inking jobs I have ever seen over Kirby's pencils. Some of the panels are excruciatingly awful because of Giacoia's slap-dash work.

But, anyway, I've got that last issue in that particular bit of the collection, so that was a relief to finish that section. In addition, the condition of the book was quite nice, so I won't ever have to worry about getting an upgrade.

My copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #97.


Henry R. Kujawa said...

I do kinda wonder what went on when Joe Sinnott would miss an issue here or there. Also, was Giacoia pulled in late, or was HE just so late, and then, he couldn't find anyone else to "help" (uncredited) so he had to do it himself? I've noticed on several occasions that when he obviously has "help", his assistants' work doesn't look anything like his-- and, unusually, it tends to be BETTER. I guess Joe Giella was busy that month...!

James Robert Smith said...

Some of the panels in issue 97 are so bad they must have been done by assistants who had almost no skill at all. They're just terrible. The whole issue is pretty much wrecked by the inking, but Kirby's powerful pencils and storytelling ability pulls the yarn along. But those hideous inks are distracting.