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That Time I Inked Art Adams, Part 2

This is a follow-up post on the creation of the ABC Sketchbook cover and poster. Chris Sprouse was the first artist to pencil and ink his characters on the cover. That made sense, because Tom Strong was the "Superman" of ABC, and therefore he and his supporting players were given a prominent place in the foreground of the blueline layout by Arthur Adams.


Chris was kind enough to send me a copy of the cover that he made after penciling his characters: Tom Strong, his wife Dhalua, gorilla King Solomon, robot Pneuman, and alternate universe Bunny Tom Strong.

Chris also shared his thoughts about working the piece, which I quote, here.

"The two things I remember most about that piece: 1) it was freakin' huge! Someone (probably Arthur) had to construct a giant box out of cardboard portfolios just so it could be shipped; and 2) I did the first pencils on the piece (and I'm sure I ate up a lot of time--sorry, Hilary--just because it was kind of intimidating to follow Arthur) and I regret that I wasn't able to get a good scan or photocopy of the blue pencil layouts before I drew my characters. I did manage to make a copy after my part was done. It's not the best quality because I had to photocopy it in 4 11X17" parts, reduced quite a bit and darkened like crazy to get the blue pencil to reproduce, then I taped those parts together and photocopied them reduced again to get it all on one 11X17" sheet of paper."


Below is the published cover for comparison, with the inks of J. H. Williams 111 on Promethea, Gene Ha on multiple characters from Top Ten, Rick Veitch on Greyshirt, Kevin Nowlan on Jack B. Quick, and Art Adams himself on Jonni Future.

As you can see, when I inked Splash Brannigan's right hand, for the sake of clarity I moved it slightly lower below the black knee of Tom Strong. But, because artist Gene Ha had already inked the nuclear-armed battlesuit of Top Ten's Officer Irma "Irmageddon" Wornow, that hand tucks rather awkwardly behind it. Since the battlesuit is in the background behind Splash, this is spatially confusing. But I had no time to find a solution. Deadlines!

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