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    What I’ve Learned: Dick Giordano

    Interview by Joseph Askins

    I don’t live in the past much. I enjoyed it when I lived it but I’m much too busy in the present to dwell on any past glories.

    My mission is to render the pencils to the best of my ability and with respect for the pencil artist’s skill and intent. I want every great penciled panel to still be great when the work is finished, and perhaps to use some of my skills to improve the pencils when they’re not all they could be. All this without raising the dust and in a timely fashion.

    Neal’s pencils were very clear and quite finished. We might have a discussion about how to handle a particular character, or Neal might cue me in on a particular bit of business that he felt needed to be handled in a certain way, but for the most part, all I needed to know to do my job was on the page.

    Many creators try to dazzle with technique, impress with wordsmithing or complex rendering patterns, when, in fact, telling the story at hand in the best way possible is really what the job is about. Learning that we are all in the service of the story is a hard lesson for some.

    The guys at Charlton
    and I set out to have some fun with characters that we created that were not superpowered (with the exception of Captain Atom) and had no previous continuity that would dictate what we could or could not do. We weren’t consciously trying to set ourselves apart from the “Big Two” — we just seeing what we could do if left to our own devices.

    Change is healthy
    for characters and the comics industry as a whole. Life is flux, and if we diligently maintain the status quo, the characters will die or become irrelevant. That said, I would caution that change be accomplished with respect for the past history (without being anal retentive) of a character or place or thing.

    I don’t read many comics and none regularly. I do read the scripts and/or the plots for the work I do and that’s pretty much it. I read the trades to stay informed on what goes on in the industry, and I read newspapers and U.S. News & World Report for what goes on in the world.

    Learn to draw. Better yet, learn to use computer programs that can do color work. For the most part, inking skills are not highly regarded in today’s marketplace. Computers are king!

    Posted by Tim Leong on July 6th, 2006 filed in Story Archive |

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