What About Bob?

ORIGINS
Born on January 4th, 1967 In Seoul, Korea Bob relocated to the US of A after only a few weeks. Bob soon discovered comics and became a ‘Marvel zombie’ at the age of nine. This led to the never-ending accumulation of a vast comic book collection but, most notably, the success at eventually acquiring the entire run of the AVENGERS series, having been inspired by the art of George Perez. This work motivated him to learn the craft and develop the skills of sequential art storytelling with the goal of becoming a professional comic book artist. Bob, his brother Mike, and his friends, all of whom shared a similar interest, formed the homemade ‘Torpedo Comics’ (which used their own and Marvel characters) and it allowed him the practice necessary in the early years, lasting until the sophomore year of high school, when life REALLY got in the way.

Bob later attended UMass Dartmouth taking up illustration as his major. After scoring well on his senior project, a sci-fi/ fantasy/ horror anthology told with se­quential art storytelling as a graphic novel, Bob graduated (and got married!) in 1990 with a BFA in Illustration. After two years of collecting numerous rejection letters for his penciling and inking samples, Bob broke Into the biz professionally thanks to the efforts of Bernie Wrightson and Jim Starlin. After several years of attending the annual Wrightson Halloween bash (a tradition begun after Interviewing Bernie over the phone for a college project and being invited to attend) Bob had displayed his inking samples to Bernie’s pal Jim, and Jim convinced his editor to hire Bob as Terry Austin’s! replacement on WARLOCK AND THE INFINITY WATCH in 1992 for his big break.

Career Path

After two years on his first comic title Bob moved on to other projects and has done work in some capacity at Marvel every year since until 2002. He has also had runs on various titles working for the likes of Penny-Farthing Press, Malibu and Acclaim Comics as well as occasional projects for DC Comics and other publishers.

Team Supreme

Bob is the inking half of the Sal Velluto art team collaboration on such projects as Marvel’s critically-acclaimed BLACK PANTHER,’99-’02 leading to a 2003 Comicboards “Ooks” Award for “Best Inker” & two “Squiddies” awards for “Best Inker” (2001 along with “Best Creative Team” win and 2002 tied with Mark Farmer and tied for “Best Multi-Part Story”), DC’s JSA and Penny-Farthing Press’ CAPTAIN GRAVITY & THE POWER OF THE VRIL.

Subsequent Work

Some of Bob’s subsequent work following this was for Harris Comics (VAMPIRELLA:REVELATIONS), A First Salvo (DANGER’S DOZEN, SAGA SIX), and the Wlldstorm monthly New Line series A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. After five years Bob returned to his ‘roots’ at Marvel in 2007 and inked Mike Lilly on the cosmic series ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST- QUASAR. Next he debuted at IDW on the nominated series STAR TREK: THE LAST GENERATION, and reunited again with Sal on the relaunched Valiant Entertainment’s ARCHER & ARMSTRONG: FIRST IMPRESSIONS and on Egmont’s THE PHANTOM (Fantomen in Sweden). After a short stint helping Rags Morales on DC’s First Wave#3, Bob was hired by Guardian Media Entertainment to ink numerous merchandise art pieces and several 5-page features with some of the characters based after the NHL teams who are collaborating on ‘The Guardian Project’. Inking over Jack Purcell, Al Bigley, and Sal Velluto (marking an unbroken 13 years as a team), the best part and career milestone was the realization that Stan Lee was writing for the gig and had been the one to approve of all of the artists involved.

After that Bob worked with Kyle Hotz in 2011 on Marvel’s Heroes For Hire and Geof Isherwood in 2012-2013 on Green Force 1 (GF1) for two issues for Canadian publisher Heroes of the North (unpublished). Since then (2013) Bob’s been working for Ravesnake Comics on two projects which may eventually be revealed publicly. He has also begun a relationship in 2015 at Kingstone Media’s comic line which is recreating volumes of the Old Testament into the ‘Kingstone Bible’ with different stories by a plethora of artists like Richard Bonk, Kyle Hotz, Paul Abrams, Danny Bulanadi and Geof Isherwood.

Bob was also reunited with Sal Velluto at Kingstone, the first time since The Guardian Project in early 2011. In 2019 Bob began work on The Liberty Brigade from Thrilling Nostalgia Comics Group inking single origin pages over Sal Velluto, Rags Morales, Geof Isherwood and a story by Mike Lilly.

Advocacy

Besides inking, in recent years Bob has made an effort to draw more attention to the craft of inking in order to bring more recognition and respect for its history and artists. He has acted in an official capacity as a ‘master of the obscure’ at the Appendix of the Marvel Universe handbook site as well as for the writers of various Marvel handbooks, sharing info and identifying the artists of the posted/ printed sample art, including inkers. He has also acted in an unofficial capacity assisting COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE as a resource in a similar fashion since 2006. Earlier that year this effort led to Bob writing his regular column for SKETCH MAGAZINE, “Inkblots” starting with Issue 30 until issue 40 and 42. And the natural progression from that development led to his creation of the INKWELL AWARDS in late 2007 in “Inkblots” which debuted the winter of 2008 with the goal of bringing attention to and obtaining an appreciation for such often unsung work.

After being partially sponsored by Wizard Entertainment in 2010 they were picked up by the Heroes Comic Con as their host show for 2011 until 2018 when they were welcomed by the Great Philadelphia Comic Con! as their new host-show starting in 2019. The Inkwells are the sole, official 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy to promote the artform of inking in the world. Bob had also been brought aboard by owner Rik Offenberger to write some Inkblot columns for fledgling online news venue First Comics News.

Hollywood

In January 2018 Bob was flown out to Hollywood Los Angeles along with Velluto and Christopher Priest for the world premiere of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, all of whom were credited with “special thanks” in the films end credits for their content and art contributions from their series run that were used as characters and elements in the film. Around this time several trade collections from Marvel were released such as the first three out of four volumes of the BLACK PANTHER BY CHRISTOPHER PRIEST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION starting in 2015 (including the afterward he wrote for the Black Panther Marvel Monster Edition collection in French for Europe’s Marvel licensee Panini Comics) and various tpb collections of Bob’s early cosmic work with Warlock and Thanos for the upcoming Avengers 4: Endgame film in 2019.

Personal

Some of Bob’s favorite artists (besides Sal and George!) are John Byrne, Frank Miller, Gene Day, Michael Golden, Klaus Janson, Joe Rubinstein, Terry Austin, Neal Adams, Jim Starlin, Jim Steranko, Mark Farmer, Tom Palmer, Bob Layton, Adam Hughes, Bernie Wrightson, Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Carlos Pacheco, Jeff Jones, Chris Bachalo, Mike Perkins, Howard Chaykin, Mark Texeira, Tom Raney, Bill Sienkiewicz, Alex Ross, Kelly Jones & numerous others. Bob’s a proud ‘Jarvis-head’ and he misses the free time he used to spend playing Marvel Heroclix with his son. Bob lives In New Bedford, MA with his wife Diane, son Nathan, two chihuahua sisters Taco & Belle and black cat T’Challa.