I just missed the end of the day, January 4th, to post about it but I don’t want to diminish the significance of the occasion. Besides being my 45th birthday, today (yesterday) marks my 20th year as a professional ink artist in the comic book field. I was hired by editor Craig Anderson at Marvel Comics in October 1991 thanks to the efforts of Bernie Wrightson and especially Jim Starlin and my first pages of original pencil art by Angel Medina of ‘Warlock and the Infinity Watch’ #5 arrived on January 4th, 1992. I was so nervous to touch Angel’s meticulous and powerful work. This was always my dream career goal and at the age of 25 it’d come true, and how many people can say that? I hoped to be able to reach five years and then I exceeded that and made ten and now two decades. The life of a freelance artist has been hard over the years and fraught with perils (like no work nor income to pay the bills) but I truly feel blessed and lucky to ‘walk among the gods’, my idols from childhood, and call them my friends. To play in the same sandbox as the legends of comicdom and play with their ‘toys’. I wouldn’t recommend the role of a starving artist to most folks, only those that love it and can’t live without it. Like me. Call me a fool but how many people are known for their name and work around the globe? Money is important but some things are more essential, like spiritual peace and creative satisfaction. It’s my reward, no matter how agonizing things get. Thankfully I have a wife who understands and supports me. And fans who enjoy my efforts. Thanks for listening to me rant and for your support, and I look forward to another twenty years.
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”), and many other projects with Sal since 1997 and other artists at Marvel, DC, Acclaim, Malibu, Penny-Farthing Press, Power Comics, IDW, Kingstone, Thrilling Nostalgia Comics, Harris Comics, Topps, Wildstorm, New England Comics, Valiant and several others. While he’s been primarily an ink artist he’s also been a columnist for Sketch magazine and First Comics News. Bob’s a comic book collector and unofficial historian who has acted as a “Master of the Obscure” at the Marvel Appendix site, been a longtime member of the “Jarvis Heads” and a “group expert” at Facebook groups. He’s the founder/director of the official non-profit Inkwell Awards and advocate since 2008. Bob has been credited with “Special Thanks” along with his “Storyteller” colleagues Christopher Priest & Sal Velluto in the record-breaking film BLACK PANTHER (2018) and BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER (2022).
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