Thanks to the assistance of my pal Tom Smith who was now the colorist to the new AVENGERS title in 1998 I was informed earlier that year that the editors of said book were in the process of finding a suitable inker for George Perez’ pencils. By contacting the office I was able to receive pencils photocopies of George’s work from a 3 page sequence for an upcoming THUNDERBOLTS annual to be inked by Karl Kesel. Other contenders that I was aware of were Keith Williams, Al Vey and I think Scott Hanna and perhaps Karl himself. I got word that George preferred the inker to not go changing the art so I played it more conservative than usual. I had the pencil copies converted to non-photo bluelines at a drafting/print shop and then proceeded to ink over the 2 pages in mostly brush (we had the option to ink any 2 out of the 3 pages offered). I found out later that George personally chose from the group and decided on Vey, partially he added to the art…D’oh! I may have missed out on my much-coveted dream assignment but I can at least say that I was a contender. And at least I would get to ink part of the inker jam cover for the AVENGERS: SUPREME JUSTICE TPB three years later, again thanks to the assistance of Tom; I did Thor and Wasp on that trade cover with Tim Townsend doing Cap and Norman Lee doing Iron Man and Antman.
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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