The great cartoonist, illustrator, and sculptor Charles Vess paid a visit to the Center for Cartoon Studies today, to show original art, give an inking demo, and speak as a part of our Visiting Artist lecture series. Mr. Vess is part of a group of artists including Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith, Jeffrey Jones, and Michael Kaluta, who were all heavily influenced by the great book illustrators of the late 19th/early 20th century. He counts Howard Pyle, Arthur Rackham, and Kay Nielsen among his early personal influences.
It was interesting to see the relatively small size of his original comics pages, and to witness firsthand the ease with which his exceedingly fine pen strokes are laid on the page. The most remarkable bit of news to me was that he doesn’t fill in blacks in the usual sense — he just layers hatching on top of hatching on top of hatching!