Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tony Salmons does the Hulk

Tony Salmon's Hulk is electric. 
Seeing it is like getting a shot of adrenalin.

Kirby does the definitive version of Hulk.

So when Tony Salmons needed to draw the Hulk for a David Anthony Kraft story he went to the master. He says, "Everybody loved (the Hulk) but nobody knew what to do with him. I went back to the original 5 issues of Jack's (Kirby) and just drew the big, shaved, green ape with the Moe Howard/Frankenstein bowl cut hair."
"(the Hulk) was out of favor (in the early 80's) and no one knew what to do with him. David Anthony Kraft wrote a great vignette and it was "honey to the bee," for me. After that, Byrne got the "idea" to take over the Hulk mag and history repeats."

About this story Tony says, "I penciled that 12 page Hulk job in 3 days at Bret Blevins' house and inked it in around a week."
Tony says that editor, Al Milgrom didn't approve of his splash page"He bounced the splash page to that job. I redrew it 3 more times and he bounced those. Then he patched the original with his own work. Literally defacing the job."
"No one's ever seen the (original) splash. It went from this huge explosive figure blasting off the page in one of my first successful Kirby experiments, to a Macy's day balloon, dead in the air. Al's one of the few guys in comics that never learned his basic Bridgman of reversing the arms and legs of a figure in motion to increase dynamism."

"It wasn't so much that I was allowed to ink it, but that no one else wanted the job! One top slick, house style inker was offered one of my books and declined. “Too much drawing in it.”  This from guys who inked everything with one dead line without meaningful weight that amounted to really nothing more than a nervous twitch and jab over and over again. They reduced the anatomy and articulation of any well-drawn form to a string of sausages flexed like a human limb."

It seems Tony's work was not appreciated at Marvel. Tony says, "My reviews were always shaky at best and even if positive, were left-handed. I got only a few pieces of fan mail at Marvel, all bad. I never knew what an editor thought of my work until sometimes a year or two after I lost the gig. “Minimalist”, “scratchy”, “unfinished”, “bad”, and just “wrong” weren’t uncommon. The storytelling was excoriated and often enough, rightly so but not for any reason that they could explain. Editors just didn't like it."

"An editor told me he'd just been in a meeting where Jim Shooter held it up to the staff and warned them that “this is not what a Marvel comic should look like.” I mentally hi-fived myself and then the editor said it meant I was getting no more work. Shooter was notifying the editors from the top down that if they used me, their books would be bounced, which they were"

Though isn't everyone's cup of tea, but many find that nobody's work is as dynamic and energetic as Tony's. He's the very best at what he does!

You can check out Tony's art blog.

Many of the quotes used here come from an interesting interview with Tony on The Factual Opinion.

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