Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Secret Defenders and Me

I came across a blog that talked about Tom Grindberg and his work on an issue of The Secret Defenders. That book was about Dr.Strange and his efforts to gather different heroes to combat evil. It was an early 90's attempt to bring back the old Defenders group, but with a twist! It was a good idea. I was there at the beginning.

Mike Rockwitz was Editor of the book. I was the regular inker of another book he was editing, Nick Fury, Agent of Shield and he wanted me to jump to SD. I was all for doing it, but I wanted to ink the final issue of Shield. I felt that I could do both jobs, but I wasn't given a choice.

When I got the first issue of The Secret Defenders, I was disappointed with the pencils. The penciler was just starting out and I could see that he was using a lot of 'swipe' shots insted of doing the hard work. The figures looked awkward and if you take a look at the 7th issue of the book, you will see some strange Michael Golden swipes. I'm no snob, I believe in photo reference and research and doing as little work as possible. I also believe in quality control.

So anyway, The Secret Defenders sold well in the beginning. But things went south and the penciler fell out of favor. Tom Grindbergs' art had been floating around the office for a little while. I had inked an 8 page Beta Ray Bill story that Tom drew in a "Magnola-esqe" style. He put in some powerful lines and it was different! I inked Tom on a few books. Daredevil, Spidey 2099 and a great looking story about MORG, a herald for Galactus. I remember him changing his art style constantly!
My opinion is he would change to whatever style that would get him work. Not a bad thing per se, but you would see a difference every two issues. From a Neal Adams style to a Mignola style to a mix of both. I think I was able to keep up and I wound up working with him for a while.

My favorite SD story was issue 14. It was the last of a 3 issue story arc that featured 4 villains deceived by Thanos. They were sent to steal a powerful item, then Thanos strands them to take the blame. Nice story by Ron Marz.

The book changed editors. New direction and all that. The new editor wanted me to stay on, but there were other jobs to do. I helped ink half of issue 18, but it was over another new penciller. I did my best to help out. Take a look at the pencils next to the inks.

Check out the above link to read the discussion about The Secret Defenders #9. Someone made a comment about my inking and I thought it was unfair. That guy has no idea.


Kevie Metal said...

They were a little mean to you but they really ripped the shit out of poor ol' Grindberg. I felt so bad for the guy I left a comment defending his ass!

Don Hudson said...

I'm with you. Us pencilers should stick together!

ROCKWITZ said...

gentlemen-I was the editor on this epic-Grindberg was a hack. We all know it. A Neal Adams swipe artist who moved onto another artist to swipe. Don you did good work- the series itself was a colossal mistake to begin with. Defalco wanted to cash in on the "teaming-up" genre in books and dumped this pile of crud on my desk. By this point I had given up-comics were nolonger fun for me... Love you bro

Daniel said...

Rockwitz - if you were the editor on that Grindberg piece then you're the hack. It's unreadable, mainly due to the poor formatting and errors in the final text. Perhaps if you took out all of the "ÂÂÂÂ"s then it might make a bit of sense. As it is it appears to be just a series of random symbols on a page.

Grindberg deserves better than to be labeled a hack. If you think he's bad then what do you think of some of the people working in mainstream comics of today? Plus you have no idea of any instructions given to Grindberg at the time, about how he should draw/approach the project.

Grindberg isn't a hack. If you think he is, that's your opinion, but it doesn't make it fact.