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Al Williamson Business of Cartooning Sally Forth

Homage or Swipe?

Okay, here’s the deal from my vantage point – and a heads up to newcomers in the field.

If you are copying or lifting a drawing from another artist and not giving that artist credit, that’s a swipe. If you do give them credit it’s an homage.

And giving credit is a very simple thing to do. Just write the word, “after” – then the artist’s name.

Here’s an example. On the left is Al Williamson’s original drawing – and on the right my drawing with the accompanying credit line.

Sally.Flash


Here’s another one. Mark Schultz using a mirror image of a Williamson pose – then putting the credit line in reverse as well.

WeirdFantasy.XenozoicTales


Last but not least, Joe Jusko after John Buscema.

buscema.Jusko


A credit line is a tip of the hat to the hard work another artist has done which you are standing on the shoulders of. And generally speaking, artists get enough crap without getting ripped off by other artists (see Rob Granito). Give credit where credit is due.


And speaking of credit…

The Schultz image I grabbed off the blogspot ilovecomiccovers. There are lots more side by side comparisons to be had there – go check them out.

And for more of Jusko’s work, check out www.joejusko.com.

By Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip. From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

2 replies on “Homage or Swipe?”

What is your opinion on “tracing” photos or light boxing etc? I know artists like Al Williamson did a lot of light boxing of photos (even snaps of themselves posing etc). I feel like it’s sort of frowned upon by some people. Like if you trace you’re somehow not a real artist or something…. (ps, I’m a Williamson fan. Adore his artwork.)

Personally, I have no problem with it and have used that method as well. The trick is not to literally trace (as it makes for a very stiff drawing) but to strengthen the illustration using your own drawing acumen.

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