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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #146

Bob Week has reached its conclusion, my friends. Which remaining Bob made the cut? Did I forget your favorite Bob? Did I forget to post the link to the archive (nevar!)?

This Bob is one of the finest inkers in the business, and is currently bringing the fun of comics and superheroes to a new, young audience.

5/26/07

146. Bob McLeod

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Bob McLeod is a gentleman’s inker. Supremely capable and confident, he manages to retain the style of the penciller while also injecting his own personal touches in there. That’s really what any skilled inker should be able to do, but Bob makes everything look shiny, spiffy, and fairly timeless. You can see before-and-after inking images on his website here. (Remind me to do an Inker Appreciation Week sometime in the future.)

Of course, Bob’s also a skilled penciller, and has drawn runs on New Mutants (which he co-created with Chris Claremont) and Action Comics, among other things. I’m showing my lack of age here, but quite a few memorable Superman bits from my youth were drawn by Mr. McLeod, like the “death” of Lex Luthor and Clark revealing his secret identity to Lois.

McLeod 1.jpgMcLeod 2.jpg

I know Bob likes to be totally in control of his art, and that’s hard to get in comics. Recently, however, he published a children’s book called Superhero ABC (seen at the top of the post), and that’s what really got me excited. I first discovered its existence thanks to an article in the local paper (Bob also lives in Pennsylvania, I see). It’s marvelous, and he had full control over the story and illustration. It’s a fun little kids’ book that teaches some vocabulary through the context of wacky superhero introductions. Here are a few examples, provided from his website:

McLeod 3.jpg
McLeod 4.jpg

No, it’s technically not comics, but I love this kind of thing; it’s joyous and magical and, hopefully, gets kids excited and interested about the English language. I also love that Bob’s willing to tour schools and teach kids about sequential art and how to make comics. I admire his teacherly ways a great deal.

Back in January, there was a fantastic piece on this very site, in which Drew Geraci interviewed Bob McLeod. You can find it here. If you missed it the first time around (or even if you didn’t), I definitely recommend reading it.

Bob’s website can be found here. It features lots of art and information, so be sure to give it a look. And he’s also the editor on TwoMorrows’ Rough Stuff magazine, so pick up an issue if you see one!

9 Comments

Very cool pick.

My only question is this: how is Superhero ABC “technically not comics”? It may not be conventional, mylar-bag approved mainstream stuff, but at least the pages you posted here sure look like comics to me.

Well, it seems there’s no panel-to-panel storytelling, rather just captioned illustrations.

Then again, that makes Superman 75 not comics as well.

Andrew Collins

May 26, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Never thought much of McLeod until I saw a section of his work for “Rough Stuff” back when it was a segment of Back Issue magazine. I was very impressed with both his work and his comments about it. A very good choice for the list…

Yeah, I guess it depends on how you define “comics.” It looks like Superhero ABC is not sequential art, which is what most people are looking for. Although by that definition, the daily three-panel (or so) comic strips in newspapers are comics, and I see a distinction between those types of comics and comic books/graphic novels. Ultimately, though, I’d say “comics” is a big-tent art form that can accomodate a variety of expressions.

The Kirbydotter

May 27, 2007 at 9:33 am

I must say that I don’t apprecite Bob McLeod the inker.
I think his style overtakes too much the penciller’s own.

I like Bob McLeod the penciller/artist though.
His New Mutants work was very nice. I wonder why he hasn’t done more work on his own?

Great article, particularly the insightful links to McLeod’s site. I feel I understand a bit more about what inking entails now, while I never gave it much thought before. Seeing the breakdowns and rough pencils transformed into the pictures I am used to requires much more skill and artistry than I had imagined.

Flush it all away

May 27, 2007 at 10:18 pm

I remember going to a comics convention when I was a little kid, and he was the guest artist. I had seen his name in some comics, but had never heard it pronounced (and being a little kid, I didn’t quite grasp the Scottish phonics). So when I get to his table, I pronounce it “Mack-lee-odd” and he somewhat tersely corrected me. He wasn’t very friendly and I was very embarrassed.

That’s my brush with today’s reason to love comics. :(

(Remind me to do an Inker Appreciation Week sometime in the future.)

I will if I remember, inkers often don’t get the credit they deserve. Just include Klaus Janson!
Speaking about people in comics that don’t get the credit they deserve, how about a little shine for letterers? A good letterer often does not get noticed but a bad one can ruin a book.

Dear Flush It All Away:
I’m very sorry if I embarrassed you by telling you the correct pronunciation of my name. I don’t remember that meeting, but I find it hard to believe I was “terse” and unfriendly. I always try to be very friendly and polite. Perhaps it was at the end of the day and I was tired, but I think you must have misread my attitude. There are many names I have no idea how to pronounce, so I have no reason to expect anyone to know how to pronounce mine. But at any rate, I apologize and hope to meet you again.
Best wishes, Bob

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