Gil Kane Interview part 2

KANE: Well, I must tell you, it wasn't training at all, because they simply wouldn't tell you anything and I didn't work there. I worked home and brought the work in, and what they would say is: it was either lousy or it was acceptable, you know, so, because some of my stuff was just you know, a sheer copy of what they were doing and it wasn't all that great.

RINGGENBERG: And what kind of stuff did you do for Marvel over the years?

KANE: Well, I did everything. I did over a thousand covers. I did every character they had except probably The Fantastic Four, and otherwise I did everything.

RINGGENBERG: Yeah, because I remember seeing you do The Avengers, Captain America...

KANE: Well, I did everything. In fact when Roy Thomas became the Editor-In-Chief you always sort of plotted the stuff you drew...But with Roy there there was greater freedom for me, so I introduced a kind of a King Kong character and for Spider-Man I made up the vampire. What was his name?

RINGGENBERG: Oh, Morbius? KANE: Yeah. That was my character. I based him on Jack Palance. And I did Iron Fist, we did Captain Marvel. Those are all brand-new things that we were, you know, generating at the time, so it was a lot of fun there during that period and of course I was doing so much that I helped to take the load off Jack by doing some of the covers. But when Roy got in I did practically all the covers. So, you know I stayed there for a while and then came back, then ultimately I did a newspaper strip.

RINGGENBERG: Right. Starhawks.

KANE: Starhawks, right, and did that for about five years, and when that was finished I came back to Marvel for a while, then went over to DC again, started to do Superman and after a while I introduced the, you know, The Sword of the Atom, which was my pitch and, you know, in the meantime I also did Savage, I think I did the first graphic novel, and I did Blackmark, I also did the, in paperback, I did the, you know, the first original graphic novel for paperback.

RINGGENBERG: Now Blackmark was intended to be a paperback first, correct?

KANE: Oh yeah. Of course, and was.

RINGGENBERG: His Name is Savage, that was a pretty unique project at the time, too, wasn't it?

KANE: Yeah, right. What we did was, it was a graphic novel, and it was the first time a single story took up an entire book and was intended you know to be a, not a series of twelve pages or eight pages, which is what most books were comprised of. They'd never had a story, a single story that was long enough. What am I talking about? All-Star Comics, where different characters took over different sections of the story even though it was the same story. So, in any case, I did that and finally came out to California and worked for Ruby-Spears and Hannah-Barbera, and Marvel and was in there for about five years and designed the Superman show and you know just generally working, and at the same time always sort of, once a year or so, turning my hand to a comic book.

Then I got back in comics and I started really coming back somewhere around the nineties, the early nineties. And it's taken me a little while to hit my stride, but I feel I'm doing about my best work now. My biggest problem is I don't ink everything I pencil so it's like those early days when I hated Green Lantern and The Atom, I hated them because I didn't ink them. So as a result I never could take the credit or the blame for what those things turned out to be simply because people of varying qualities inked the material and simply used my breakdowns or did whatever it was that they do, in other words, a collaboration, you're making a contribution but a lot of your contribution is, as I say, is, it's sort of watered down or it's changed or adjusted or given a facade by the last person to touch the material, which is the inker.

go to part three of the interview here

check out the Gil Kane biography here

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