As a graphic designer professor, one of the first lessons I teach my students is that a logo should be able to function perfectly in “black and white.” I compare good design, specifically a good logo, to one of my favorite things in the world—my mother’s pound cake. With no frosting and additional flavoring, my mother’s pound cake has become my first lesson in foundational design in regard to function and form. After that, all other flavorings are additional accents. Arguably, it may make the cake preferable, but it doesn’t make it taste or function better. Comic book storytelling is a form of sequential art and graphic design. And just like my mother’s pound cake, sequential storytelling should function without the addition of color. Telling a story in black and white requires a strong penciler and an inker who can add three-dimensional depth to the flatness of the comic page. Fundamentally, telling a story in sequence requires a series of skills. It is often said by comic industry professionals that the best inkers are also pencilers because they can interpret the penciler’s page and therefore know what the drawings are supposed to look like.

This essay may be found on page 131 of the printed volume.

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