Sunday, September 1, 2013
I recently purchased and thoroughly devoured a hardcover copy of The Phantom: The Complete Series - The Charlton Years: Volume One. It was great to finally have all those Jim Aparo illustrated tales in one place, I had been wanting to track these issues down for years. One part depressed me a little though. As an added feature, a few black and white pages featuring Aparo's original art for the series were included. When I compared these pages to what was actually printed, it was a crime how much loss of detail there was! The muddy printing techniques and shoddy coloring that was used back when these comics came out did so much to obscure the fine line work of Aparo, and truly did a disservice to the artist. I have to wonder how much better his body of work would look with today's reproduction and coloring capabilities. It is a tribute to Aparo that his pencils and inks still looked so great despite these major obstacles that he had to contend with.