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December 16, 2009
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R.I.P. Craftint

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 16, 2009, 9:30 AM
I'm taking the day off to finish up my holiday shopping, plus do such mundane tasks such as laundry. Yay!

A few weeks ago, I read an article that definitely reminded me how old I am: the company that produced Craftint boards had decided to stop producing them, stating that technology (i.e., computers & Photoshop) had made it obsolete.

I know a few of you are scratching your heads and are opening up a new browser window to look up what I'm babbling about. Hold up! I'll tell you...

Craftint doubletone paper was a unique invention that chemically embedded crosshatch lines into illustration board. The Craftint paper, when brushed with the right solutions, revealed either one or two layers of diagonal shading. Instead of doing your own crosshatching, using zip-a-tone (another invention that was died thanks to computer technology), or using such things as grease pencils, you could "paint" your tones in an illustration, saving tons of time.

Now there were definite cons to using Craftint board: if you made a mistake in your pen work, you couldn't use white paint to cover your errors, because you would be covering up the cross-hatching effect. Ditto if you would try to use a razor or Xacto knife to scratch out the mistake-- you would be ruining the board that way. Price wise, the Craftint boards were nearly three to four times more expensive than regular illustration board, plus you also had to pay for the two revealing solutions. Zip-a-tone was much cheaper to use. Plus, it was very easy to go overboard with the cross-hatching, thus making your work look overdone...

Still lots of artists loved to use Craftint-- I've seen lots of editorial cartoonists over the decades using the stuff. I know John Byrne used it during his run on Namor, plus the OMAC miniseries until he figured out he could do the same effects on his computer. A lot of artists figured that out, thus the end of Craftint. Arguably, the most celebrated cartoonist who REALLY used Craftint the right way was Roy Crane. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cran… first used it on his first successful strip, Captain Easy, then on his longtime adventure strip, Buz Sawyer. When Crane left Captain Easy, his then-assistant, Leslie Turner, continued the strip, using Craftint also.

But, like I mentioned earlier, computers and Photoshop have made lots of things obsolete, including such art tools as zip-a-tone, rubylith, and rubber cement. Tools I started with when I was in art school and worked with during my first years as a production artist. By the late eighties, desktop publishing was starting to take off, and we had to adapt, or become extinct like dinosaurs...

  • Mood: Seasonal
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:iconstudio-toledo:
studio-toledo Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I still have a unopened bottle of Craftint "66" White Drawing Ink with it's box!
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:iconjoejusko:
JoeJusko Featured By Owner May 10, 2012
Found this post while scouring the web for something. Wally Wood was a HUGE fan of Craftint and used it all through his EC Comics and 1950's/1960's work. That was a man who definitely knew how to use it to it's greatest advantage. No surprise it went the way of the dinosaur. Dinosaur that I am, however, I kinda like the idea of a finished piece of art done on the board. :-)
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:iconstudio-toledo:
studio-toledo Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Everyone should.
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:iconmjbivouac:
MJBivouac Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
I feel rather stupid NOT knowing about Craftint board. I was aware of Craftint art supplies in general, and that for the most part they were not considered to be of very high quality...I know WOOLWORTH'S carried Craftint art materials until they went under.
Like so many art supplies, they are going by the wayside. Kind of sad. DESIGN MARKERS, the Cadillac of art markers at one time, are now a thing of the past. Even HIGGINS India Ink is not of the same quality that it once was. A lot of comic book artists now use Badger black airbrush paint for filling in large areas of black because the Higgins just does not cover like it once did. Even some high end comicbook artists are now going digital, and ORIGINAL comic book art is just starting to become a thing of the past.
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:iconstudio-toledo:
studio-toledo Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
They're taking the physicality away, at least that's how I put it, essentially 'getting your hands dirty'.

I still have a set of my DESIGN Spectracolor Pencils!
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:iconmjbivouac:
MJBivouac Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014
I could not agree more.
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:iconstudio-toledo:
studio-toledo Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm nearing the "over-the-hill" status.  I should know better, but I just can't get use to this "disposable entertainment" world we live in.
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:iconmjbivouac:
MJBivouac Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014
How ironic that you should say that when originally nobody thought comic books would be anything but a disposable entertainment like a newspaper. Thrown away when someone was finished with it. And while that was more or less true at the time, look at the values on classic comic books today! Of course if everyone had kept their old comics from the 30s, well they wouldn't be worth very much today. The nice thing about digital comics is that they will always be around BUT we are loosing that "One Of A Kind" aspect with printed comics..as well as original artwork...there is NO original artwork when one works digitally. I see some really amazing digital art being create today but there is no original art to enjoy! And digital artist complain that they can't sell their prints! I would not buy a print when I can download it for free off the internet...maybe a PRINT might have the artist's signature on it but it's not the same as an original and literal ONE OF A KIND Jack Kirby Fantastic Four page done in pencil and india ink. Just not the same at all.
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:iconstudio-toledo:
studio-toledo Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"there is NO original artwork when one works digitally."

And this is what kills it for me.  The permanence isn't there.

"And digital artist complain that they can't sell their prints! I would not buy a print when I can download it for free off the internet...maybe a PRINT might have the artist's signature on it but it's not the same as an original and literal ONE OF A KIND Jack Kirby Fantastic Four page done in pencil and india ink. Just not the same at all."

And this is why I never started there at all.  I don't see the point to it.  Your work is simply a file.  That file can be copied, manipulated, meme'd and erased very easily.  It's a shame what the new generation has lost in the switch paint to pixels.
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:iconmichiganj24:
michiganj24 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
Wow rubber Cement is obsolete whatever will kids get high on now lol
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