My friend Ron Jordan brought another old friend, Dave Hunt, to visit me today. Dave and I were neighbors when I lived in central New Jersey, and we were both working for DC Comics at the time. I was on staff, Dave was inking lots of comics pages. I saw Dave for the first time in about 20 years at the Asbury Park Comicon this past April, but we didn’t have too much time to talk, so it was good to spend several hours gabbing today.
Dave is no longer doing any comics work, but he had a long career. He was hired by Marvel in (I think) 1973, working in the bullpen with Danny Crespi and Morrie Kuramoto doing art corrections. He soon began lettering (including finishing the last job lettered by Artie Simek, though he doesn’t remember what it was) and doing background inks for Frank Giacoia. He tried coloring for a while, then began doing full inks. Some of his favorites that we talked about were issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN over Ross Andru pencils, including an early appearance of The Punisher. Dave had been inking MARVEL TEAM-UP over John Byrne when he was lured to DC by a higher page rate and a contract. “If I had stayed on X-MEN and had kept the original art, I’d be rich,” he said, with a smile. That was the one that got away.
At DC he did a lot of work on many titles, and remembers favorite pencillers he worked with being Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger. I did a little background inking for Dave on at least one issue of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY pencilled by Kurt. There were also stories about nightmare jobs. Dave inked a DC movie adaptation of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS over Gene Colan pencils. After the book was finished, one of the movie stars decided he didn’t want his likeness in the comic, so Dave had to go in and re-ink all those faces. Then another star did the same thing, more re-inking. Then they changed the end of the movie. Colan and Hunt had to do new pages very quickly. Then they changed the ending of the movie again. And a third time! This is why licensed properties can be really bad to work on…!
We had a great visit. We looked at my small collection of original comics art, shared a pizza, and talked for a few hours. I hope to see Dave again soon. Thanks to Ron for bringing him down.