Okay, that isn't just a play on words from Klaus' days working on Daredevil (who is the real man without fear, by the way). It's a heartfelt statement from us about what he brings to the game as an inker and a finisher.
Over his 30 year career, he's embellished a plethora of pencilers and always brings out the best in them. From Sal Buscema to Gil Kane to Frank Miller to John Romita, Jr, Klaus Janson continues to rise to the challenge and make it all good.
Since his start in the comic book business back in the '70s, Klaus has worked on literally thousands of pages of comic art. He's either drawn or inked nearly every character in both the Marvel and DC universes—and is still going strong.
In 2008, along with writer Mark Millar and penciler Romita Jr, he helped launch the very successful Kick-Ass mini-series through Marvel's Icon imprint. And between Kick-Ass, Spider-man, Punisher War Zone and now, Avengers, many Marvel editors consider Klaus to be the JRJR inker.
We spoke to Janson for the first time on this very podcast about a year ago when he generously agreed to take part in an Alex Toth tribute we were doing (he himself being a big fan of Toth). I hit him up then about coming back on for his own proper interview, and with schedules slowing down for the holidays, we thought now was a perfect time (Christmas with Klaus).
One of the things that makes him such an interesting guy to talk to, other than his staying power, is his versatility. He's best known as an inker, of course, but he's also a penciler (most inkers are), a colorist and an occasional comic book writer.
And in recent years, he's added a few more notches to his belt—author and teacher! He's written two books on creating comics—2001's The DC Comics Guide to Penciling Comics and 2003's The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics. Both great reads and both great resources for budding artists.
And to his teaching at SVA (The School of Visual Arts) in New York City, Klaus says it's been one of the real highpoints of his career (as fate would have it, he himself is a self-taught artist).
Stan Lee said, "With great power comes great responsibility". Klaus, with his drawing and inking, has already shown 30 plus years of great power. By sharing his knowledge and experience of this medium with young minds, he's now showing his responsibility, too. And he's to be applauded for that.