The "Inker" in the US is often called "finisher", "embellisher" or "tracer". As one of the main artists working on a comic book it falls to him to "beautify" or "polish" the penciller's work. Or simply put: He's the one to add the crucial lines and textures. As a rule the famous black "India Ink" and a drawing pen or a brush are used to bring the penciller's work to perfection before the colorist lays hand on it. There's also a digital way of inking that lately has become more important, substituting the "real life" tools. The process of inking started out because of a technical problem: printers in the early years could not reproduce pencil drawings. Over the years inking has become an art of its own. It is often the inker who has the final say about the look and feel of a comic book page. His job is about much more than just copying or retracing the penciller's scribbles and lines. If he is really good, he will interpret the drawings, maybe correct some mistakes in the anatomy or the facial expressions of a character. He changes the artistic value by adding his personal style and it makes a great difference who touches a page. The first 8 panels illustrate what I mean: While all of them were pencilled by Jack Kirby, each page shows a different style, as each was inked by a different artist. The inker's job is mainly to transform greyscales of a drawing into sheer black and white. This will be acieved by varying density of lines and textures. The result is a new "greyscale" look – made out of black only. Panels 9 – 12 will show the outcome pretty good. Sometimes Inkers will work in teams when producing a comic book: While one is responsible for – say– faces, another one will ink only backgrounds, and so on. Neal Adams' "Crusty Bunkers" may be the most famous example for this method. For a very long time inkers were not even credited on a series. Big publishing houses preferred to go with the names of more famous artists (pencillers) – if at all – maybe because they seemed to push sales much better. The work process following up on the pencilling was usually disregarded and also – very poorly payed. As a result of this policy many inkers of the "Golden Age of comic books" are mostly forgotten today. This however changed in the 1960s when Marvel decided to give them credit, too. Nowadays the value of a good inker is more than obvious. Since 2008 the Inkwell Awards honour outstanding artists who follow this line of work.