Over at Graphixia, Ernesto Priego talks about the implications that the division of labour in mainstream comics had on the labour process:
The available tools defined specific roles, and this specific roles were located at more-or-less fixed steps or positions within the process. These steps also played a role in defining an authorial/creative hierarchy, and ultimately in defining the identity of different comic book authors within the industry and within the produced textualities as well. Hence, for example, the penciller used pencils; the inker, inks. Other roles within the process were not specific tool-dependent, but implied a variety of other tools that implicitly imposed particular modes of behaviour and expression.
The participants in the production chain used their own respective “tools of the trade”, and the levels of authorial involvement varied greatly from one participant to another. With this method of production, the editor and publisher remained the all-seeing eye in the process; they were the agents with the clearest conceptual vision of what the finished product would look like….