Ahhh! Where did February, March and April go? To say I’ve been busy lately would insult father time and we all know what a grouch he can be. Well, I’ll just start where I left off. My first couple of Resurrection man issues came out. Starting with issue six, I took over colors from “….” and whenever I take over from another colorist, I try to ape some of their style and blend it with my own. I know this is all going to be collected and read in order, so I do my best not to make the styles jump to significantly. I want a continuity for the overall order of the pages. I wasn’t completely familiar with the series, but I’ve worked with writer Andy Lanning a lot. Namely Otherworld with Phil Jimenez.
Issue six takes place in Arkham Asylum, so I got a chance to color a lot of different villains. Artist Fernando Guerra is really amazing. Sort of a throw back style, but that’s a compliment in my book. Even though his style is more classic, his process involves a lot of computer work as far as I can tell. When there are FX or layered characters, the files I receive are set up so I can pull some parts out and isolate certain elements without having to make selections. If the artist knows how to do this, (Fernando does) this works really well for me.
The editors wanted me to take the colors in a more graphic coloring direction. which I can see what they want in terms of story. Sometimes you’re going for more of a moody tone, like an independent book or a book from Vertigo, but this storyline is best served to dynamically “pop”. The lead character in the book dies nearly every issue and is reborn with new powers. Story/tone wise, death and resurrection isn’t a subtle subject. It’s brash and exciting. I’m trying to match that tone in my colors. Am I over thinking this stuff. I don’t think so, and besides, this is what I do. Why not over think it? Sure this can kill spontaneity, but I’m not referring to that. I’m thinking that these little stylistic choices I hit upon, make a difference. I’ve actually had a number of people write me or tell me at conventions, about things they’ve noticed I’m doing and ask wether they were intentional. So even if it’s a small few things, I’m going to keep putting the thought into it, because I think it makes a difference.
Issue seven, I started to feel a bit more comfortable with issue seven which really loosens me up to start trying more of my own tricks and flavors. The issue had a lot of what are sometimes referred to as Knock Outs, or color holds or special effects. Basically, it’s where you’re colors or painting is affecting the line work done by the penciler and inker. There was a lot of fire and Mitch, the lead character, was lit up with his own blue fire and there was this magic/new power signature I had to come up with. These all really make the pages glow and sing, but they often overlap, so you have to plan the colors you choose to use. Choosing the wrong background color can really flatten out a page. If the fire or magic is a similar hue, it all gets lost on the printed page. Fernando does a lot of the special effects on his own layers and I pull them out of his photoshop files and layer them into and colorize them to work with my rendered files. Overall, I really liked the printed version of this comic. I’ve been having some difficulties with how my stuff is printing lately, so that feels good when it’s close to right. It’s just something you have to play with when there are new printers involved. I just need a little bit darker darks, more interesting mid tones and the saturation to bump up, just a smidge. I don’t think I ‘ll ever be happy, but I get close.
The most recent issue to come out, issue eight, printed better than the two prior issues, because I’d tweaked my settings and monitor to really get what I see on screen to match the printed page. Granted, RGB to CMYK is never going to hold up, but I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at knowing which colors will print and how well. Reds are still difficult. I know if I was working in CMYK, I would be picking specific reds that would really pop, but some of my other colors turn out so well, I just do my best with trying to not let my reds go to pink or orange.
This issue was also chock full of special effects, but the better color reproduction worked to my advantage. This issue was my favorite one, yet. Well, that’s it for now. I have a ton of post lined up, so bear with me as I get them all in line.