Thursday, April 01, 2010

Comic colors

I received a very kind email from Val Staples, colorist for Criminal, regarding my review, which he appreciated.

I was very excited to hear from one of the creators of, as I noted, one of my favorite comics, and to be thanked.

He also very kindly asked if I'd take the time to make note of his work and the work of other colorists in reviewing comics sometimes.

Now, I, like most lazy-ass comic book reviewers, and the long length between comic book reviews on here will tell you I'm among the laziest, neglect colorists all the time. Frankly, the fact that I thought to include his credit was itself a testament to his work. I swear.

I'm not an anti-colorist snob. I've mentioned them occasionally. Offhand I remember both Comic looks and Ruining Conan mention the fine coloring work in the pictures posted, by Adrienne Roy and Marie Severin respectively.

But often I make no special point of mentioning them, and that's not correct.

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who pay no special attention to the work of colorists.

Hey, I've read people who pay little to no attention to writers or pencillers, so strong is their commitment to the other element as the reason they read comic books! That being the case, it should be no surprise that colorists really get ignored.

In the case of Criminal, I had to struggle to find a good example picture. Not because none of them were good, but because they're all so good. They are also all well-designed around the mood of the moment, some subtle and realistic, while others are garish and bright. Either one, as well executed as they are, would be a delight, but the colors in this shine for always capturing their own moment.

And this, multi-Eisner winning colorist Dave Stewart for Solomon Kane: The Castle of the Devil. I think everything in that scene is told in the colors more than anything else.

I could go on all night. I'm a Bava fan. I could go on about color all day.

For example, I know others have their opinions on... I recall Mark Evanier going on record as preferring Jack Kirby art as straight uninked, uncolored pencils. I can never see it. To me, it's the color, man.

Of course, as I noted in Kirby and inspiration, I love Kirby's colors on Kirby's pencils the best.

More important than this post, though, is the fact that I will remember to make a point to include notes on colors when I review comics in the future.

Thanks, Val!

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