Matthew: It is most certainly an intentional device on my part. It’s color theory, and studying it makes doing my job so much easier. Knowing how to choose colors that will do what you want them to do, to direct a reader’s eye, to frame a scene, or elicit a certain response is crucial to good coloring. Good color theory can even make up for other shortcomings, like being inexperienced at rendering (adding textures, highlights and shadows to define form).
The biggest mistake I often see in aspiring colorists’ portfolios is their focus on rendering before they have a good grasp of color theory. I went to art school and majored in “Sequential Art”, which is a fancy name for a degree in comics. (I think it’s to get parents of perspective students in the door. If you called it majoring in comic books they’d probably never let the kids anywhere near the school.) Of course, I took a color theory class as part of my foundation classes, and then as required by my major, I took a “computer coloring for comics” class.
I don’t remember the exact number of assignments, but we weren’t allowed to do anything but color completely flat for the majority of the class. The professor wanted us to be able to tell a story using only flat colors. So, without the aid of lighting or texture or gradients, you had to choose your single flat color for each background, or each face, very wisely to get the most out of your choice. I remember I practiced on a lot of Mignola Hellboy pages and studied a lot of Dave Stewart’s flat colors on that book.
Anyway, the point is that the importance of color choice was made very clear to me when I first started coloring comics on the computer. Looking back, it was important to limit myself in a program that had limitless colors and tools to distract a novice colorist.
"Don’t you have some asteroids to smash?"
Batman / Superman #5.
Check out this awesome Lana & Supes drawing by Doc Shaner!
Speaking of good Superman stuff DC’s putting out, I’m really enjoying Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder’s run on Action Comics so far. It’s a great read and I’m so glad Lana Lang’s getting a place to shine. I’ve been using this to warm-up over the last couple of weeks. Anyhow, if you’re wanting some quality Superman go give the last few issues of Action Comics a look!
Mr Pak would you consider writing a Red Hood-Supergirl ongoing given the chance? 'cause we need it!!!
Ha! I have a pretty full plate at the moment. But those characters were a ton of fun to write together and it’ll be fun if someone’s able to pick up the thread at some point.
Dear Mr. Pak Dat.... Annual. That is all. Seriously though, great work, hope you stay on B/S for a long time to come! :)
Thank you so much!
Great job on the annual! I just wish Clark defended himself more in the fight with Bruce. I mean he should have been able to do more than kick him. But you can't please everybody. But still a great read. Loved the Wonder Woman scene. Hope to see more of Diana.
Thanks for the kind words! Loved writing Diana. She’ll show up again soon in at least one of my books.
Do you prefer Batman's parents killer as Joe Chill, or anonymous?
No strong opinion. Great stories possible either way.
are you coming to C2E2?
YES! I’ll be there! Should have more info about panels, schedule, etc, soon.
I just sold my first story. I'm coming after Superman.
Congrats! And good luck! ;-)
Read this to feel good about being human today.
Today I witnessed something amazing. Almost in stark contrast to yesterday, today I saw tangible impact of lady-representation in comics.
At the bookstore I work at, we have a dedicated Adventure Time section. This family came in and those kids were SO EXCITED to see their favourite characters in comics. I talked them through each OGN and series compilation, explaining what they all were and in what order they should be read, and this little girl’s entire life was changed. You could see it on her face.
The moment I mentioned Kate Leth (and that, yes, she is a girl.) this little girl’s face lit up like Christmas morning. I don’t know if it just never occurred to her that girls can work in comics but the excitement and wonder that left the store in her was a privilege to see. I ended up selling them the Fionna & Cake’s, all the OGN’s, and an AT doodle book. She left begging her dad to help her learn how to draw Marceline comics. (And he was happy to comply!)
Kate Leth has left an everlasting impression on this little girl just by existing and working in the industry. I honestly hope to someday be able to see such an impact on someone from my own work. Ladies in comics is important. The representation on the page, and behind them, is important. Having a reflection of yourself in the content you enjoy is important. I hope that little girl grows up to be a famous comic author someday.
It was a very good day.
I don’t even know what to say, I think my heart exploded. This is, I think, the best response I could ever hope for.