Monday, April 20, 2015

Color

Netflix Daredevil Logo

I have been reading the first several issues of the 1964 Daredevil comic after Netflixing/binge-watching the entire first series of the TV show on Netflix. (Yes, I watched all 13 eps within 24 hours of their 10 April 2015 release date -- addix is a part of this blog's title after all).

Since I am a nerd of the highest caliber, I have created a database in which I keep track of all the comics in my collection. This has enabled me to better associate authors and artists with their works. Besides the comics themselves, I use online sources to help me fill in some of the missing details (like release dates if available and variant issues, etc.).

The two primary sites I use to dig up this data are www.comiXology.com and www.mycomicshop.com. Sometimes I cross-reference the information between them, but the release dates can get kinda dicey with the older stuff -- month and year, at best.

Nowadays people have access to better, more specific data online. That said, one of the issues I have with these sources, especially in regards to older issues, is that they often do not provide the colorist for the mags.

They will list authors, pencils, inks, letters, editors, practically everyone and the kitchen sink, but they fail to list the colorists. I don't get this as one of my favorite things is the beauty and depth coloring can add to an image. Coloring is like the soundtrack for the story -- it enhances the emotional layers we feel in a way we aren't always cognizant of.
The Joker close-up B&W Drawing by Mike Deodata, Jr.
Mike Deodata, Jr.'s Joker


Fábio Di Castro's 3-D Color Model of Mike Deodata, Jr.'s B&W Drawing of The Joker
Fábio Di Castro's 3-D Model 
of Deodata's Drawing
Here is an example to illustrate my point (pun's impossible to avoid here). Mike Deodata, Jr. is a terrific artist, and I have collected several of his comics and images of his work online. On his blog, he shared this Joker piece along with Fábio Di Castro's 3-D model based on his pic.

The art is top-notch creepy in the black & white ink drawing; there is clear menace and madness in the Joker's eyes. But, then, when you add color--- the Joker simply pops off the page and becomes a whole different kind of creepy. The lighting effects shift subtly and now there's a sense of room around him, like he actually exists in space with you.

The point is that they are both beautiful and effective, but they are different pieces because of the choices made with the color palette. Those choices are a part of the art of comics, and the colorists should get credit for their good work, even in those books from the early days of publishing when coloring options were more limited.

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