By Milena Deneno
Remember when comics were printed in just flat colors (lookin’ at you, 50’s comics)? How about in black and white?
Although all these have their own merits and their own audience, nothing makes me happier than flipping through a beautifully colored comic… and nowadays that is done mostly digitally.Coloring digitally has its own advantages: from being able to change the color composition with the click of a button, to never coloring outside the lines again by using layers. Not to mention, the most important and almighty “Ctrl+Z”. Some insist it’s “cheating”, and I would have to strongly disagree.
Would you say using a cellphone instead of only having a home phone is “cheating”? Get with the times, people! Firstly, it takes a lot of patience and determination to learn the programs (Photoshop, Painter, even Manga Studio) and then the process itself is lengthy and involved. The first time I colored digitally, I did not look up from the screen for a good, oh, seven hours. I know, probably not a good idea for the ol’ retinas.
For example, if you look at the New52 Harley Quinn comics, written by Amanda Conner (who also does the cover) and Jimmy Palmioti, you are immediately pulled in, not only by the awesome art of Chad Hardin and others, but also the incredible color job by Alex Sinclair. If you happen to look at some other comics where the coloring is not as great, which I will not name as taste is subjective, you may find yourself, as I did, disappointed.
HARLEY QUINN #1
Written by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by CHAD HARDIN
Cover by AMANDA CONNER
If you’re the type that is drawn to more symbolic and abstract stuff, just take a look at “Low”, written by Rick Remender with art by Greg Tocchini. The greens and oranges are so alive and explore contrast in such a playful way that the results are truly breathtaking.
Written by RICK REMENDER
Art by GREG TOCCHINI
The point is, color is a huge, sometimes overlooked, part of comics. When done well, color adds so much to the aesthetic composition and narrative of the work. With that said, aspiring artists must remember that coloring, like inking, is not meant to overshadow the pencils the artist has done, but bring them to life.
For those looking to get into or improve their own digital coloring skills, The International School of Comics is holding a Digital Coloring for Comics workshop right now, taught by Ben Hunzeker, the artist responsible for the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man comics. Just one look at his art is enough to convince me that this is not a class to miss, for anyone who wants to work in the industry, or who enjoys coloring as much as I do.
DIGITAL COLORING 1 WITH BEN HUNZEKER
If you like beautiful digital coloring check out Harley Quinn new 52, Low, Saga, Spider Gwen, Invincible, and Pretty Deadly. Be warned these are not PG 13. For the kiddos, I suggest Sonic and Mega Man. For young ones with a taste for the horror genre, I suggest Seekers of the Weird, a collaboration between Marvel and Disney about an attraction that never existed and was supposed to be attached to the Haunted Mansion.