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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crogan in Color

For a signing poster I made, I colored a couple of panels. While I definitely prefer the Crogan series to be in black and white, I do enjoy working in color, and her's a taste of what the new book might look like if it I weren't so obstinate a black-and-white snob.



Click on the pictures to see 'em bigger!



I'm not into Black and white because it's artsier, or anything; I like it because 1. The comics I grew up reading (first, comic strips in the newspaper and their book collections, and later comic books like Usagi Yojimbo and Bone) were in black and white, and my aesthetic sensibilities generally lean towards that approach, and 2. there is less interference between the artists' page (the artist in this case being me) and the reader.  I love comics because I love seeing how each artist chooses to depict their given worlds, and in black and white it is easiest for me to see exactly HOW they're doing that.  Color often adds a kind of artistic middle-man for me, even if the color is done by the same person drawing.

I have some old black-and-white reprints of some of the old EC war comics, and it's amazing what some of those artists, especially Jack Davis, could do with a brush.  But it's harder for me to see that craftsmanship when the value dichotomy is muddied by color. 

There are exceptions - Matt Kindt, for example, makes color (by hand) such an intrinsic part of the drawing that it'd be impossible to remove it from the equation.  B.P.R.D.'s color gives a great sense of mood and doesn't pull any attention away from what Guy Davis does with his inks.  The colors on the first two volumes of Pierre Alary's Belladone books pull give his rather open pages a depth that makes the art some of the best comic work ever made.  But me, I like to work in black and white.

EXCEPT when I'm working in color, which can be lots of fun.

3 comments:

Ben Towle said...

I saw some original Kurtzman EC pages at the Masters of American Comics exhibit and they're really, really stunning to see just black and white, ink on bristol.

The color Crogan stuff looks great, though... Maybe someday a "Color Special" a la Usagi Yojimbo?

Allen Spetnagel said...

I would also point out that you MUST use Black and White out of necessity because most indie publishers cannot front the money to publish a color book of such magnitude.

Ted Dawson said...

I know what you mean about working color and working in b&w. They're two different animals. Too many folks still look at color work as simply coloring in-between the lines of b&w art. Your b&w Crogan work is very powerful. I do like the way you used color in that example, though. The effect is really strong and you pulled it off with a very small palette.