Color vs. black & white


I just started working with a colourist for the first time and I gotta say, I really like it.

Ok, here’s the thing, I have made it no secret that colouring is my least favourite portion of the comic making process. The main problem is that by the time I actually do get around to the colouring stage, I’ve been working on the page for what seems like forever. And in some cases, that’s kind of true… take the current pages that are being posted – I was writing them over a year before I actually got to the colouring stage. So by the time I’ve scanned in the inked art and cleaned it up, I’m sort of done with the pages and this isn’t something I’ve just said:

“I don’t usually color because after penciling and inking I’m usually sick of the art and want to move on.”
– Sean Murphy

The other thing is, colouring takes time! And at a certain point, I just wonder if it wouldn’t be better to focus my attention on telling a story and getting pages done and posted and then worrying about colour later. This is a similar approach to what Travis is doing on The Bean (and he explains his reasoning much better than I’m doing here) and what Jeff Smith has done on both Bone and RASL.

And finally, the other thing that’s contributing to this line of thinking, is that I’ve spend 12-18 months really digging around and studying inked comic art and I’ve really fallen in love with it. I’m working really hard on what I’m drawing and how that looks in ink and at this point, I’m really wanting to just publish that as the final product.

So I’m not saying that I’m going to stop colouring pages all of a sudden. In fact, my plan right now is to finish THE ARROW TIME in colour. But from this point on with new stuff, I’m probably going to be a bit more selective in what I colour. I just think it’s probably best to focus my attention on writing and drawing so I might actually get some of these stories that I’ve got either on the go or in my head done.

And I guess this sort of fits with some of the “other” comic work that I’m doing at this point. For ANDREW JACKSON IN SPACE, I’m working with a colourist for the first time and to be honest, I’m just worrying about making the inked pages look the best they can and letting Harry really figure out the colouring. We’ll see how that approach goes.

About jason

Illustrator and graphic designer. When not working full time as a Senior Graphic Designer, I am usually working on the graphic novel On the Verge: the Arrow of Time. Artist on Andrew Jackson in Space and The Sisters.

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