Building a Robo Palette
Creatively, one of the greatest things about comics is also one of the worst things about comics.
The boobies. Color.
It’s hard to remember this, but back in the day there were men and women who actually painted the colors on to copies of the final art and then coded them so that a printing press could reproduce it using tiny colored dots on a newsprint page. The CMYK color model is amazing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMYK_color_model
These days with computers we can do way more than the old funny books. But more often than not it seems to me that digital coloring gets in the way and distracts from the art and story. We are so excited by the ability to do a million things at once that we don’t ask ourselves if we should do a million things at once. Do I really need to count the pores on Steve Roger’s nose? Is that Superman flying towards the Earth? I don’t know because he’s lost in the sun’s LENS FLARE!!!
Good design is always subtractive, not additive. Great artists always strive to strip things away to let their talent shine through, while mediocre artists tend to pile on layers of unnecessary detail in an attempt to distract the viewer from their deficiencies.
Don’t believe me? Go look at some Shaker furniture. Or, to keep it within the microcosm of comic books, go count the number of awards that Dave Stewart’s won.
In my on-going attempt to raise the art bar on Atomic Robo I’ve been learning more about color theory and poking my nose more into @rleep ‘s business.
The result thus far has been several very productive meetings with my colorist and the beginnings of a Robo color bible. The group of colors at the top are selected from what I’ve been using on the Vol.7 pre-production art, and the cluster at the bottom is a palette built from my favorite pages and panels from Vol.6.
It’s all still very embryonic, but it’s something that I’m very excited about.