Thursday, October 07, 2004

Falling in love all over again.

Newsarama talked with Steve Hamaker about coloring Bone for it's new Scholastic edition. All I can say is that the color previews look very nice.

In fact. That's not true. Yes, the colors look nice, but I have MORE to say about it. Bone was, in my mind, probably the best realized comic-book in the hands of one artist. In the same way Sin City was created to work in black and white, so was the adventures of those three Bone cousins, and Jeff Smith succeeded effortlessly at making that colorless world come to life in front of us. Now, in a way I think Sin City wouldn't work, Bone gets a color version that's also very beautiful to look at and doesn't diminish the accomplishment of the first version.

It take a very god artist to tell the best story he can tell in black and white, and that goes to say that he only have himself to rely on. And, if he's really that good an artist, his work will remain his even if somebody works over it, and that's what's happening with the colored Bones.

Steve Oliff had this slogan for his Olioptics company: "the better you draw, the better we color", which tells the core of my argument. Coloring something is easier if the drawing in back and white is well realized.

Today, I think artists got used to colored comic-books, so they're leaving a lot of the work for the color: notions of light and shadow, of mood, hour of day, foreground and background definition and even texture. These artists, when working only n black and white, will fail in telling a story that require stuff that they don't do anymore, let alone stuff that they never learned or tried to do.

I love working in black and white. There's a classical feel in black and white stories that I love, and I do my best to tell my story using only that. If I put any consideration about color in my work, it's the one I learned with Jeff Smith: do the best black and white you can, but make sure it will ALSO look great in color. After all, you never know.

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