Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

Black Panther >> View Post
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In Reply To

Subj: Re: Only Color?
Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 at 04:21:43 am EDT
Reply Subj: Re: Only Color!!!
Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 at 11:21:06 pm EDT

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Why, does Marvel and now DC have to have collections of their great heroes reprinted in black and white?

It makes no sense at all to me. Not counting manga, color is an essential part of a comic book. You might even say that it is the most essential part. Without color you do not have anything but black and white doodles. Even the best artists at Marvel and DC usually cannot do without color. Color is the blood of the American comic book.

Further, I have never seen a single Essential Collection sold anywhere at any time. I have not even seen an Essential Collection even picked up.

Image came out recently with gigantic trade paperback collections of Tomb Raider, Witchblade and The Darkness containing a great deal of issues with all of them in color. These collections are like one thousand pages long and again in color.

Marvel has no excuse to be making their cheap colorless Essential collections.

If the original colors of some issues came out looking bad, they should just fix the colors.

No one wants to read about a phantom Spider-Man with no colors, an Iron Man with no Iron, a Captain America with a blank shield, and a Hulk without his Gamma Radiation, this is just insane.

Well, speak for yourself. I own a number of Essential collections, and I know many people who enjoy Essentials and Showcases (and have seen people buy them in front of me). Like I said before and you said just now, they are cheap - that's one of their benefits. Cheap for US. And saying color is the most important part of art cheapens the power of a great penciler(/inker).

As for those Image Compendium editions, their list prices are generally $60 for about 1200 color pages. They also are all recent comics whose art is almost guaranteed to be digitally stored somewhere and easily printed in sufficient color and with no restoration whatsoever. Essential and Showcase editions print almost exclusively old comics which, if they were in color, would require processes like complete recoloring, or scanning and trying to salvage existing copies of the physical issue. All of these are time consuming and expensive prospects compared to simply reproducing the black and white art. And much of the pencil/ink art, which was not hindered by the limited production tools available at the time of publication, stands up to the test of time very well (especially, for me at least, some of the great stuff found in Howard the Duck or Moon Knight, for example). The colors do not stand that same test, and thus often age a book more than necessary and thus get in the way of some otherwise timeless art. And taking all that into account, using B&W allows Essentials for about $16, or about a quarter of the price of Image Compendiums for half (up to roughly 600 pages) the content.

I'm not saying I dislike seeing color in old comics, but in terms of reprints there is nothing wrong with a cheaper, easier alternative that often can even end up HELPING the presentation of the art. A good penciler can often be perfectly effective at conveying a story on his own (perhaps you have been paying too much attention to current artists - some very talented, of course - that rely heavily on computer coloring on top of their work instead of employing detailed linework at the penciling stage). Calling B&W art "doodles" - as if it has no merit until a colorist has his way with it, is pretty insulting to and ignorant of a penciler's (and inker's) job. And anyways, it's not like we don't know what color Spider-Man is. And god forbid someone not know what color Black Panther is.

-clipped message-
> No one wants to read about a phantom Spider-Man with no colors, an Iron Man with no Iron, a Captain America with a blank shield, and a Hulk without his Gamma Radiation, this is just insane.

1. Like I said, speak for yourself. Essentials sell very well, or else there wouldn't be so many of them nor would they stay in print for years. Also, DC probably wouldn't have bothered inventing their Showcase Presents line. And 2. Everyone knows what color Spider-Man is already. Iron isn't bright red or yellow, so I don't know what difference color makes there. And Captain America's shield is penciled before it's colored in, in case you didn't know. And again, everyone knows what color Hulk is, most of the time. It's not insane. It's that some people are more appreciative of black & white art than you seem to be. You are welcome to only buy and enjoy color comics, but lots of other people are happy with B&W. And no one is forcing you to buy an Essential book, so let's not get too worked up about it.

[examples: Ron Lim's Captain America - his shield is still pretty recognizable.
Moon Knight cover - colors don't really add too much to the already awesome angle, mood, and poses here. They do spruce it up a bit, but in some ways it is a little more stark and intense without them (find the colored version here, as well as a famously awesome B&W cover to that very same series: http://comicbrain.com/2006/11/07/five-rules-for-getting-moon-knight-on-the-a-list/ ).
Watchmen page - the colors in Watchmen are great and it's a book I would certainly prefer to read fully colored, but to say Gibbons's art was "doodles" before colors were applied would be insane.]

Check it out: Shu and I (and FLCL) teamed up!

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