Helpful tip for crediting art in comics. One is by Jamie McKelvie and the other is by Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. See the difference? pic.twitter.com/5HJJz9zZQl
— Matt Wilson (@COLORnMATT) January 20, 2017
This tweet by colorist Matt Wilson was going around last week, and not only does it reinforce the importance of properly crediting colorists but it’s a pretty succinct summary of the esthetics of modern comics in one visual.
Comic art is really based around coloring now. Whether it’s the subtle duotone of an indie book, the video game-inspired modeled coloring of most superhero books, or the “European style” controlled palettes on display in so many Image books. It’s how young cartoonists create a look, its what fuels tumblr shares, and it’s as essential to the success of a comic as any other element. And in the case of deadline sensitive superhero books, rushed last minute coloring can do a lot deaden a art – and that’s not the fault of the colorist – they’re the end of the system for catch up and do what they have to to ship books on time.
I’d even argue that aside from a few VERY strong stylists (think Paul Pope or Mike Mignola) most younger cartoonists draw in a style that is based on prepping for the color, with the result that there is some homogenization out there. It’s painted art on a fast schedule. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad. Think how Fiona Staples’ coloring is so integral to Saga’s success.
We should pay more attention to coloring, learn how to talk about it and always credit the colorist.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.