I Dislike Coloring Comic Pages
August 10, 2010
Writing comics is a blast. There’s nothing like cracking a story, playing with characters and developing ideas on the page. I get why writers write, it’s fun. Comics (and screenwriting) are unique writing mediums because they don’t require as much text as novels and traditional stories. They are a short-hand, so a lot of the painful bulking out of words just isn’t part of this particular medium.
I tell the story once in script form. It has to be tight, read well enough and come to a point of being finished before I can move on to pencils. But by the time I’m doing pencils, I am telling the story for the second time. By the time inking begins I’m on the third pass. Then the book is all inked and ready to be colored. I have little interest in color. It’s the fourth time I’ve told the same story and coloring is every bit as much work as writing, penciling or inking.
This is why I generally have my pals color my books for me. I can still go in and do touch-ups, but the heavy lifting is done by others who love color. I have nothing but respect for colorists in the comics field. They work on the cheap and generally don’t get the credit they deserve. If a color book reads well, it will almost always find twice the audience of a black and white book. For that alone, color is a key that opens the door to readers who just wouldn’t want to read my black and whites.
The colorist for my graphic novels GEAR, GHOSTOPOLIS and the up and coming BAD ISLAND is my pal Katherine Garner. She’s English. That’s like having my books colored by a Bond Villain.