1990s Era Color Guide by Walt Simonson

As part of a larger piece on the comics coloring process by Glenn Whitmore Smash Pages uncovered a 1990s era color guide by Walt Simonson, along with this supplemental contextual data.

The separator, which for much of comics history was Chemical Color Plate in Connecticut, would make nine acetate prints of the original art, one for each percentage of each color.

The black and white artwork – originally drawn at twice the printed size, then 1½ times, and currently slightly less than that — was photographed, reduced and printed on sheets of clear acetate. Nine copies were made of each page – one for each of the three percentages of the three colors – and these were turned over to a separator.

Using the colored artwork as a guide, areas on the acetates would be filled in with an opaque paint (Rubylith) to correspond to the color(s) necessary.

Once the color guides were fully “translated” and the acetates were finished, they would be photographed with appropriate screens to create a single version which included the percentage dots and the solid of one color. These three new pieces of film, along with a fourth clean version of the art which was used to make the black, were used to make the printing plates.

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Enjoy This Karl Kesel Treat from 1991

Today on Karl Kesel’s Facebook page he treated fans to a 1991 Throwback Thursday flashback:

“FEMALE FURIES, “NEW.” I’ve always loved Kirby’s “bad girl” characters, the Female Furies, with the original five each clearly reflecting a different stereotype/archetype of woman— Barda = Amazon, Lashina = Dominatrix, Stompa = Butch Dyke (this was the late 60s, after all), Mad Harriet = Hag, Bernadeth = Spinster. But the Furies are an entire battalion— there are a LOT more where those came from! So in 1991’s Hawk & Dove #21, I came up with a few more. Again, I tried to make each represent a type of woman— Gilotina = Girl Next Door, Speed Queen = Rebellious Teen, Bloody Mary = Seductress, Malice Vundabarr = Brat. (Gilotina first appeared and was named in a few Kirby Mister Miracle panels— but I gave her her personality and outlook.) Bloody Mary never quite jelled as a character (odd, because she seems to be the strongest, high-concept-wise) but I’ve always really liked the others. I actually stranded Gilotina in Project Cadmus for a while, and started a romance between her and Tommy (the typical boy-next-door). Of course, I’d revisit the Furies again when Tom Grummett and I introduced Superboy to a lady named Knockout a few years later. Side Note: Malice’s pet “Cheshire” was renamed “Chessure” in the printed comic, combining “cheshire” with “pressure.” It seemed more “Kirby” to me.”

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Palmiotti, Cooke’s ‘The Adventures of Dutch Courage’ arrives in Chicago beer stores

Palmiotti and Cooke’s story appears across six labels of “an incredibly complex Session Ale brewed with Juniper Berries and Lemon Peel.”

Jimmy Palmiotti and Darwyn Cooke have brewed up a new six-panel story that draws inspiration from the old Charles Atlas ads that appeared in comics starting in the 1940s. But you won’t find it at your local comic shop today — you’ll only find it in Chicago-area liquor stores.

As a part of Chicago-based Arcade Brewery’s “6 Pack Stories” line of beer, Palmiotti and Cooke’s comic appears on labels of The Adventures of Dutch Courage, “an incredibly complex Session Ale brewed with Juniper Berries and Lemon Peel,” according to the brewery’s website. Each panel of the story appears on one of the six-pack’s bottles, so you’ll want to drink them in the right order. Volume one of Arcade’s 6 Pack Stories” featured a comic by Jason Aaron and Tony Moore, and was released in 2014.

According to a post on their Facebook page, the beer will be available at three locations today, followed by distribution around Chicago by the end of the week.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Dan Parent on ‘Kevin Keller’

KevinKeller_01-1nDan Parent is currently in the midst of stage of his long career where his hard work is reaping substantial reward. In addition to his great gains in the Archie Universe, Dan has a Kickstarter (Die Kitty Die) along with Fernando Ruiz that asks: “What happens when a longtime comic book character has come to the end of her run? You kill her! But how? That’s where the fun begins…”

Tim O’Shea: After a couple of years is it good to no longer be pigeonholed as the resident expert writing GLBT characters?

Dan Parent: Well, I don’t really mind. I mean, I do a lot of other work, but my work with Kevin Keller is probably my most important, so I’m happy to be pigeonholed there!

What are you most proud of in terms of your storytelling dynamics for the Archie Universe?

In addition to Kevin, my Archie/Valerie storyline was something I was proud of. And I’m happy that I’ve been allowed to take the Archie characters into more progressive territory than was allowed in the past.

Who do you regard as rising stars among the current roster of Archie creative talent?

Arch_K_A015nWell, Gisele Lagace is great, but she’s a rising star with her own webcomics.  And Fernando Ruiz is doing the best work of his career!

In what ways have you honed your storytelling skills in recent years?

More realistic dialogue, less slapsticky.

Am I right in thinking you take a great amount of effort in fostering a rapport with fans at cons. How critical has that been for your long-term success?

I have a great relationship with the fans at cons.  They give me a lot of insight about what they like and what they don’t like.  And they’re the people you want to listen to, because they’re the real fans and they know what they’re talking about.

Anything we should discuss that I neglected to ask you about?

Hmm.. you didn’t ask me…Betty or Veronica….and of course, it’s Veronica!

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Michel Fiffe in Praise of Jerry Ordway

Today Michel Fiffe took to his Facebook page to admire Jerry Ordway’s work–his Superman covers in particular.

Today’s inspiration: one of my favorite Jerry Ordway covers.

Adventures of Superman 439
Adventures of Superman 439: Today’s inspiration
When I asked Fiffe what makes Ordway so strong for him this was his answer. “The composition, the draftsmanship, the linework, the duo shade tones, the characters and the suspense portrayed, the color, the paper, the subjective nostalgia, the objective technical skill, the context of both the story and artist in relation to the title and its placement in the art form.”

I then contacted Fiffe offline to see if he could name for more covers of note, within minutes he did.

Adventures of Superman 424
Adventures of Superman 424

Back in 2013 Ordway revealed a cover that ended up not working, as well as the selected uncolored version.

Aborted Adventures of Superman 441
Aborted Adventures of Superman 441

 

Uncolored Final Version of Adventures of Superman 441
Uncolored Final Version of Adventures of Superman 441

 

Colored Final Version of Adventures of Superman 441
Colored Final Version of Adventures of Superman 441

 

Adventures of Superman 444
Adventures of Superman 444

 

Superman 44
Superman 44

Smash Pages Q&A: Bruce McCorkindale on Inking & ‘The Falling Man’

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What I always hope is an interview grows organically and in this case it did. I went into this interview with inker and artist Bruce McCorkindale thinking we would discuss one thing when in fact I discovered he’d been an inker for Malibu for a number of years and I launched a whole separate discussion before all is said and done. We of course got around to also discussing his upcoming graphic novel The Falling Man.

My thanks to Bruce for his time.

Tim O’Shea: How did you start inking in the first place?

Bruce McCorkindale: I pretty much knew I wanted to work in comics since age 9, so I spent a lot of time practicing. My first published work was an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Festival” for New Media Irjax’s FANTASY ILLUSTRATED way back in ’84. The editor told me that the company went out of business before it saw print, but it turns out that it squeaked through! However, I didn’t find this out ’til about 15 years later! Around the same time, I went to a lot of comic cons, and got a lot of good response to my inking samples. Thus, I focused on inks, and got my first steady work from Malibu Comics in late 80s. They kept me busy for a good 10 years or so!

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

These days, the most challenging aspect of my work is finding time and energy to focus on creator-owned works. That’s really the most satisfying aspect of comics creation, but it’s not the most profitable. So, I divide my time between doing inking work, re-creations of classic comic covers, advertising/editorial work, and try to sneak in my own work whenever I can. Aside from finding time for this work, the other challenging aspect is trying to grow and improve. I never think I’m good enough, and I think I’m right!

Has there ever been one you could not successfully finish?

I’ve always been able to finish out comics work assigned to me. In terms of my own works, there are quite a few unfinished ones. However, I’m an absurdly patient guy (probably to a fault), and never give up on the ones I believe in. I’m currently working here and there on projects that have been in the works a long time…like, a decade long!

What do you find to be the most creatively satisfying aspect of the experience.

The most satisfying aspect is when I finish a piece of work that I’m really happy about (rare) and that other people enjoy as well. Those two things often happen, but not always at the same time! I also like when I tackle something I really think I can’t handle, and pull it off. That’s a great feeling.

Who are your influences?

My biggest influences, in order of appearance, are Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, Marvel comics from the 1960s-70s, and Bernie Wrightson. In the 80s, THE COMICS JOURNAL was a big influence in terms of exposing me to a lot of different creators trying to push the envelope in comics storytelling.

A lot of great folks worked with Malibu. Were there certain creators that stuck out from that era in terms of creators you inked?

My first gig with Malibu was TWILIGHT AVENGER, inking Terry Tidwell. Years later, Terry and I worked together in an illustration studio doing comic-style artwork for the editorial/advertising market, and we even did some animation work. We still keep in touch, and do freelance work together! I inked a lot of guys at Malibu – some of my favorites were Leonard Kirk, Mitch Byrd, and Gabriel Gecko (Hardman). A particularly fun job was inking a short DINOSAURS FOR HIRE story by Curt Swan. Curt’s Superman books were probably some the very first comics I ever read, so that felt very special. I met Curt at an Iowa con not long after the book came out, and he was extremely nice. He said a lot of newer guys weren’t very faithful to his pencils, and he appreciated the work I did. That meant a lot.

I am curious to learn more about in ways Bernie Wrightson influenced you. Also could you please give examples of The Comic Journal talent you found of worth.

I just fell in love with Bernie’s artwork right away. I went through a phase in the mid 70s where I was a little discouraged with mainstream comics, and Bernie’s work on SWAMP THING and in Warren magazines like CREEPY and EERIE just felt like a breath of fresh air. His illustration style was immaculate, but he also had a great sense of storytelling – a quality that I’m not sure he always gets as much credit for. THE COMICS JOURNAL exposed me to a the burgeoning indie scene that was happening in the mid-to-late 80s. That’s how I found out about people like the Hernandez bros., Daniel Clowes, and Art Spiegelman’s RAW magazine.

What can you tell folks about your Original Graphic Novel, THE FALLING MAN.

For the past few years, I’ve been doing a complete re-vamp of my graphic novel THE FALLING MAN. This is a book that I wrote and illustrated, with Phil Hester doing layouts. The book has has a complicated history. Back in 1997, it was planned as a 4-issue series for Jim Valentino’s Shadowline division of Image Comics. They put out one issue, then decided they didn’t want to take a chance on the other 3. The sales were actually pretty good for a somewhat unconventional indie (around 4500, I believe), but this was also around the time when the market, in general, was having an implosion. I eventually put the entire thing together as a single graphic novel for Caliber Comics in 1999, but wasn’t happy with the work I did. Around 2012, I decided that the only things I liked from the original were the script and Phil’s layouts, so I decided to take on the daunting task of re-pencilng/inking the entire thing, and adding color. As much as I love pure black and white art, this particular project really needs color to work. It has kind of an existential WIZARD OF OZ vibe, and color is a necessary element. I’m having to fit the work in between paying gigs, but my main goal is to not rush it, and do the best work I can. I’ve put a couple feelers out about it, but I’m really not even worrying about a publisher at this point. My hope is to finish up the entire book, and then think about where it should (or could) go. I have a few other brand-new projects I’m playing with too, but I feel like I need to get THE FALLING MAN out of my system first. I’m hoping to finally have closure with it sometime next year.

While brief what was it like to work with Hester?

Actually, Phil’s another guy I’ve kept in touch with for a long time, now! We’ve done a lot of work together. Our first team-up was on a story for DC’s BLACK ORCHID ANNUAL #1. I’ve also inked him on THE WRETCH, THE NAMELESS, FOOT SOLDIERS, and FOUR LETTER WORLDS. Most recently, I inked Phil on IDW’s GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS. I also did the inks and colors on a number of his covers for Dynamite’s GREEN HORNET series. He’s a phenomenal artist and storyteller, and very easy to work with. We have very similar sensiibilites, and get along great.

Tony Harris’ Special Moment with A Fan at NC Comicon

Tony Harris is a creator who has always fostered great relationships with his fanbase. This weekend he is at NC Comicon. I was impressed by a comment Harris made on Facebook.

This young lady stole the show- really an amazing moment for me.

To get the full context you need to visit genderthief’s (the fan) Instagram account.

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Must Read: Tom Spurgeon’s Initial Reaction to Paris Attack

Understandably Tom Spurgeon is still gathering his thoughts regarding the situation in Paris but his initial reaction is still a must read specifically for this line of thinking:

In terms of practical considerations if an entity coordinated last night’s attacks in a way that they have the complexity and power and intent that seemed to me indicated by my initial reading of last night’s on-the-ground news, this may present a real security issue for the festival in Angouleme that maybe wasn’t as reasonable to expect or fear for last year’s show.

Recent Wilfredo Torres Process Pieces for ‘Jupiter’s Circle’

In recent days Wilfredo Torres has taken to Instagram to post a few process pieces for Jupiter’s Circle and Smash Pages thought it would be great to rerun a few of them here.
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