Friday, August 1, 2008

Acid wash


I really enjoy coloring in that slightly soured pulp style. It's a funny thing really. Pulp comics were very seldom in color, but when they were the color was extraordinarily bright. Lead based inks have a richness that even today's color inks can't match. Sure, they're toxic, but isn't a beautiful print worth a few dead bodies? The quality of the inks was actually quite good back then, but the quality of the paper was atrocious. The irony is that the acids used to bleach the pulp to a pristine white also managed to burn the paper to a mustard yellow or reddish brown as it aged. So most of the pulps we see today are actually bright colors but these colors get filtered by the chroma and value of the paper they are printed on. The good thing is that this subdues as well as harmonizes the colors. So, that pulp look is actually an accident of printing.

It's about like when they restored the Sistine Chapel. For decades everyone admired Michelangelo's delicate use of color and value, but after they removed the patina of smoke and pollution it revealed that he sort of color like a cartoonist. Still good, but more of a shout instead of a whisper.

Time does have a way of improving things.

7 comments:

Craig Zablo said...

Beautiful work -- as always thanks for the look at the process.

Jake Ekiss said...

This piece is hot. Yeah, I can see why this would be a "drop everything and do it" sort of deal.

markChiDC said...

let's face it, the Art Director on this piece was the key to it's success. The artist was merely a wrist!

Cully Hamner said...

Pfft! Like the Art Director even SAW it...!

markChiDC said...

cully, oh, like YOU should talk, when we all know that that SAME Art Director created that great new Blue Beetle costume design!

William said...

Wow! just saw this piece online over at Newsarama. As always Brian is the master.
Definitely looking forward to this one.
And what's with the hater????????

disa said...

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