For a while, I have been avoiding working in color. I’ve never considered myself very good at it. I recognize the power of color, but I’ve encountered and enjoyed quite a few black and white narrative that I found just as compelling as similar 4 color content.
That said, I’ve been thinking about trying an all-ages comic, and much of that work demands to be in color. Jeff Smith’s bone was originally published in black and white, so that doesn’t mean I’m s**t out of luck. But I think I found a mental entryway into approaching color that works for me.
Printing costs aside, the big challenge to working in color, for me, is time, I have to think really hard about how I want the viewer/reader to feel about each panel/page, and those subtle color choices are very important to those feelings. I already take way too long with my writing, page layout, and drawing. The last thing I want is to add another step to my process that will slow me down.
But what if I start with color first. What you see here is a short experiment. I created 24 “pages” and keyed each page to a different color. I didn’t have a narrative in mind, but tried to simply use color to create a sense of pacing, dramatic peaks, and lulls.
Once I had that, I went in and started doodling faces and figures, until I came up with this bit about a flying boy fighting a dragon.
The story itself isn’t what’s important. What’s important is the idea of using color, not IN thumbnails, but AS THE THUMBNAIL itself. Then, I can draw the detail INTO the color. Maybe cease using black altogether for these types of stories. Drawing everything in color.
I will definitely explore this more when I have time. (Heh… free time)