ART LYON: design, editing, writing, illustration, digital coloring, and other arcane secrets.

Posts tagged ‘Comic Book Resources’

In Search of…COMICS!

[note: I meant to post this the day I wrote it, but time happened.]

So, I kinda like comics. I like to read them and make them and think about them. To read them, though, I generally have to buy them first.

Poking around in the Comixology app on my tablet, I found a Marvel preview thingy that included, among other upcoming titles, a few pages from the new Moon Knight #1 by writer Warren Ellis, penciler/inker Declan Shalvey, and colorist Jordie Bellaire. It looked really interesting, and that’s saying something since I haven’t been reading many new comics lately. Here’s a little something about it , courtesy of Albert Ching over at Comic Book Resources. I thought I’d give it a shot, and so I did a search in the app for the series and got…

Comixology-result

Buh? Weird. It seems to me I should be able to pre-order a digital copy of a comic from Comixology, or at least let them know I want it and get some kind of notification from them when it becomes available. I posted about this on twitter, and here’s what happened:

Comixology-tweets

It was great that I got an official response so quickly, and that the support person had actual info for me, but ultimately I’m still stuck with a comic I want to read – preferably digitally – but can’t put in an order for through Comixology. Sure, I could write myself a note or put the release date on my Google calendar or something, but what if i want a bunch of comics that aren’t out yet? That’s gonna crowd up the Google calendar, or crowd something else with yet another list or shamble of post-its.

Thinking further, I decided to “search up” (as my kids say) the title on some of the better-known websites where one can order new comics. Here’s what happened:

amazon-results

I was a little surprised by this, since Amazon generally excels at allowing you to pre-order things. Oh well. What’s next…

dcbs-results

Discount Comic Book Service was my source for new comics for a few years. I was very happy with their service, although their interface is a little clunky. But, sadly, no Moon Knight #1 there for me. Next!

mycomicshop-result

MyComicShop was the next place I thought of. Don’t get me wrong – I’m positively tickled that I can choose ” ’70s Avengers” as my personal theme for their site, but….they got nothin’. But hey – at least #1 is listed there! I’m making headway! I click on the listing for #1 and…

mycomicshop-detail

Well, I can let them know I want it. That’s something. I’ll keep that in mind, but who else can I turn to?

midtown-results

Hmm. Fact Files, eh?

Ugh. Okay. Things From Another World, you’re up at bat. I turn to TFAW regularly for names of creators on comics, because they often have more info than even the publishers’ own websites do. Soo…

tfaw-results

Ooo! I click on the listing for #1…

tfaw-detail

Yikes! Today’s my last day to order #1, at least through them. TFAW might be making some money off me today! I can’t help but notice that I can subscribe to it, “watchdog” it (whatever that is), and add it to a wishlist – all this for a title only one other site is even listing.

(Westfield Comics – who I also relied on for my comics many years ago – won’t let me see all the listings without signing in. It’s an adult content screening procedure which I appreciate in principle, but I don’t think I should have to register on their site just to see a listing.)

Comixology is missing a big opportunity here. I would have pre-ordered right then and there at the beginning of my search if the option had existed. I’m betting it would have cost me less, too. TFAW may get my money for being so thorough and so complete.

But you know what’s really weird?

marvel-results

Marvel’s own site doesn’t even list it. What the-?!

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THE SHADE #12

THE SHADE #12, by James Robinson, Gene Ha, me!, and Todd Klein. Edited by Wil Moss. Published by DC Comics, release date September 12th, 2012.

Gene Ha and I seem to be on a roll. I can’t express how much I appreciate the advantage of working with Gene. Let’s put aside for the moment the advantages of working with a friend and highly-talented penciller/inker. To get the level of detail and realism we all know and love him for, lately Gene’s been getting gigs that consist of one or maybe two issues. Perhaps out of a lack of confidence, I tend to approach each new project (be it a single issue or series or graphic novel) as if I’ve never colored a comic before. These two forces combine when I work with Gene, such that I can really just rethink how I do things on nearly every project Gene and I do together, and I’ve been doing this more and more lately. It can be maddening and time-consuming, but liberating as well. Re-inventing my approach requires experimentation, and that takes time, but the results seem to be making people happy and it pays some of the bills and I can usually look at the final, printed product and be happy with much of it, so yay, us!

So, since this issue is nearly all flashbacks to 1838, Gene wanted a moody paper texture worked into the art. We had done something similar on an early, unpublished cover for Project Superman, but this was the first time I had incorporated a paper texture into my coloring on a whole issue. I took advantage of this texture to help make characters and items stand out on the page or in a panel, by lessening the texture in those areas. This has the effect of making the black line art and the colors themselves stand out more than then other areas with more texture over them, and voila: a hopefully subtle 3-D effect.

Gene also said he wanted subdued colors, and referenced our muted palette on TOP 10: THE FORTY-NINERS as an example. If I had a time-machine, I would go back and make my work on TOP 10 about 10 times better, but this was my chance to give that look another whack. The colors here are generally more saturated and more focused on the mood of a scene than most of what I did on THE FORTY-NINERS. My initial instincts as a colorist back then were to go for bright, bold colors, but for most of what I was doing at the start of my career I had to tone that way down. In the last couple-few years I’ve had to train myself to punch things up. Working on Justice league #7 and Action Comics #3 and #9 really helped with that.

I think I could have done more with the shadow-spirits in the climax, maybe by adding some highlights or “reverse shadows” to make them seem more three-dimensional. I’m fascinated by how many different ways there are to give a two-dimensional image a sense of real depth, so I’m always looking for new ways to do that.

James Robinson talks about his work on The Shade and has very nice things to say about the work Gene and I did in an interview over at Comic Book Resources.

Doug Zawisza gave the whole thing a bunch of stars in his review at CBR.

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ceci says

did I just say that? (adventures in stream-of-consciousness writing)

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