Feb 09 2010

The colors are ready! What do you think?

Published by at 2:32 pm under Art,Comic Book Art


Here are some of the issues I noticed: Alaska and Hawaii aren’t colored blue on the map, AO’s coat blurs away on the last page, and the poster on Agent Orange’s door changes from white to blue on the final page.

17 responses so far

17 Responses to “The colors are ready! What do you think?”

  1. B. Macon 09 Feb 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Also, I’d give you two guesses why the gator’s office is painted a hideous combination of blue and orange, but if you’ve read this comic or been to Florida, you’d only need one.

  2. Beccaon 09 Feb 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Well, the Alaska-Hawaii thing was lost on me! 😛 I agree with you about the coat fade-out, though.

  3. B. Macon 09 Feb 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Emily, the colorist, did the best with the fading coat she could. That was an issue I should have identified during pencils.

  4. Wingson 09 Feb 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Looks awesome to me…Really awesome…Must…Go…Buy…

    I’d also want to buy a copy of The Compendium of the American Alligator: A Treatise on Awesomeness. XD

    – Wings

  5. Lighting Manon 09 Feb 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I think the coloration here is really excellent, better than most comics coming out from companies other than the big two, but I do notice three pretty minor problems worth noting, one of which already has been.

    I think that the inseam of Gary’s right leg on the first panel of the third page is really flat, especially when contrasted with the area above it, given the number of wrinkles present on his crotch and above. They are drawn as slacks, so naturally the pant legs hang loose, but the line drawn below his crotch and extending onto the leg, coupled with the wrinkles indicates that they are being pulled taut by the movement of his left leg so it should be wrinkled as it is pulled. This is a minor tidbit, of course, but I think worth noting.

    The aforementioned issue of the blurring is another problematic bit, but I think would be very easily fixed if Emily used the partially defined border created by the lapel to strongly define where his body ends, you might be able to do it yourself as you’ve shown quite a lot of skill with graphic editing, it’ll work as a nice bit of artistic foreshortening.

    The third bit worth noting, I think that the hatching used by Rebecca could be more incorporated into the work, it seems to either stand alone or be ignored in several spots (bottom of the panel with the Compendium, at the spine, for example) it is handled perfectly elsewhere though, such as Agent Orange’s back in the third panel of the third page.

    Of course, I’m no expert, and this is just my opinion so do with it what you will, but don’t do anything creepy with it, like put it in high school or punch out bits of it and sprinkle it on sausage gravy, because that’s what I do.

  6. B. Macon 10 Feb 2010 at 12:37 am

    Wings, later on I may include some more excerpts of the Compendium based on whatever statistics I can shamelessly torture. For example, did you know that America’s three million alligators only kill 1-2 humans in a given year? As a point of comparison, 304 million (human) Americans committed roughly 17,000 murders in 2008. So that “proves” the typical American alligator is roughly 162 times less likely to kill a human as an American human is. (Or 51 times less likely as a Frenchman or 33 times less likely than a Dutchman).

    I’m envisioning a pictograph showing Human Kills Per Million, with alligators at the very bottom (with .33 kills per million). Nuns, ice cream truck drivers, coconuts, Norwegians, lifeguards, pizza boys, tween girls, kindergarten teachers and Episcopalians are far more homicidal. And let’s not even talk about the terrorist antics of Canadian geese, whose only past-time is getting sucked into jet engines and killing everybody on board. At one point, Agent Orange may call for lifeguards to be replaced by alligators for public safety reasons. I may also throw in some joke categories like “Georgia Linebacker” or “Detroit Piston,” but I think that they’d break the graph because their one or two murders will really stand out in a tiny group.

  7. B. Macon 10 Feb 2010 at 2:06 am

    LM, good call on the pants. Now that I’m looking at them specifically, they do look a bit off.

    I’ll ask Rebecca and Emily what they think the best way to handle the coat fading out is, but the preposterously cheesy solution that comes to my mind is drawing in a panel border and cutting out the blurry part that way. It looks quite awkward–here’s my 2-minute stab at it.

  8. Merideson 10 Feb 2010 at 7:12 am

    Actually, B. Mac, that looks fine to me! I like it going to the bottom of the page, I think it goes with panel 5 on the same page (“You’re missing the point”) also going off the page, but to the right.

    And you darn well better include that graph somewhere… it’s awesome.

    I also had to mention how much I adore the bubbles in the background of page 2, panel 4 (What he meant to say). It adds SO much to the ‘imaginary’ world of that panel. 🙂

  9. B. Macon 11 Feb 2010 at 11:16 am

    Oh, haha, minor continuity issue. On page 5, the poster on Agent Orange’s door is white in panels 1 and 2. However, in panel 4, it’s blue. 😉

    I’m glad to hear you liked the lens flares in the imaginary panel. Normally, lens flares are absolutely awful unless a character/object is silhouetted against a bright light. However, I think that it made sense here, along with the bishonen sparkles.

  10. Lucas Irineuon 11 Feb 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Big mistake on one of those pages!

    Brazil has no crocodiles. 😛
    Only caimans, who are much closer to alligators, I think.

  11. B. Macon 11 Feb 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Good call, Lucas! The map shown above lumps in caimans with crocodiles because the reference map we used was for the order Crocodilia (which includes crocodiles, caimans, gharials and alligators).

    You are right that biologists generally regard alligators and caimans as more closely related to one another than crocodiles. (Crocodiles are part of the Crocodyloidea superfamily, whereas alligators and caimans are part of Alligatoroidea).

    However, explaining the discrepancy in-story, it is well-known that crocodiles and caimans alike are notorious for their soccer enthusiasm. In contrast, the heart of the American alligator beats only for football. (The real kind, not the British kind).

    Incidentally, have you heard of gharials, the demented black sheep of Crocodilia? They fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

  12. Ron Fonteson 12 Feb 2010 at 6:16 am

    I am a former Whitman and Marvel staff artist. I think this is competent, but nothing to get really excited about. The ink lines are stiff and brittle-looking. Ever try a brush? I guess not since it’s plainly derivative of manga. You don’t need crosshatching with full color. The panel shapes are distracting and unnecessary: Use squares, kid. You’re wasting space with the oddball rhomboid shapes. The storytelling is adequate, if static. Did you bother to look at a real alligator before you drew this? The reptile looks more like a T-Rex than an alligator and the teeth are way off. Alligators are not bright green, either. Research before you draw!

  13. Lucas Irineuon 12 Feb 2010 at 9:59 am

    True, alligators do like soccer.

    As for Ron Fontes’s post… Well, I agree that cross hatching might not be needed, but I think that the lines aren’t that bad. And even though it doesn’t looks so much like a real alligator, its a mutant alligator after all. 😛

    I think it wouldn’t hurt to use more squares though.

  14. B. Macon 12 Feb 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Why isn’t the mutant alligator colored like an alligator? The short answer is that a mutagen did it.

    I went with green rather than a typical alligator color because real-life adult alligators are colored to blend in with swamp water. I opted to go with a somewhat more saturated green because it looks a bit more protagonistic and fits the character better.

    Also, I think that most fictional reptiles are significantly brighter and more saturated than their real-world counterparts. For example, you’ve worked for Marvel, so you’re probably familiar with how greenLizard is, and I think that Lyle Lyle Crocodile and the TMNT are similarly bright/saturated.



    In contrast, real turtles look a lot more drab. It’s more of a swamp-camouflage color scheme than any strong greens or yellows. (The TMNT’s yellow chest-plates would really stick out in the wild).



    Here’s a ninja alligator (unaltered photo here)…


    …and here’s a mutant ninja alligator.


    That color scheme doesn’t look anything like a real alligator, but I think that 99.9% of readers wouldn’t notice. I think that the needs of the story usually take precedence over reality, particularly when the story has weapons-grade mutagen and other get-out-of-reality-free cards lying around.*

    As for looking more like a dinosaur than an alligator, I could make his head longer so that his jaw hangs further over his body, but I’m not particularly fond of that Leatherhead look. It doesn’t look very heroic, I think.

    Thanks again for your advice! I will definitely take it into account when we illustrate non-mutant alligators, such as the one on the cover of The Compendium of the American Alligator. I was a bit surprised by how yellow its underbelly was.

    *Some other ways we altered the appearance of American alligators to fit the story:
    –His tongue is forked and mobile like a snake’s, which I use for comedic expressions. In real life, an alligator’s tongue can’t actually stick out. (TMNT’s Leatherhead also has a mobile tongue, which is used most often for scary expressions).

    –We changed the proportions of the head, so that it’s a bit more spherical than an actual alligator’s head (which is more wedge-shaped).

    –Alligators claws are primitive and aren’t used much for fighting, but this character is a bit more claw-heavy. (Real alligators fight exclusively with their teeth and, secondarily, their tails, but I figured that it’d be easier to work claws into a PG-13 comic. It seems to have worked out pretty well for Wolverine and others).

    –We changed the proportions/shape of his feet. Real alligator feet are squarish, but his feet are more rectangular (like human feet). Squared boots would look pretty weird, I think, especially when it comes to kicking.

    –We changed the shape and color-scheme of his eyes to look more human-like than alligator-like. I thought it would help him look more protagonistic.

  15. Lighting Manon 12 Feb 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Exactly! You can’t just throw the majority of animal heads onto a human body, we’re far too different, you have to make the basic proportions of the head more similar to a human’s, otherwise you’ve got some sort of franken-chimera or a furry. Rebecca built out Agent Orange’s chin and muzzle because the design of a human being demands it, not to mention how peculiar an actual alligator head would look trying to talk, even in still art, we all recognize the need for the depth inside our mouths, depth that an actual alligator jaw couldn’t supply, and it’d just be distracting.

  16. Tom Dalyon 03 Mar 2010 at 10:17 pm

    There is a lot of nice stuff in these pages, but I’ll identify a few things that you could think about, but perhaps in a different way than has been expressed. The guy’s suit has been mentioned as well as the crocodile and I would add the guy’s glasses to the list. For everything that appears in a panel: the guy’s glasses, his suit, the crocodile, it helps to think of it as an actor in a movie. They each have minor to major roles, and the viewer notices a bad (or mediocre) performance, but if it’s well done (or drawn) the viewer doesn’t notice it, BECAUSE IT WORKS. Crocodile, suit, glasses you have to research it and really get it, or else the it doesn’t look right. The suit; not enough research. The glasses; you know the shape but missed how glasses sit on a persons head and didn’t find a convincing way of drawing them. The crocodile; good research, but maybe not the best choices based on your research. Drawing the character over and over can help you find your way. I like your work and the way you tell a story, keep moving it forward.

  17. B. Macon 04 Mar 2010 at 6:53 am

    Thanks for your advice, Tom.

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