Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Color by Numbers

Posters over at Gutter Zombie, a site for colorists, are upset over a recent item in Lying in the Gutters titled "color ME CURIOUS":

I was also tipped off to a change in the production budget in other ways. Colouring fees are being reduced by half at Marvel, and there has been a move to outsource abroad, or hire juniors for the task. Why? It's getting easier to color a book these days...

The usual reaction to this kind of news is negative. People lose jobs, or people have to change jobs, but as technology increases, it's luddite to ignore it. And a saving in the production budget can change the profitability level of certain books.

Posters responded to the article:

What they don't understand, is that while it may be easier for amaetures to produce half decent colours it is no easier for professionals to color at a professional level.

Just because the technology of a pencil is as simple as can be, doesn't mean that anyone can be a good penciller. I can't for the life of me understand why people can't figure this out. It's like when you take a good photograph, and people compliment you on your camera. People think that better technology somehow imbues you with magical powers.

Great! The last thing we need is people to think colouring is "easy." Rich's statements are damaging. Colourists are artists as well and should be recognized as such. I've had to get someone off my back once about wanting to learn about digital colouring. He wanted to be a colourist because he was "not a good artist so he can't be a penciller".

Poster Dave McCaig fired off an email to Rich on the subject, then posted Rich's response email on the thread. Rich responded on the thread with more details and a lesson in netiquette, then the thread continues for a few pages, addressing questions such as:

  • Is Rich a journalist?
  • Is coloring easier now than it was before the latest version of Photoshop?
  • Is it ok to post emails on newsboards?
  • If colorists are the Rodney Dangerfields of the comic industry, what are the rumour mongers?

EDIT Sept. 22: If you follow the thread, you'll see that Rich was banned from Gutter Zombie.

EDIT Sept. 23: And now he is unbanned.


Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...

All I want is to have someone to be with over the holidays.

Jason Mulgrew
Internet Quasi-Celebrity

6:42 PM  

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