During the holiday season over the last few years, it’s become customary for me to team up with Ryan Claytor of Elephant Eater Comics
for a series of posts on various industry topics. In 2008, we discussed form and function, in 2009 it was the role of the creator and the critic, and in 2010 we collaborated on a spirited list of selections
for holiday gift-giving. Our topic this year, as they all have in the past, spun out of an organic conversation between the two of us. Maybe it was in relation to an interview with Jeromy Cox I’d done, or maybe it was our mutual admiration for Dave Stewart on Daytripper
, I’m not even sure at this point, but the under-noticed and under-appreciated role of The Comic Book Colorist presented itself naturally. When we were struggling to come up with an annual topic that we felt had enough “oomph,” this was an epiphany of genuine interest.
That said, we worked together to come up with our joint list of "The 10 Best Colorists" working in the industry today. There’s some natural overlap in our preferences, but also a lot of diversity on this list in terms of what influenced our selections based on our reading habits, as well as our respective roles as (primarily) creator and (primarily) critic. We’ll be flipping back and forth between our respective selections, supporting our choices with some crisp examples of their work, and then bat the conversation back and forth to see where that takes us. Finally, we’ll be posting the entire series at Elephant Eater
, while I’ll be linking to it from here and tweeting the heck out of it! (Follow me @thirteenminutes
and/or Ryan @elephanteater
). We hope you’re entertained by this list and also come away with a better understanding of how strong coloring choices enhance the medium, and pay a little more attention to some of the unsung heroes of our beloved comic books. Enjoy!
Note: The picture you see is a quirky old image I found during research from a book by J. Hatt in 1908, who was arguing that color theory was stemming from a flawed premise. He felt that magenta, yellow, and cyan ought to be the correct primary colors vis-à-vis Yarmby’s color wheel. The book dives quickly into a more technical analysis beyond the scope of this series of posts, but I thought it was a bold proclamation about the importance of color theory and the role of colorists – not to mention just an awesome old timey image!