Thursday, 1 May 2008

Joker Sarder

Well, I unearthed my original copy of the Killing Joke recently and while not bothering to compare it with the new one for the alleged art tweaks here and there (though the removal of the oval around the Bat symbol is pretty hard to miss), I did compare the colouring jobs. While never bothering me before, John Higgins' original colours had always bothered Bolland, who has gone in and recoloured all the pages himself.

My god, what a difference! While it could be argued that Higgin's palette was more indicative of the mood and Bolland's more restrained realistic colour choices are not as emphatic, the original job just seems lurid and crude in comparison. A whole page where Batman is purple? A TV panel looking like a Zap fudge-flavoured ice lolly has melted all over the art? These are just a few of the original colour choices (examples below of the original vs the new version) that I just can't get past after seeing the new version. If you want a gorgeous looking comic, this new edition is one for your shelf.

Of course, Bolland's version is created via Photoshop, a programme so stuffed with features, tools and functions, it can be a nightmare to learn. Once mastered however, it is a godsend. I only have the most basic command of the system, mostly using tips from Tone, and it's been a real boon to me. While never the greatest colourist, I never mastered the hang of paint but can now adequately (if unspectacularly) create decent colouring with this handy dandy tool. I still need WAY more practice but I'm at an OK starting place, and just look at people like Bolland and Hughes (who's richness of colours is dimply amazing!) can achieve...

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