Marvel Two-in-One 69|
Artist: Ron Wilson
Inker: Gene Day
Colorist: George Roussos
The final page of a wonderful issue that introduced Vance Astrovik to his superpowers. Vance would go on to be a supporting character in The Thing, a feature character in The New Warriors, and finally an Avenger.
For your edification, presented here are the original art (top), the original colorist's art (middle), and the page as it appeared in the comic (bottom). I found the original art on EBay in December of 2002, and went after it since I wanted both the original and colorist art of some MTIO page, and I knew I'd seen colorists pages from that issue at Fanfare Sports & Entertainment. It also didn't hurt that this issue was a personal favorite, and that it had that very nice drawing of Drydock (the spaceship in the bottom left).
The scan of the original is that provided by the people who sold me the issue- the real piece is not nearly that dark (at some point I'll try to unframe it and scan it myself). The colorist's work, on the other hand, really is that bright! The final published page might look a little odd as some of the color from the printing on the back of it (an ad) has seeped through in the scan. I tried to edit some of it out, but unfortunately you can still tell...
The really odd thing about the three pages- if you look at the bottom of the colorist's page, you'll see credits for the issue there. These appear on neither the original nor the final printed page. There is a little surface tearing on the bottom of the original, which may be where they were pasted on before later being removed. Credits in that issue ultimately appeared on the first page.
For those who, like me, knew nothing about colorists art- the original inked art is 11" by 14", but the colorist art is much smaller- generally a standard 8.5" by 11" page. A copy of the original is made, and thats what the coloring is done on.
Tom Smith (here's a link to a sample of his work) was kind enough to answer some questions about the coloring process (anything in quotes is a direct quote from him). In the old days (as on this piece), the page would be colored, and the colors identified on the page in code by the colorists. "For example YRB3 mean 100% yellow /100% red /30% blue when all put together make a reddish brown color. Y2R2 was the normal Caucasian skin tone of 20% yellow & 20% red with B2 /20% blue added it gave you a slight darker flesh tone to model with." It was not 100% reliable- as Tom noted, "Back in the day I found that the seperators stopped following the codes and just guessed at the colors used and sometimes just made up their own. So I stopped coding my pages and lived with what they gave me no matter how messed up it turn out." With the advent of computers, the process has changed: "Now I do the colors & separations myself and I have total control over the final color on any given page. I just send in a jpg proof to my editors and when it's Ok'ed I email in a computer file ."
As an aside, I wondered about the relation of those three colors to the term "four-color comics". Tom's answer: "CMYK.. Cyan "Blue" , Magenta "Red", Yellow, & K tones "Gray". The Black line art was printed on top of these to finish the page."
Didn't expect a lesson in comics art, did you?