Color terrifies me.
Mainly because I can’t control it. In no way does my coloring skill match my skills in penciling/inking, and combining the two via my own effort would undoubtedly lessen the overall impact of my artwork. And since color implies so much about the tone of the work and the characters contained in it, I was REALLY afraid of implying something about Gary and the other beings in his world that was completely unintended. (A corpse worm that looks like it’s wearing clown doesn’t look nearly as scary…right?) So, I’ve basically never considered trying to color my comic work.
Within the past year, my friend Ken, a talented colorist, suggested I try some color in Knights. I patiently reiterated to him my views above and kindly declined the challenge. He kept bringing it up over the next few months, and, met with the same response each time, eventually offered to color some of my existing work. “Just for you to see what’s possible,” he said. I agreed.
I remember times in my past when I’ve tried too hard to control a situation or effort, and can recall my Dad, most likely fed up, looking at me with two clenched fists held up, saying “Go like THIS, Trevor,” at which point he slowly opens his hands. He would throw in a “Let go” sometimes if I was being especially stubborn and/or thick-headed.
After seeing the result of Ken’s coloring efforts, I envisioned my Dad silently doing the hand thing and smiling, knowingly. And now I share with you several examples of Ken’s talented work, knowing you’ll also see why letting go is a good thing:
I am blown away by the depth his colors add to Knights. He’s been following the strip since we met a few years ago, and his understanding of the world and love of the strip shows in the results. (Also, note the nice additions he sneaks in there to one-up me, such as translucent corpse worm tentacles and fiery glows at the base of smoke columns.) I know this is just the beginning of a wonderful collaboration, and am excited to see where things go in the future. I hope you are too.
Ken will be sharing a booth with me at the upcoming Stumptown Comics Fest this April (booth A-18!) where we’ll be unveiling our next collaborative piece – a brand new 8.5″ x 11″ full color Knights print featuring Gary…being Gary. I just finished the inks last week and handed it off to him to start his coloring magic. We’re both really excited to share the end result with you, which will be for sale (for the first time ever) at the Stumptown convention. And since he’ll be at the booth right next to me (displaying his collaborative work with a longtime friend of his) this will be one of the few times you can get us both to sign the print. Pretty sweet, eh?
Keep looking here for further updates on the print (mayhaps a preview) and the near-future addition of a Knights store (yay, commerce!) where you’ll be able to buy various Knights-related merchandise, including this new print as well as the three prints seen above.
(And Ken, if you’re reading this, I’m hoping it guilts you into coloring faster. I can’t wait to see it!)
See you all in April!