Saturday, March 17, 2012

Digital vs Print Comics

There's an article at Comic Book Resources about the quality of "Digital" vs "Print" comics...
The author, Augie de Blieck, claims that print comics are "...like looking at a VHS copy of a movie versus a Blu-Ray...And if this is DC's print publishing program for Vertigo, I think I'll stick to the digital comics, thanks."
As someone who has worked on comic book production from 1981 up to the present, I can tell you, Augie is full of $#!t.
The problem is simple.
Comic books today are colored on computer.
The colors are based on the RGB system, which is "additive color", meaning that when you add all the colors together, you get white!
Add to that the fact that the image is on a screen which is also the light source throwing both the light itself and the image right at your eye!
Coloring for print is based on CMYK system, which is "subtractive color", meaning that when you add all the colors together, you get black!
In addition, the light source is above, behind, or around you.
It hits the page, and both the light and the image are reflected back at your eye!
Augie doesn't realize that files prepared for RedGreenBlue color, as almost all comic files are these days, simply do not print well!
What looks good on screen may not come across well when printed with CyanMagentaYellowBlack inks unless some translating and enhancement is done.
Unfortunately, most of today's colorists are incapable of doing that, having been reared with RGB only, and taught to optimize for the screen, not print!
They can't help it.
They're what I call web-heads, untrained in using printing inks or paper to create imagery, except to send their files to an ink-jet or laser printer.
Add to that the fact that some paper stocks don't take really fine screens well and muddy-up when printed, and you end up with a mess on the printed page!
Using a coarser printing screen would produce better results on lower-quality paper.
Apparently, neither Marvel or DC has in-house staff these days who can successfully translate RGB files to CMYK, or spec the correct lpi screens for various paper stocks!

This was the official DC Comics Style Guide Color Chart in the 1980s...
Click on the Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez art for a really BIG version!
Does that look "muddy" to you?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Indulge in the Airin' of the Green (Hornet, that is) on St Patrick's Day

I won't be watching The Quiet Man this St Pat's Day!
Instead, it's...
...who will have my attention during the...

...featuring Svengoolie!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Space: 1999 Returns to Comics!

One of the announcements at this weekend's WonderCon features...
...the first of a series of new graphic novels and comics from Archaia Entertainment.
We've been presenting the 1970s comics (both American and British) at our "brother" blog, Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™, and will continue to do so in advance of these new adventures.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reading Room: INTERPLANETARY POLICE "Mirror of Doom" Conclusion

Yes, I know we've used this art before, but it's the only time the InterPlanetary Police appeared on the cover!
Tanya, the Space Siren, constructed a giant mirror on the surface of a small planetoid.
With it, she focused the Sun's rays at the frozen planet Simia in order to melt it's icy coating and then mine the previously-unreachable platinum beneath it's surface.
However, without the solar radiation she diverted, Earth is now freezing!
Needless to say, the InterPlanetary Police tracked down the source of the solar energy drain and landed on the tiny planetoid...
It's 59 years later, and we're still looking (she was one hot babe)...
This final high-adventure story from Buster Brown Comic Book #32 (1953) was written by Hobart Donovan, penciled by Reed Crandall, and inked by Ray Wilner.
The book continued for another eleven issues, ending in late 1956.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reading Room: INTERPLANETARY POLICE "Mirror of Doom" Part 1

Let's leave Barsoom for another universe...
...as we present the final tale of the InterPlanetary Police by an artist who's no stranger to sci-fi (including the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs), Reed Crandall!
And, with that, we temporarily break contact with the brave spacemen of the InterPlanetary Police until tomorrow, when we conclude their final battle against the Siren of Space!

This high-adventure story from Buster Brown Comic Book #32 (1953) was written by Hobart Donovan, penciled by Reed Crandall, and inked by Ray Wilner.
As we mentioned, Reed Crandall was no stranger to the many worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
He illustrated several Canaveral Press hardback editions including John Carter of Mars and Tarzan and the Madman, as well as doing art for a couple of books that didn't see print.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Reading Room: STORY OF OTHER WORLDS "Amazon of Barsoom"

The John Carter movie is in theaters now...
...so we're presenting the final never-reprinted Barsoom tale that ran in DC Comics' Tarzan Family in 1976!
This story from Tarzan Family #60 (1975) was written by Robert Kaniger and illustrated by Rudy Zamora.
The Heliumites in this tale are blue-skinned, not red (as in all other Barsoom stories), and the red "demon apes" who carry spears and talk have never appeared in any other Barsoom tale!
As we mentioned earlier, this story and the "Secret Diaries of John Carter" mini-series have never been reprinted since their publication in 1976, even in the recent Dark Horse trade paperback that presented all the other Barsoom-based stories that appeared in DC Comics!
(It's rumored that they were the reason ERB.Inc pulled the license from DC!)
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reading Room: JOHN CARTER "Lights of Doom"

The John Carter movie is in theaters now...
...so we're presenting the never-reprinted "Secret Diaries" mini-series that ran in DC Comics' Tarzan Family in 1976!
This all-new tale from Tarzan Family #64 (1976) was written by Bob Kanigher, penciled by Noly Zamora and inked by Vic Catan.
Unfortunately, the story ends on a cliffhanger as the remaining two issues of Tarzan Family featured a reprint of Carter's first DC Comics appearances in Tarzan #207-208...
DC then cancelled both of their Burroughs-related titles as ERB.Inc announced plans to publish their own line of comic books which, unfortunately didn't work out, as seen HERE.
In 1977, Marvel Comics was granted the license for ERB characters, doing both Tarzan and John Carter as stand-alone titles which ignored any new storylines DC had produced.
When Marvel's Burroughs titles were cancelled in 1979, unused artwork for both of them was adapted (ironically) into other licensed-property titles!
The unused Tarzan story became, with rescripting and additional art, a two-part BattleStar Galactica tale .
John Carter's unpublished tale was modified into a two-part Star Wars story (#53-54) with John Carter becoming Aron Peacebringer, Dejah Thoris relabeled Alisande, and Tars Tarkas losing a couple of arms, turning orange, and renamed Keral Longknife!

As we mentioned earlier, the "Secret Diaries" mini-series has never been reprinted since it's publication in 1976, even in the recent Dark Horse trade paperback that presented all the other John Carter stories that appeared in DC Comics!
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