Coloring Between the Lines: Brittany Peer

Hello Revuers, and welcome to another edittion of Coloring Between The Lines. The segment where we feature a Color Artist who is making an impact on the industry today. This time we welcome the fantastic Brittany Peer! We are honored that se took the time to answer some questions for us! Let’s get right to it.

 

  • Hello Brittany, Thanks for agreeing to this interview!

 

Hey no problem, thank you for reaching out!

 

  • How long have you been a colorist?

Officially, I’ve been coloring since early 2015 when I briefly responded to an add looking for a fill-in on a webcomic. However my first published project was Casey&April from IDW also in 2015, but later during the summer. It’s been my main source of income since!

 

  • Was it what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a lot of things as a kid, but never considered comics as a possible career. Especially on the color side of things. When I did think about comics, it was usually as a writer or editor. When I found out I had a knack for coloring comics, I was ecstatic and I haven’t looked back since!

 

  • What’s the first comic book series you really got into?

Oof that’s a hard one. I’m from the generation of girls who grew up watching Sailor Moon and DBZ and spent hours Barnes&Nobles in the manga section because hey these comics looked like the shows I really enjoyed! My first all consuming comic was Tokyo Mew Mew, but at the same time I was getting Blacksad from my sister’s college library. Honestly it’s a toss up between the two.

 

  • Do you prefer superhero comics or other genres?

I don’t really have a preference. Different genres have their own unique advantages and pit falls. At the moment I’m following more superheroes but I’m looking forward to diving into the stack of non-cape comics I have waiting for me.

 

  • Who is your favorite superhero?

Oh gosh. Another tough one! My faves change depending on what’s caught my interest at any given moment. Right now I’m really enjoying reading about Midnighter! Honorable mentions (because I ALWAYS come back to them) include Power Girl, Starfire, Jason Todd, and Dick Grayson.

 

  • Who is your favorite non superhero character?

Leonardo or Michelangelo from TMNT hands down.

 

  • What’s your favorite series that’s not a superhero series?

IDW’s run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is quite literally all I talk about when it comes to favorites. Seriously I was known as that TMNT girl at C2E2 my first year going because it’s all I talked about with anyone who would listen. I’m not THAT enthusiastic now, I’ve learned to chill out, but it’s still my long running favorite.

 

  • What is your process like for coloring?

I usually read the script while looking through the inks when waiting for flats to come back from my flatter to start off. When they come in I’ll make a mask of the lineart for easy colorholds and separate the colors into panels, then planes on separate layers. After that I figure out what the atmosphere for this scene should be depending on the project, location, time of day, and feeling that needs to be conveyed and set that up. On projects with a distinct feeling and style ,like TMNT Universe: Karai’s Path, I’ll discuss with artist what they were thinking for a certain scene or action and go off of their sugestions, working with them to make sure everything is cohesive and fun. Then it’s rendering time with either youtube or spotify in the background. Or netflix if there’s anything new out.

 

  • How do you choose a color palette?

Lots of experimenting to figure out what works and conveys the tone of the scene properly.

 

  • What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

I really enjoyed TMNT Universe with Sophie Campbell and Erikburnham. Dream team! Sophie and I have been friends for a few years now so it was awesome to finally get to work together and the project was just so fun it ended up being possibly the best experience I’ve had!

 

  • Who are some of your favorite colorists in the industry today?

That list is long and I will definitely forget people because I am awful with names. Tamra Bonvillain, Elizabeth Breitweiser and Matt Wilson are at the top of the list though.

 

  • Is there anyone you draw inspiration from?

Tamra constantly. She was my mentor for a long while and still offers to help me out when things are rough. She’s a great person on top of being an amazing colorist.

 

  • I’ve personally really enjoyed your work on Slam!, from Boom! Box comics, Color plays an important role in that book. How did you build the aesthetic for that book?

I knew going in I wanted to do more rendering than I had with Jonesy and previous projects, closer to what I enjoy doing in my personal work, so right away I had to decide what style would work with Veronica’s lines. Her lines are so fluid with really nice bold blacks which lent itself to some really fun color popping pallets! And at the time I was super into colors that brought a sense of LA, Miami, any kind of Bay area to the viewer with pinks, cyans, turquoise, and purples. My memories of attending Roller Derby bouts in Savannah, nights on the pier at Pensacola Beach and, even earlier,  Long Beach really informed my decisions. It was kind of a nostalgia trip combined with my love of candy color pallets.

 

  • In Jonesy, also from Boom! Box comics, you took over color art duties in issue #6. how did you balance bringing your own style to the title while keeping the world consistent?

Honestly Sam Humphries and Caitlen Rose Boyle were a huge help here! Caitlin and I were in contact regularly in the beginning, making sure colors and style remained consistant. It was an adjustment for sure as I was far more used to “realistic” pallets and Jonesy was ALL about atmosphere and emotion! They really made me feel welcome and open to working together and because of that I adjusted quickly. Jonesy is definitly one of the more influential projects I’ve worked on and I’ve grown so much from it!

 

  • You have a very distinctive visual style, how did you cultivate that aesthetic?

A lot of experimenting. I’ve always been really into bold colors and heavy atmospheric rendering in order to evoke a certain feeling in a piece and working in comics has challenged me to further my own style and understanding of color theory. I’m still experimenting and growing!

 

  • Next I’m going to ask you a series of Either Or questions. Ready? Ok, go!

Hit it!

  • Star Wars or Star Trek

I honestly don’t have a preference. I know I’m terrible but I’ve never really been a fan of either?

 

  • Coffee or Tea

Tea, although I won’t turn down a Caramel Macchiato.

 

  • Batman or Superman

Batman all the way if just for the Bat-family.

 

  • Wolverine of spider-man?

Spider-man, but only because I’ve been reading Spider-man/Deadpool series recently it’s pretty fun.

 

  • Noir or Horror comics?

Noir. I’m a huge weenie when it comes to horror.

 

  • Burritos or coneys?

Burritos

 

  • Where’s your favorite place to pick up a burrito or a coney when you’re at cons?

 

I actually bring snacks to conventions! I would avoid either of those options though. I prefer sandwiches or other lighter meals while traveling.

 

  • What’s your favorite convention?

Heroescon is my favorite to table at! C2E2 is my favorite to attend though. Lots of fun things to do and people to see when I’m not tied to a booth.

 

  • What would be your dream collaboration?

Oh geeze. I have no idea to be honest haha. I just wrapped up TMNT Universe: Karai’s Path with Sophie Campbell and I think that was career goal of mine.

 

  • If you weren’t a comic book artist what would be your career?

I’d probably be going after a position as editor with a company. Or have gone to school to be a music teacher/vocal coach.

 

  • Who are some of your favorite artists to work with?

I loved working with Caitlin Rose Boyle and Sophie Campbell! Naomi Franquiz on Misfit City is also really fun to work with.

 

  • Who are some of your favorite writers to work with?

Again have to mention Sam Humphries. He was so welcoming and supportive while I was on Jonesy! Erik Burnham on TMNT is also a fun and enthusiastic guy to work with.

 

  • Who’s your favorite character to color?

Bludgeon from IDW’s TMNT has got to be the most fun to color. He’s so sleek and his proportions are so fun to work with! Jonesy was also really fun. Her expressions and style were so repelatable and different from anything I’ve worked on, it really pushed me in a good way.

 

  • What would be a dream series for you to work on?

Probably a Teen Titans series or Bestboy solo.

 

  • As the comic book industry moves more digital do you feel like there’s been a shift in the industry to recognize the importance of Color Artists?

In the last few years there’s definitely been a push to recognize Colorists in the community. At the moment it still feels like shouting into a void, but I’ve had to pleasant experience of working with editors, writers, and artists who have made an effort to include and credit myself and others for the roles we play.

 

  • Do you have anything coming out soon that we should keep an eye out for?

Misfit Infinite issue 4 is coming out in September and be sure to keep an eye out for issue 14 of TMNT Universe! The teams really put their all in to these projects and I’m excited for everyone to see them.

 

  • Thank you for your time Brittany, I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Looking forward to your great work in the future.

 

Thank you!

 

If you are interested in seeing more of Brittany’s work you can check out her website here

You can also connect with Brittany on her Twitter

 

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Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson

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Welcome to October here at Deja.Revue. If you have not noticed already, I tend to be a fan of the creepy, the weird, and the left-field in comics. So I though October would be a perfect time to indulge those predilections even more than I already have. Horror, as a genre in comics, has always been just off to the side. Less flashy than superheroes, and something of a mutant child of crime comics, the genre has a breadth and depth which is, in my opinion, almost unmatched. I do not hope to cover the whole diverse range of the genre in the coming month, but I do hope to give you a survey of some of my favorite works on page and screen. If you would like to read further, Paste has an excellent list of horror comics you should read. For further reading on the history of horror comics, check out Mike Howlett’s essay in the back of this excellent horror anthology that I will not have the time or space to write about this month. If all goes according to plan, I will have a column each Monday for you, culminating, fittingly, with Halloween at the end of the month. Don’t forget to turn off the lights.

It is important that you know that this book is all about neighborhood pets roaming the neighborhood and running into paranormal phenomenon and, eventually, become guardians of the neighborhood from such phenomenon. It is important that I get this out up front because despite a premise that in lesser hands could easily result in nothing more than inconsequential cartoonishness, Beats of Burden is a dark, moving, and melancholic comic. Danger is real. People Animals die. Burden Hill, where the action is set, is not normal or safe, and our intrepid heroes become all too familiar with the darkness creeping in from the outside.

Evan Dorkin centers the book around a group of canine (and one feline) friends whose bonds of loyalty are tested and strengthened as the events in Burden Hill become weirder, more frequent, and more dangerous. Most of the stories in the book are shorter than the average comic. As a result, Dorkin uses some narrative shorthand to make the characters recognizable and memorable. Their personalities are archetypal and fixed. They grow into their heroism by pushing their best qualities to the fore, and by sticking together. This is not really a criticism of the book, as the characters are endearing and the narrative is mythic, employing moments of graphic realism sparsely, and to great effect.

Jill Thompson’s art is a great compliment to the story partly because of how well it switches modes between the quotidian, the gruesome, and the fantastic. Once again I must display my slavish devotion to the use of watercolors, for it is their diverse range of light and texture that allows Thompson to seamlessly enter these different modes – moving from sunlit suburban streets, to foggy graveyards, to murky woods. Most comics are the result of a partnership between writer and artist, but oftentimes the latter serves a subordinate role. Not so here. It is Thompson who renders so delightfully the world of Burden Hill, filled with beasts both noble and ignoble. She gives vital shape and form to Dorkin’s mythic heroes (who just so happen to resemble the menagerie at the local pet shop).

Humor is an essential counterpart to horror. Beasts of Burden can be quite funny, offsetting the pressing darkness and lending the book a sense of adventure amidst the looming peril. It leans toward the lighter side of horror, but this only makes the moments of violence and gloom more effective. Beasts of Burden is a classic yarn, a tale of good against evil, which is not meant to send you to bed hiding under the covers, but to send you out into the world with the hope that good can still be done, and the the unrelenting darkness can be beaten back.

 

-Ian

Covers of the Week: Aug. 17

Hello Revuers! This weeks race for covers of the week was a close one. In a week that saw a ton of releases it was hard to narrow it down to just two. Yours truly put in the work and whittled it down for you. Without further delay here are my picks for Regular cover of the week and Variant cover of the week.

 

My favorite Regular cover of the week is for Horizon #2 by Josh Howard

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You mat recognize his style from the fantastic covers he did for the “Trees” series last year. I love his highly graphic style. His almost abstract way that he pulls shapes out of his covers is truly unique and striking. The series it’s self is written by Brandon Thomas with interior art by Juan Gedeon. The series is a surprise twist on a played out trope that makes it fun and intriguing. I would recommend picking this title up if it’s not already on your pull list.

 

My pick for Variant cover of the week is The Wicked and Divine #22 Cover B by Olly Moss

WicDiv-22_cvrB

This cover continues in the tradition of the Bust series of cover by Jamie Mckelvie that was the calling card of the first story arc of this series. Olly takes the “bust” idea and runs with it, creating a cover that is an actual bust that has the appearance of something that would be in an art museum. Not only is this my favorite cover of the week, but it probably is my favorite cover of the month. As for the series, The Wicked and the Divine is my favorite series of the year. They are currently on issue 22, and I would recommend that you start with the first Trade. It is a sort of confusing series if you don’t know what happened at the beginning.

 

Was your favorite cover on the list? If not tell me what your favorite of the week was in the comment section below!

 

 

-Andrew

Coloring Between the Lines: Michael Garland

It’s my opinion that great color work goes unappreciated in the comic community. Often times Color Artists names are left off the covers of trades (such as Rico Renzi being left off of the cover of the Spider-gwen trade), while art can be great on it’s own, color adds such a depth and pleasing aesthetic if done correctly. It was out of my passion for color that I decided to feature a color artist every now and again on my blog so that hopefully I could give others the same appreciation for the art form as I have. A few months ago I attended Cincinnati Comic Con. While there I had the please of meeting Colorist extraordinaire Michael Garland. You’ve seen his fantastic work in The Dying and the Dead,  Secret, The Fiction, Big trouble in Little China, Cluster, and most recently The Violent. I was familiar with his work on The Fiction (a great indie book with a clever story and fantastic art all around). Graciously Michael agreed to have an interview with me about his process, his favorite superheros, and his inspirations.

Hey Michael, Thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Sure thing! Thanks for asking.

 

So How long have you been a colorist?


2010 was my first professional gig – a friend brought me on to do colors for the web comic tie in to AMC’s (thankfully forgotten) remake of The Prisoner, which he was editing.

I’ve been coloring on a consistent basis since 2012, when I started doing Secret at Image and working for Boom! Studios.

 

Was it what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

No. I mean… maybe there’s somebody out there who said “I want to color comic books!” as a kid, but he/she was probably a weirdo. I didn’t really know what coloring was until college, which was when I got back into comics in a major way.

I’ve always drawn, though. When I was a kid, I was notorious for always carrying a sketchbook around with me. But I was actually a Writing major in college. I decided I wanted to write comics — and realizing how impossible finding an artist is — I started drawing my stories. I was also getting into both traditional and digital painting at the time, so I figured I should learn to color them as well. Eventually, somebody paid me to do that part. And, miraculously, they still are.

 

What’s the first comic book series you really got into?

Originally it was Cone Saga era Spider-Man. I will forever ❤ Ben Reilly.

When I eventually acquired taste, it was probably Ultimate Marvel. I had read a number of “grown up” books in high school – DKR, V for Vendetta, Whedon’s X-Men – but I was handed a huge chunk of the Ultimate U in college and that was when I got sucked into the drama of the superhero soap opera and, by association, comics fandom.

 

Do you prefer superhero comics or other genres?

I’m an equal opportunity reader. But recently my pull list has shrunk mostly to Image titles. Which I think is due both to the quality of Image — many of my favorite creators have defected there in recent years — and my exhaustion with the perpetual second act storytelling of the Marvel/DC Universes.

I will always love Marvel and DC, and there are a ton of great books they’re putting out. But If you read them long enough, I think the fact that nothing ever really changes wears you down. And you can either diversify or become one of those people who complains that John Byrne was the last guy to get those characters “right.” Which I guess would make you John Byrne.

 

Whose your favorite superhero?

It’s a toss up between Batman and Spider-Man. Depends on what day you catch me on. On this day, I’ll give the nod to Spidey.

 

What’s your favorite series that’s not a superhero series?

Of all time? Planetary and Casanova. Though those are both arguably super hero books.

 

Whats your process like for coloring?


A poor one, probably. I love what I do before I start and after I finish, but there’s a whole middle part where I hate everything I’m putting down until it finally feels “right.” But I think that’s true of most artists. When people say “your job must be so fun!” I shake my head. But at the same time, it’s comics. And comics are awesome.

To be less existential and more technical, the first thing I do is sit down with the pages and the script. I go through that to get a sense of the tone of each scene, as well as specific beats within it. Stories are about emotional crescendos – be it an action sequence or a conversation – and that impacts the storytelling choices I’ll make with color. Through that I’ll usually get a general idea of what kind of palette I want to bring to each scene.

Once I figure that out, I’ll lay in in basic flat colors on all of the pages. (Either myself, or I’ll pay somebody – called a flatter – to do this for me to save time.) Then I tweak those colors until I’m happy with them. This where I’m really building the palette. If I have time, I might paint a quick color rough on a separate layer that I can refer back to while I’m coloring. From there, I render everything out, depending on what is required. I’ll usually save lighting effects or textures for the end, if the page requires it. And I’ll often go back and tweak various elements to make sure the color is properly balanced.

 

How do you choose a color palette?


Like I was saying above, a lot of it is reading the feel of a scene and applying color theory. I start with the setting and local color, which is to say, the color things are. A red firetruck is red for instance. Or if it’s night, you usually want a bluish over tone because that’s how light works in nature. Those things are locked in to an extent, but they can be interpreted very differently. Mainly, you’re building off the scene as written. An action sequence or an argument works best with hot colors, like reds and yellows. A moment of loneliness or desolation works best with blue or desaturated colors. And then you sort of play those off each other. Warm vs cool color, saturated vs desaturated color, and using various established color schemes can all bring contrast, focus and a sense of emotion in different ways, both within a scene and between them. And the job of a colorist really does boil down to those three things I think: contrast, focus and emotion.

The Dying and the Dead is an exception, as those palettes we worked out ahead of time. But the thought process is similar. I’m just using a rigid set of colors.

If you’re interested, I recommend picking up COLOR AND LIGHT by James Gurney for an excellent overview of color technique.

 

What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

Secret and The Dying and the Dead – the books I’ve done with Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim. Those books have been some of my closest, and therefore most fulfilling, collaborations.

 

Do you have anything coming out soon that we should keep an eye out for?

THE VIOLENT is a new crime series I’m doing at Image with Ed Brisson and Adam Gorham. The first issue is just came out (call your retailer!) and I think we’re all leveling up with this one. I’m really excited for it.

 

Who are some of your favorite colorists in the industry today?

Dean White, Bettie Breitweiser and Matt Wilson are probably my holy trinity. But there are so many great ones out there. We live in a golden age of comic coloring. Which is not intimidating at all. He said sarcastically.

 

Is there anyone you draw inspiration from?

All of the above people for sure. Not counting other colorists, iconic illustrators like Maxfield Parrish, NC Wyeth and a bunch of others. Paperback illustrators, Robert McGuinness being chief among them. Lots of directors/DPs/all the other people who help construct a shot in a movie. Observation is a big one too, just paying attention to how light and color happen out in the real world and filing it away for future use.

 

I’ve personally really enjoyed your work on The Fiction. How did you pick out the palette for that book?

The Fiction was an interesting (and very fun) exercise. The world being primarily set in unreality gave me permission to kind of go bananas. Again, the thought process is no different – I’m trying to accomplish the same things as any other book. But I tried to push it in hyper bold and saturated directions.

 

Thank you for your time Michael, I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Looking forward to your great work in the future.

 

If you are interested in checking out some of Michaels work you can hit up his website:

http://michaelcgarland.com/

Or check out his online portfolio:

http://www.coroflot.com/michaelgarland

If you are interested in picking up some of his previous work buy it on comiXology:

https://www.comixology.com/Michael-Garland/comics-creator/6882?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC9jcmVhdG9yU2xpZGV

Also, don’t forget to ask your local retailer about The Violent!