Countdown To The Eisners 2015 – Best Coloring

eisner_imageWhen coloring, it’s always a good idea to use a scheme that appropriately matches the tone of the comic. One does not color Batman in rainbow attire (unless written that way by Morrison), but rather in the traditional black, dark blues, and grays. Color can make or break a comic, and really helps make the illustrations pop. Colorists have the incredibly difficult task of setting mood, catching the eye, and helping bring the page together. It’s not as simple as some people might picture it to be: opening the pages in Photoshop and clicking the paint bucket tool here and there. Today’s category is focusing on the Best Coloring, and I like imagining all the nominees raised hell on their parents’ walls when they were younger with permanent markers and Crayola crayons. You know, for practice.

Keep in mind I cannot vote for who wins (nor can you, probably), as per the rules. Plus voting ended June 1st. However, that’s not keeping me from being vocal regardless!

Who is eligible to vote?
Comic book/graphic novel/webcomic creators (writers, artists, cartoonists, pencillers, inkers, letterers, colorists
All nominees in any category
Comic book/graphic novel publishers and editors
Comics historians and educators
Graphic novel librarians
Owners and managers of comic book specialty retail stores

Who is not eligible to vote?
Comics press or reviewers (unless they are nominees)
Non-creative publisher staff members (PR, marketing, assistants, etc.)
Fans

Before I get back to coloring the IDW Artist Editions so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!

Best Coloring

Laura Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)

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Nelson Daniel, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, Judge Dredd, Wild Blue Yonder (IDW)

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Lovern Kindzierski, The Graveyard Book, vols. 1-2 (Harper)

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Matthew Petz, The Leg (Top Shelf)

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Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)

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Matthew Wilson, Adventures of Superman (DC); The Wicked + The Divine (Image), Daredevil, Thor (Marvel)

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daniel_profileWho I think should win:
Nelson Daniel, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, Judge Dredd, Wild Blue Yonder (IDW)

One of the things that made me enjoy Return to Slumberland so much was the combination of Rodriguez’s art with Daniel’s colors. His coloring made Slumberland just explode with life, and constantly pulled the reader’s eyes every which way to absorb every colorful detail. With Judge Dredd, the appropriate grizzled tone was present, making the action that much more fun and gritty. Daniel’s coloring is as inspiring as it is mesmerizing on every comic he’s apart of.

Who I think will win:
Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)

Whenever Stewart is nominated for this category, the other nominees get nervous—and for good reason. Not only is his workload always tremendous, but he beautifully executes every page while adapting to the illustrator’s style, making it shine ever more. It’s the tone he sets with his colors that keeps things teetering between eerie silence, to spontaneous action. I couldn’t imagine a Mignolaverse title going forward without Stewart’s name on the marquee, could you?

Who I think should have been nominated:
Ryan Hill, Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two (IDW); Stumptown, Terrible Lizard (Oni Press)

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Hill’s coloring really brings that extra vibrant ‘oomph’ to whatever comic he’s working on. Ulises Farinas’ illustrations in Mega-City Two really popped thanks to Hill’s coloring, and Terrible Lizard’s action-packed-yet-all-ages tone was definitely established as well because of it. He’s a machine, and his talented coloring technique is definitely recognizable in what feels like every other comic on the stands.

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is a reviewer and the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, an audio podcast. You can color him impressed on Twitter @CamComicCorner.