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Topic: To color the original, or not to color? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Matt Hawes
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 4:18am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Okay, it is certainly a matter of opinion, and, sure.... of right of ownership, but do you think it's a good thing to color black and white original artwork?


The above piece I found while looking at JB's artwork on the Heritage Auctions website. Someone had the original artwork colored. Nice job, huh?

Anyway, I was discussing this elsewhere, and former Marvel inker Josef Rubenstein disagrees with my opinion that this is not a good practice. I suggested that if someone wants the page in color, why not print out the black and white version and have the copy colored, instead? Best of both worlds. He claims that it is okay to color it because the end result was that it would be published in color.


Josef Rubenstein: "...The artwork was always meant to be colored in the finished product. That’s like saying the guy who drew the animation sketch, it should not be touched when it was always intended to be inked over and then added color to for the finished product .

"Do those drawings exist today, yes but they weren’t meant to be left alone and the black and white comic book page was never meant to be left alone but a step in the process to be finished in color. If they hadn’t invented the way to add color on a separate sheet, then they would’ve colored the originals and that would’ve made them finished.

"The black and white comic book page maybe standalone on its own but it was never meant to be viewed in black-and-white ultimately..."


So, is Rubenstein correct? Since the artwork was produced with the knowledge it would eventually be published with color mean that it's perfectly acceptable, even perhaps desirable, to have the original art pages colored?




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Marc Baptiste
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Joined: 17 June 2004
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 4:49am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Matt,

My own personal preference is for NOT coloring original art - I think of it as defacing something vintage with a modern conceit of sorts.

Also, I have to take exception with your "nice job" comment about the above sample art you posted... I couldn't disagree more.  All that orange skin against those yellow backgrounds... ick!!

Marc


Edited by Marc Baptiste on 14 October 2020 at 4:51am
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122052
Posted: 14 October 2020 at 4:54am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

NO!!!
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James Woodcock
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Joined: 21 September 2007
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 4:59am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

As someone who grew up on black and white reprints, I'm
firmly in the no camp here.

If there are methods of colouring reproductions while
keeping the original pure, then those should be used.

Similarly to keeping the pencils pure and inking copies.
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Michael Roberts
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Joined: 20 April 2004
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 5:12am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Also, I have to take exception with your "nice job" comment about the above sample art you posted... I couldn't disagree more.  All that orange skin against those yellow backgrounds... ick!!

——

I read Matt’s comment as sarcasm. 
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Marc Baptiste
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 5:20am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Michael,

OH! My bad.  Thank you for clearing that up for me.  Apologies to Matt.

Marc
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Eric Ladd
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Joined: 16 August 2004
Location: Canada
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 5:20am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Add my resounding “No!” To colouring original line art. 
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 5:38am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The whole point of original art is that it is ORIGINAL art. If it was not part of the original production process, then it’s just defacement of the original. 

If the original pencils of a page exists, would it be OK for anyone to ink over those pencils, because it was always meant to be inked? Of course not. 
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Brian Miller
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Joined: 28 July 2004
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 5:38am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

No
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Rubenstein of course misses a very important point: the art was intended to be PUBLISHED in color, but the original art itself is not published. It is FINISHED as what it is. It is a separate entity from the printed product.
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Matt Hawes
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 6:25am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Marc Baptiste: "...Apologies to Matt..."

Accepted, and no biggie, Yep, I was being sarcastic about the "nice job."

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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 14 October 2020 at 6:45am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

No.

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