Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Color of Sacrifice

It's here at last!

As just published by Image Comics, Age of Bronze Book 2: SACRIFICE shines forth in full color, thanks to the restrained and steady hand of John Dallaire, colorist. Newly colored artwork enhances Helen's arrival at Troy, the accidental battle at Mysia, the regrouping of the Achaean army, the sacrifice of Iphigenia, and more.

You can buy a copy of Sacrifice by clicking here.

Working with John on coloring Age of Bronze is quite an experience. My drawings are extremely detailed and he spends the time to color each bead in a necklace and each stripe on a tunic. John assigns a unique skin tone and a unique hair color to each character. We're both sticklers for consistency, and unless there's a specific story reason for a character's color to change, all these colors need to be carried through hundreds of pages.

As the creator of Age of Bronze, I have final say on John's color work. Pages generally go through several color versions before I okay a final version ready for publication. Part of my task is to catch lapses in John's consistency. Turnabout is fair play, and while John's coloring my work, he catches lapses in my consistency, mistakes I've made in the black-and-white artwork. These usually consist of missing costume details. Occasionally John fills in easy and obvious corrections, but sometimes I need to add elements—such as armbands and straps, things like that—which I originally forgot. Disappearing sandals and wristbands have been particularly annoying. 

Some backgrounds are so complicated or obscured by foreground figures or word balloons that when I look at John's colored version I can tell he had no idea what I'd intended in my artwork. Usually these instances are easy to fix, but sometimes even I have no idea what I originally intended. Fortunately I saved photocopies of my penciled artwork, and I can often look at those to figure out confusing backgrounds. But it's annoying when I realize that I originally drew something in pencil, then mistakenly inked it differently than what I'd intended. Those mistakes are often the cause of confusion in John's coloring. Depending on the specific circumstances of each of these instances, I ask John to revise the color as seems most appropriate.

Of course, most readers won't notice these things. And they shouldn't. Readers should be following the story. All the details and all the color are there to support the story, to bring it to life, to transport the reader to the long-ago world of the Trojan War, to keep the spell of the drama going from first page to last. I hope this new color version of Sacrifice will do that for you.

To whet your appetite, below is a six-page excerpt from Age of Bronze Book 2: SACRIFICE. Click on each page to see it larger.

Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower.
Color copyright © 2020 John Dallaire.
All rights reserved.