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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 14 July 2007 at 7:13pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

But somehow, you seem to have missed this:

•Do not ask "Why" if your post or thread is deleted. All you need to know is there was a reason.

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David Whiteley
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Posted: 14 July 2007 at 7:14pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Yes, JB. You've proven that I fucked up in my post. I get it. Say it again if you wish.
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Ray Earles
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Posted: 14 July 2007 at 8:13pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Does anyone happen to know the origin of this illustration technique that is causing so much confusion? What is the earliest use of it in comics?
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Ron Farrell
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Posted: 14 July 2007 at 9:28pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Actually, I always thought Luke wore very tightblue jeans with his yellow shirt. He doesn't seem a tights kind of guy.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 6:26am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Does anyone happen to know the origin of this illustration technique that is causing so much confusion? What is the earliest use of it in comics?

•••

If by "illustration technique" you mean blue-for-black, it's as old as comics -- and by "comics" I mean not just the half-tab format that wears the name today, but all the way back to the newspaper comics, our venerable ancestors.

It's a side effect of the four-color (CMYK) process, and the limitations imposed by it. Even if a colorist was skilled enough to coax a wide range of effects out of the limited pallette, the work was still filtered thru the separators, who sometimes followed the guides, sometimes didn't. (You can find Prince Valiant, for instance, sometimes with pale gray highlights on his black hair, sometimes white, sometimes blue, sometimes blue-gray.)

In comic books, which were from the beginning the redheaded stepchild of "real" publishing, even less care was taken, and "shorthand" often became "shortest possible". Thus, Superman has blue highlights, and people say he has blue hair.* Even tho Lois also had blue highlights. (Perhaps people thought that was a rinse?)

Bottom line, some like to say that comicbooks are an art form masquerading as an industry. Alas, when we get to the actual production end, we find the industrial aspects overwhelming everything, and it becomes all about speed and efficiency, not about "art".


*When I was working on Superman, I asked that he be given warm gray highlights, more realistic than blue. This prompted Garry Trudeau, who really should have known better, to have Ronald Reagan, in DOONESBURY, wondering if he should stop dying his hair, since even Superman had "gone gray".

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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Actually, I always thought Luke wore very tightblue jeans with his yellow shirt…

•••

Shiny blue jeans?

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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I remember the very issue and time when Marvel fixed the coloring on Spider-Man after so many years--ASM # 241, with the origin of the Vulture. They finally went back to black with blue highlights. Drives me nuts, today, when I see Spider-Man toys (especially ones for the tykes) when his costume is painted red and soft blue--looks awful.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 9:41am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

What sometimes amazes me is that those who will fight the hardest and loudest for the blue colors on various characters who used to be black are the selfsame fans who demand absolute fidelity to every moment of the "continuity". As is so often the case, "continuity" in this instance means "since I started reading".

I wonder, back in those pre-internet days, when letters saw print only if the editors wanted them to, were there people who complained about Neal Adams occasionally reverting Batman to his original black and gray color scheme?

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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It's funny, but the blue and gray Batman was the first one I "saw" as a kid in the 70s, and it took me a while to get used to the "real" one when I first saw it (briefly) in Dark Knight Returns, and again in Batman Year One. Now that's the one that looks right to me.
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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 9:53am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Side note about letter pages, John--someone wrote to Marvel about ASM # 241 and praised them for restoring the black to the costume. Of course, knowing fandom, that may have just been a case of Marvel editors counting the "hits" and ignoring the "misses."
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

This is an important point which has, for some reason, eluded many fans over the years. There was always an agenda of some kind at work when an editor chose a letter for publication.

Sometimes it was nothing more sinister than picking a letter because it was neatly typed and thus saved the editor some work. (Roger Stern tells the story of pointing out to one of the writer/editors that he was running absolute drivel in his letter columns because he was applying this approach, and it happened that a couple of the more, er, damaged fans happened to be good typists.)

More often, tho, an editor chose a letter because it served some purpose, usually promotional. The old "Glad you asked about Dr. NastyGuy, as he will be appearing in our very next issue!"

What sprang from this, let's call it "innocence" on the part of the fans was a false sense of empowerment. By getting a letter published, they felt they had really "made a difference" -- even if it usually meant they had no idea of the publishing schedules of the books! (There was one guy who used to write to FANTASTIC FOUR almost like clockwork, complaining one month about something he thought I was doing, and then writing the next month to say he was glad to see I had followed his advice and gone in a different direction. He was completely oblivious to the fact that the issue that commanded his second letter had been finished and done months before he wrote his first letter!)

I used to say this false sense of empowerment was something I saw manifest all over the internet, as people took the same feeling from hitting that "ENTER" key as used to be gotten from seeing a letter published. Alas, as time has passed, the sense of empowerment has become less and less false, as more and more editors react directly to the internet. Madness!!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 12:16pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Another note on coloring. Gerry has posted the next issue of FANTASTIC FOUR in the reading thread, and as I glanced at the images I was struck by something that has long bugged me.

In the corner symbol, Sue is partially invisible. The colorist has made the background green, but her legs, what can be seen of them, pale blue. This is because "Sue is always blue!" One of those arbitrary "rules" that find their way into the lexicon.

The effect is to make her look rather more like a floating amputee than a woman who is partially invisible. It's no wonder, then, I suppose, that over the years I have received several letters from fans who did not quite "get" what being "invisible" means. Best typified by the one who suggested that, just as Johnny sometimes used his flame to sculpt dopplegangers of himself, Sue should use her forcefield to make "invisible copies" to fool the bad guys.

During my time on FF I tried all kinds of different ways to make Sue "look invisible", but somehow the coloring always seemed to defeat my efforts.

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Pat Ditton
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Actually, I always thought Luke wore very tightblue jeans with his yellow shirt…

•••

Shiny blue jeans?


********************************

Actually, the pants are NOT black - they're African American.



(sorry - couldn't resist a little politically incorrect humor here)
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 3:46pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Oh, sure -- and I'll get in trouble for it!
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David Ferguson
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Does that make green Irish American?
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Pat Ditton
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Posted: 15 July 2007 at 6:51pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Well...since this thread is actually a little off topic already (until the next figurine pics get posted) --- I've always thought it strange to call "black" Americans "African Americans".  I guess part of it comes from my personal thoughts on not needing to label anyone -- BUT -- If you're "African American" it is supposed to tell us that at some point an ancestor came from "Africa" - the continent -- not the tiny little country called Africa.  SO what are you if you are from Egypt ?  You're still African American.  similarly if you're from India -- you should be considered Asian American.

I'm White -- My lineage is European (Welsh, English, German) -- in fact one of my family tree branches can be traced all the way back to the early fleets.  So am I just "American" ?

Branding of skin color / race is so stupid -- but I guess that is spoken from someone who's never really been discriminated against - except via reverse racism.....




Luke's pants ---- I always figured he didn't really wear a traditional costume - pants, shirt, bracelets, etc. - but not a regular spandex thing.   So his pants were black or blue -- 'cause he had different sets of pants.   I agree that BLACK or a DARK BLUE works better than that bright blue on the figure.



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Michael Hunt
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Posted: 16 July 2007 at 12:27pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I don't like people with dwarf avatars
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 16 July 2007 at 12:30pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Does that make green Irish American?

•••

Only if Irish-Americans are called Greens.
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Gil Dowling
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Posted: 19 July 2007 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

So I've gotten 6 of these recently. They're really neat. Question about painting them though. I read somewhere, maybe this thread, that Eaglemoss uses Games Workshop paint. Anyone know for sure? The Dr. Strange I received is chipped on one of its finger and I thought I may fix it myself. I was looking to get the glove color.
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Brian Hunt
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Posted: 19 July 2007 at 10:04am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Surprisingly, neither of the LCSs that I visit stock these figures.  I'll have to go the mail order route.
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Steve Reaper
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Posted: 19 July 2007 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Gil, you are correct. We have it on good authority that the CITADEL paints from GW will fix any minor blemishes.  I will try later and get the code for Dr Strange yellow for you.

 

TGR

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Gil Dowling
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Posted: 19 July 2007 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Thanks Steve, that would be terrific! Its a bit more than a blemish though. The paint is off down to the metal so I'll probably have to chip off a bit more of the paint until its flush, then prime it, then finally paint it the right color.
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David Barker
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Posted: 19 July 2007 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I just got Invisible Woman and Medusa. I suppose I will have to break down and get the entire FF now. Both are very nice.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 19 July 2007 at 11:01am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Speaking of paint --- added Spider-Man to the collection today, and, of course, at once had to paint the blue black. "Paint" in a figurative sense, since I used the PITT brush pen, which I learned from a similar customization of the Angel gives a nice sheen to the finish.

(On a larger scale -- I ordered a 12 inch Catwoman figure from Entertainment Earth. This is one of those with a "real cloth" costume, and in all the pictures she's shown unzipped about down to her navel. Well, the doll arrives discretely zipped up to the neck, which made for a moment I would definitely not have wanted captured on tape! Not only did I have to unzip the little lady, but there were strips of black cloth folded out behind the zipper, compelling me to dig around inside her tunic folding them back where they belong. If she were 5.5 times the size, perhaps this would have been less creepy, but…)

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Gil Dowling
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Posted: 19 July 2007 at 11:07am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

LOL JB. I know I felt a similar way with one of my daughters toys once. Innocent in context. But out of context?
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