Comic Art Techniques - Original Art and Artifacts

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magnusr
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Comic Art Techniques - Original Art and Artifacts

Post by magnusr »

On the old board there was often questions about all the techniques Valiant used. Maybe we can manage to get a list of them all. From the top of my head I can start off with:
Normal ink pages - nothing special except the lack of lettering. Sometimes empty speech bubbles were drawn, often they were glued on (still empty). There are also pages with words. Sometimes the art has skipped details that the color art will provide. Sometimes art is missing that production would paste in (like the same panel existing twice). Sometimes replacement panels are pasted on top of panels not approved. In early comics often reduced panels are pasted on top of the art to make room for text. Sometimes part of an image is drawn separately and pasted in.
Pages with blue ink - in the early Nintendo days backgrounds often were not meant to be reprouced, mainly the color showed.
Painted covers - mainly painted on inks by the same artist.
Painted interiour pages - mainly by Ernie Colon on Magnus. Panels inked and colored on individual pieces (often with colored paper) and then glued together to make a page.
Color originals - comics printed directly from the color art, not set based on color guides. This is the most common Valiant coloring and unfortunately rare outside the Valiant world. Janet Jackson played a major role in developing the process and has used it elsewhere as well. Her auction descriptions give the best explanation available. Basically it's xeroxes of the ink art (after production work), mounted on hard boards and then hand painted using for instance water colors or airbrush. Usually comes with transparent overlays with the texts. Sometimes several color originals can exist for one ink original, when an image was published several times.
Color guides - for a short period the color originals were used as color guides for computer colorists.
Production work - copies of art that has been prepared to suit the Valiant process. Like for the Gold Key reprints where copies of the old art was made without the texts, or when photos had similar are copied on on top of the art.
Color separations - not art, but rare, kind of negatives of the different color layers produced from the original. Also demonstrates the Valiant technique of having an extra black layer taken from a seperate overlay with the texts. This allowed easier translation and also made it easier to color the space where the text went.
3M copies - high quality test prints. Rare.
Other copies - normal copies of the final page.
The Classics Illustrated reprints also used interesting techniques along the lines of "whatever gets the job done", such as tracing on transparent paper or using white-out and fill-in ink on xeroxes of the old comics.

/Magnus

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Post by qrnd »

I have actually seen some Valiant art pages that are not prelims still in pencil, that were xeroxed, then inked. I dont think it was a common practice, but they do exist. I think it was just the artists preference not to get rid of their originals.

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Post by sonicdan »

I'm glad to see a new category for Valiant art.
One of my favorite subjects and my most expensive hobby! :)
Magnus, nice job with the technique descriptions.
I'll be posting some stuff here for sure. Later!
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Post by Ryan »

hey Magnus, when they xeroxed the inked pages for coloring, did they shrink the artwork as well? If so, do you know what size? I would love to know any other tidbits about their coloring process you (or anyone) might know. Thanks

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Post by magnusr »

Ryan wrote:hey Magnus, when they xeroxed the inked pages for coloring, did they shrink the artwork as well? If so, do you know what size? I would love to know any other tidbits about their coloring process you (or anyone) might know. Thanks
The color pages are typically close to the final printed size. So yes, they were shrunk. Some different sizes do exist, so sometimes the final size was slightly adjusted for printing.

/Magnus

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Post by x-omatic »

Ryan wrote:hey Magnus, when they xeroxed the inked pages for coloring, did they shrink the artwork as well? If so, do you know what size? I would love to know any other tidbits about their coloring process you (or anyone) might know. Thanks
They would copy the B&W artowkr at close to comic size on water color paper. It was then mounted on a heavier board. They were usually painted with Doc Martins Water colors as they have the best lightfastness. That is why most still are very vivid.
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Post by MADMAN »

after the pages were colored they were sent out to be scanned...unfortunately between some bad scanning and bad printing most of the books came out dark, muddy or sometimes the colors were way off. Only if you have seen some original pages can you appreciate what the colorists were doing....Basically what finally printed was the colorists pages...

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Post by slym2none »

Okay... don't do that to me - I saw the title to this thread, and thought "Oh no, there's more than ONE of him?"

:D



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Post by Technique »

slym2none wrote:Okay... don't do that to me - I saw the title to this thread, and thought "Oh no, there's more than ONE of him?"

:D

-slym (sorry, 'Tech... had ta do it)
I thought the same thing :wink:

Fortunately, I think DJ is the only one of us that there are multiples of :thumb:

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Post by slym2none »

Technique wrote:
slym2none wrote:Okay... don't do that to me - I saw the title to this thread, and thought "Oh no, there's more than ONE of him?"

:D

-slym (sorry, 'Tech... had ta do it)
I thought the same thing :wink:

Fortunately, I think DJ is the only one of us that there are multiples of :thumb:
Fortunately??? :?

:o :D :lol:



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Post by jedimarley »

MADMAN wrote: Only if you have seen some original pages can you appreciate what the colorists were doing.......
I picked up some of Mike Cavallaro's stuff at the NY Con... Amazing!

To me, the colorists don't get enough credit. :thumb:

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Post by magnusr »

jedimarley wrote:To me, the colorists don't get enough credit. :thumb:
Amen, brother! :thumb:

And thanks for bringing this back to topic.

It's scary how little respect these artists get. Maybe the Valiant coloring technique makes it easier for us to appreciate the beauty of the color art and the important contribution to the final product. Not too long ago any comic art went unappreciated. The story goes that Hal Foster pages once were used to protect the floor a rainy day. Then as the pencillers got recognision, the inkers were still neglected. And just now the colorists are finally starting to get their due credit. And just barely. I agree, they still don't get enough credit.

/Magnus

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Post by jedimarley »

magnusr wrote:Maybe the Valiant coloring technique makes it easier for us to appreciate the beauty of the color art and the important contribution to the final product.
That is what caught my eye when I first started reading/collecting Valiant.

The time and effort put into each panel of each page.

Amazing.

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Post by Daniel Jackson »

jedimarley wrote:
magnusr wrote:Maybe the Valiant coloring technique makes it easier for us to appreciate the beauty of the color art and the important contribution to the final product.
That is what caught my eye when I first started reading/collecting Valiant.

The time and effort put into each panel of each page.

Amazing.
Same here.

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Post by Ryan »

Thanks for all the great info guys.

X-omatic - do you know how they printed the black and white art onto watercolor paper? Did they just load it into a copier or some other way?

to me the coloring in the early Valiant books is the best I've seen in comics, much better than most of the photoshop coloring. I imagine now there's a way to get a similar watercolor effect using Corel Painter, has anyone tried that?

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Post by jedimarley »

Ryan wrote: I imagine now there's a way to get a similar watercolor effect using Corel Painter, has anyone tried that?
I've seen some covers done using Corel....Not quite there yet.

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RE: Line art onto watercolor paper

Post by VanHook »

That technique was developed (to my knowledge) by Janet Jackson.

When I arrived in late March of '92, we transferred the artwork using a Mita copier.

The next year, we found a copier called, "The Graphic Zoomer"

The key with these machines was the way they transferred toner. It didn't screw with the Dr.Martin's Watercolor dyes that were used to paint with and it didn't come off with frisket when airbrushing.

The other side of the equation was the type of paper we used. I tested a large variety of paper stocks and in the latter half of '92, switched us over to a single ply bristol board. Janet tested several of these stocks herself--the big test being the Gatefold cover for H.A.R.D. Corps #1 by Jim Lee. We simply didn't have any paper big enough to do the piece properly. We HAD to find something that would work and she did a beautiful job with that.

Best,
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Ryan wrote:Thanks for all the great info guys.

X-omatic - do you know how they printed the black and white art onto watercolor paper? Did they just load it into a copier or some other way?

to me the coloring in the early Valiant books is the best I've seen in comics, much better than most of the photoshop coloring. I imagine now there's a way to get a similar watercolor effect using Corel Painter, has anyone tried that?
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Post by mrwoogieman »

How did this one get in the Hall of Fame?

:hm:
:hm:

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Post by greg »

mrwoogieman wrote:How did this one get in the Hall of Fame?

:hm:
I put it here, of course. :D

A nice summary of the Valiant art process... shouldn't be lost among the weeds. :wink:

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Post by leonmallett »

greg wrote:
mrwoogieman wrote:How did this one get in the Hall of Fame?

:hm:
I put it here, of course. :D

A nice summary of the VALIANT art process... shouldn't be lost among the weeds. :wink:
Oh, the power.

By the way Greg, is it true that absolute power corrupts absolutely? :wink:
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Post by Daniel Jackson »

leonmallett wrote:
greg wrote:
mrwoogieman wrote:How did this one get in the Hall of Fame?

:hm:
I put it here, of course. :D

A nice summary of the VALIANT art process... shouldn't be lost among the weeds. :wink:
Oh, the power.

By the way Greg, is it true that absolute power corrupts absolutely? :wink:
You'll have to ask Evil Greg on that one...

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Post by greg »

leonmallett wrote:
greg wrote:
mrwoogieman wrote:How did this one get in the Hall of Fame?

:hm:
I put it here, of course. :D

A nice summary of the VALIANT art process... shouldn't be lost among the weeds. :wink:
Oh, the power.

By the way Greg, is it true that absolute power corrupts absolutely? :wink:
I'm sure it is... it's a good thing I have just a little power.
Hopefully, I'm just a little corrupted. :hm:

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Post by leonmallett »

greg wrote:
leonmallett wrote:
greg wrote:
mrwoogieman wrote:How did this one get in the Hall of Fame?

:hm:
I put it here, of course. :D

A nice summary of the VALIANT art process... shouldn't be lost among the weeds. :wink:
Oh, the power.

By the way Greg, is it true that absolute power corrupts absolutely? :wink:
I'm sure it is... it's a good thing I have just a little power.
Hopefully, I'm just a little corrupted. :hm:
:D
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Post by StarBrand »

greg wrote:
mrwoogieman wrote:How did this one get in the Hall of Fame?

:hm:
I put it here, of course. :D

A nice summary of the Valiant art process... shouldn't be lost among the weeds. :wink:
I'm glad this thread didn't get lost among the weeds! Solid, stuff, very solid.

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Post by hotwings1979 »

Ryan wrote:Thanks for all the great info guys.

X-omatic - do you know how they printed the black and white art onto watercolor paper? Did they just load it into a copier or some other way?

to me the coloring in the early Valiant books is the best I've seen in comics, much better than most of the photoshop coloring. I imagine now there's a way to get a similar watercolor effect using Corel Painter, has anyone tried that?
I'm really finding myself a fan of the colors, just as much as the inks. The colors can be very different from the final product and they're always a nice conversation piece.


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