Saturday, February 4, 2012

Look Back: Mega Man 02

Hey, it's been awhile! How about another colorist retrospective??

So colors on the first ish of Mega Man were stretched out almost over two months. Typically I get the black-and-white inks (B/W's) for a book at least four weeks before it goes to print. The ideal breakdown of my schedule would be 2 weeks for colors, 1 week for approvals, and 1 week for corrections/separations... But yeah, we've certainly had those crunches where we're pushin' that!

So at the start of Mega Man, Patrick was penciling and digital inking simultaneous to his pencil breakdowns on the "Genesis" storyline starting in Sonic the Hedgehog and all of his numerous covers for Sonic, Mega Man, Sonic Archives, etc that he often pencils, inks, and colors himself! With only about a month of lead time left before the Spring launch of the series, our editor Paul brought the talented Rick Bryant on board to handle the inking work. The new team assembled, we beamed on in!

(Get it? Beamed. Teleported. *snort*)

This opening shot features a couple of Capcom cameos, by the way: The Unknown Soliders from "Forgotten Worlds!" ...And I had no idea. Whoops! Patrick goes the extra mile to slip in Capcom Easter Eggs into the artwork - you might also notice that some of the Robot Master areas are modeled after stages from "Powered Up" or "Power Battle/Fighters." Bomb Man's here was inspired by "Powered Up."

Get ready for action!! These are a few of my favorite pages from this ish, in particular this scene Patrick drew in which Cutman slices open the comic book page! It seems like that sorta' stuff is looked at as too "gimmicky" for modern book story-telling, where everyone and everything is so, so serious. But Mega Man is all about fun - including some hilarious puns Ian wrote for Cut Man!

Working on this first story arc - which is a tremendously faithful adaptation of the original NES game - introduced me to the unique challenge of color design based on 8-Bits. Mega Man teleports here-and-there every few pages so it's very important to communicate to the reader that we've changed locales. Thankfully, Patrick and Rick do much of the heavy lifting there. Mega Man pops off really well against warm colors, so we put the opening sequence into a sunset-y palette. Similar for Guts Man's "stage" - my favorite, in fact - with lots of browns and yellows and a gorgeously clear blue sky. And for Cutman we moved to a dusky, muted green inspired by his NES stage.

Ah, Dr. Wily. You're gonna' get eye strain watching all those computer screens in the dark! So this page pretty much set the standard for Wily's solo scenes. He is almost always plotting behind a computer screen, so we punch up the dramatic lighting and go for a nice sharp contrast to Light Labs', uh, light look. The villains are always more fun to draw, and that goes the same for coloring 'em!

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