Cheap and Cheerful

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Phoenix
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by Phoenix »

Phoenix wrote:I'm going to a massive antiques fair at the Reebok next Sunday.
In case any other member is planning to go to this fair, I had better correct myself and point out that, although these Dualco fairs normally take place on Sundays, this one is actually on Bank Holiday Monday.

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Marionette
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by Marionette »

philcom55 wrote:...What's more, some glossy reprint volumes of American Silver Age titles can actually work out more expensive than a complete run of the original comics!
But on the plus side, the cheap and cheerful Essentials/Showcase collections give on average 500 pages for a tenner, so for fans of the Silver Age who actually prefer the art uncluttered by the poor quality colour of the time, like me, they are quite incredible value. They actually work out at something like 35p per issue.
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philcom55
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by philcom55 »

Agreed. I particularly like the Showcase collections and have no problem buying those when I own all the comics they reprint. If they could only include full colour cover reproductions (like the slipcased EC volumes) they'd be absolutely perfect imho.

- Phil R.

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stevezodiac
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by stevezodiac »

Been reading a Superman Family Showcase volume and Kurt Schaffenberger's Lois Lane art is beautiful in black and white - such clean, fluid lines.

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I see that some of you appear less than impressed by the old-style 'ben day dots' colouring process which was prevelant in much of the 20th Century: I reckon this still has great period charm, and is part of the overall ambience of retro-comics. This process is very basic when revisited today, however.

However I do agree that modern digtal colouring is often a much more intruiging prospect, and I'm never failed to be astonished at some of the effects achieved by moden colouring/manipulation---it's often a much more 'cinematic' effect, with radiant glows and pulsating beams, amongst other delights.

I'm working on how to suss out how some of the more advanced FX are done to incorporate into my own drawings: it's a combination of science and mathematics, applied to commercial art!

However, bad examples [there are many] of digi-color is even more off-putting than whatever limitations the old ben-day dot-colouring had.

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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by Lew Stringer »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I see that some of you appear less than impressed by the old-style 'ben day dots' colouring process which was prevelant in much of the 20th Century: I reckon this still has great period charm, and is part of the overall ambience of retro-comics. This process is very basic when revisited today, however.
I agree. Many of the books that reprint 1950s comics now do so by retaining the original colour scheme by scanning the old comics. (See PS Publishing's line of Harvey Horrors etc for example, or the titles from Yoe Books:
http://www.yoebooks.com/

Some artist's work does look great in black and white (such as Kurt Schaffenburger's Lois Lane as Steve said) but for the most part pages in US comics were done with the knowledge that colour would enhance them. So they seem a bit flat without colour. Artists often draw a page differently depending on whether colour will be added or not. For example, adding colour to a Jesus Blasco Steel Claw page would be unnecessary and would swamp the detail he added to compensate for lack of colour.

Marvel are starting a new line of reprint editions soon (using the Epic imprint) which will be 400 to 500 page books in colour, reprinting a long story arc. They're initially reprinting some 1970s/80s material but hopefully they'll go further back eventually. I gather the format/paper will be the same as their recent Marvel Firsts books, so quite thin paper but sturdy enough for a chunky £20 book:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page ... e&id=44916

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Marionette
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by Marionette »

I'm not disparaging all dot screen colour - having done a little myself I'm astounded that they could achieve anything creative when they are basically mixing three overlays of grey dots to get a colour blend, but the printing limitations of the period meant they are often misaligned and bleed over, and due probably more to time constraints than laziness, you'll often find a detailed Kirby background lost under a hideous purple wash.
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

Some of the Judge Dredd stories reprinted with inappropriate 'color' for the USA market similarly looked terrible: the pages were also shrunken down, which never exactly helped matters......Brian Bollands' two JUDGE DEATH stories is another good example of artwork best left in black-and-white.

A good lot of comics artists have a 'flat' style by nature: modern colour can help to define their work more, and give it some much-needed 'depth'.

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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by felneymike »

New Eagle made a switch to 'dotty' colouring at the same point it dropped the photo stories, which was a bit jarring. I was reading through it's first Dan Dare story, which up until then had beautiful painted art. Fortunately the story ended shortly after that style was introduced.

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stevezodiac
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by stevezodiac »

Some of Jack Kirby's full and double page panels were so full of detail they needed colour to be able to make out what you were looking at:

Image

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I think I could 'read' this if the image was shrunken down a bit, Steve, but yes, colour would help on this one.

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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by Lew Stringer »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I think I could 'read' this if the image was shrunken down a bit, Steve, but yes, colour would help on this one.
That scan is from a photocopy of Kirby's pencils, so it would be more distinct when inked. (And if it's for In The Days of the Mob it would have a grey wash on it to give it definition as well.)
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by Phoenix »

This is a follow-up to my discussion with Phil about handleless teacups. As promised, I asked four dealers selling quality pottery at the antiques fair at the Reebok Stadium today if they could support Phil's comment that Another weird consequence of this almost-forgotten period (1945-c1959) is the fact that for a time one could only buy handleless teacups over here, while all the proper ones were automatically earmarked for export. None of the dealers, all of whom seemed old enough to have lived through some of that period, could recall any such circumstance. One of them pointed out that we were not exporting to countries like China anyway because their own products were actually better than ours, so our markets, he felt, would be Empire or Commonwealth countries, who presumably would also be targeted by China. Clearly, four experts could still be wrong, but the fact remains that I have never heard of this, nor have I seen any range of teacups without handles, so the jury is still out.

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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by George Shiers »

A great Jack Kirby panel you've shown there - there's so much going on everywhere you look!
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stevezodiac
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Re: Cheap and Cheerful

Post by stevezodiac »

You have to give credit to the inkers as well. If that page were given to me I wouldn't have the nerve to go over it with a pen. Most inkers were artists themselves but who would risk ruining a work of art like that above? Bill Everett and Syd Shores were my favourite Kirby inkers.

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