Does Heritage "production art" scare you off the same?
0

31 posts in this topic

4,158 posts
3 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

But they are coloring in the lines, like in a coloring book, for publication. The printing colors are presumably going to be the Pantone designations. And while it is handwork and takes some skill, what are they adding which is visionary for the piece? I think it's closer to buying something with an autograph on it: nice to have, but not art.

If visionary is the benchmark...sheesh, about 99% of all comic art or art for that matter is a fail. Heck, maybe fat center isn't even...art? Cool. I might agree :)

Now that we've debunked that visionary silliness (because that's what it is), if we could just call (original comic) art...art and call color guides...color guides: wouldn't that solve the problem? The hobby, as a whole, would be better served by eliminating production art from the lexicon. Production materials (broadly) would be more correct, with color guides still straddling a fence but at least those would be clearly and well understood to have that interesting (and valuable) hand-touched element which the others do not. Not that this will happen, of course, but further standardizing the lexicon sure would be nice and a lot easier for newbs to grip onto as well.

Heard at a con:

Fanboy: What's that?

Collector: Original art.

Fanboy: (clearly confused) Is there any other kind?

Collector: Well, yes, I guess, there's production art. That's color guides, printing plates, transparencies (lol), overlays, stats and other trade dress, and...and...and...

...and Fanboy prompty retreats back to the known-quantity-safety of...comic books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
676 posts
7 minutes ago, vodou said:

If visionary is the benchmark...sheesh, about 99% of all comic art or art for that matter is a fail. Heck, maybe fat center isn't even...art? Cool. I might agree :)

Now that we've debunked that visionary silliness (because that's what it is), if we could just call (original comic) art...art and call color guides...color guides: wouldn't that solve the problem? The hobby, as a whole, would be better served by eliminating production art from the lexicon. Production materials (broadly) would be more correct, with color guides still straddling a fence but at least those would be clearly and well understood to have that interesting (and valuable) hand-touched element which the others do not. Not that this will happen, of course, but further standardizing the lexicon sure would be nice and a lot easier for newbs to grip onto as well.

Heard at a con:

Fanboy: What's that?

Collector: Original art.

Fanboy: (clearly confused) Is there any other kind?

Collector: Well, yes, I guess, there's production art. That's color guides, printing plates, transparencies (lol), overlays, stats and other trade dress, and...and...and...

...and Fanboy prompty retreats back to the known-quantity-safety of...comic books.

Agree, there have been questions from book collectors/investors/speculators with concern about reliability of the original comic art market, and whether they should take the plunge.

 

Without clarity for the potential new collectors, it may remain a narrow field of collecting interest.

 

Maybe the architect of this site could pin a "definitions" memo?  David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
151 posts
1 hour ago, aokartman said:

I agree that within the lexicon of original comic art collectors, describing color guides as original art is confusing, and potentially deceptive.  However, there are doubtless some  tremendous color guides extant of historic pages which should be of considerable collector interest.  David

I agree. Not all are created equal. I know I've seen a few pages from Simonson's Thor run that certainly made me desire them. An affordable way to acquire an unreachable page/artist for many, I think that is the point now that they're showing up like mad and prices on traditional pencil/ink pages have been driven beyond a larger portion of collectors....but the confusing/deceptive part of a clearly labeled production color guide is far less than the 'unused cover's with trade-dress' movement I've seen too much of at respectable houses lately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
720 posts
4 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

But they are coloring in the lines, like in a coloring book, for publication. The printing colors are presumably going to be the Pantone designations. And while it is handwork and takes some skill, what are they adding which is visionary for the piece?

Every so often someone posts something so blatantly reductive about comic (art) creation it boggles the mind.


Colors can drastically change how a work is received, understood, and its ultimate impact on the psyche. Lynn Varley is an easy reference. I'm assuming most of us have seen Dark Knight. Anyone want to argue that the book would have had the same impact if one of the usual line colorists off the production floor had been the one to choose colors on those books?

If someone was to have a book colored today by Dave Stewart and Rico Renzi, you are going to get back 2 completely different looking books. Same art. Same words. Same lettering. Completely different feeling work on the whole. The value of the colorist has been horribly misunderstood for decades. Partially because it took the industry until Varley and a couple others, to really get a handle on how incredibly important the colorist role is.

Rico Renzi was just out in LA a while back for the premiere of Into the Spiderverse, not because he was riding the coat tails of Robbi Rodrreguez & Jason Latour, but because all those guys have complete respect and trust for eachother's creative input. Spider Gwen wouldn't be where it is without the beats and moods added through Rico's colors. That book oozes his personality (and color palette), and so does the movie in it's way.

And on the flip side you have a guy like Mike Mignola who has one of the biggest independent franchises going in Hellboy, and he'd be the very first to tell you he wouldn't do a comic that he can't have Dave Stuart color for publication. Don't believe me? Find one. That's not just loyalty but respect and understanding.

What it isn't is "like a coloring book". It's a creative enterprise. Not always in the case of the comics industry, and once upon a time that may have been the case, but there are plenty of cases where the colorist adds real value.

I'm not talking in terms of value in dollars in cents, but in terms of the overall artistic impact; and potentially even the desirability and memorability of the art that we all end up clamoring over the linework for. How much attention would people have paid to Dark Knight if it had it been colored as desaturated and "gritty" as it was? If it had been a total color-by-numbers job? I'd argue that the colors most definitely did add to that series appeal, and the seriousness of which it was treated. There were a LOT of factors in DK's success, but what I'd argue is that it's success was the culmination of it firing on all creative cylinders. There is a case to be made for how those colors in some small part affect the popularity, and thus the demand for the b&w inked pages today.

But sure, go ahead and broad brush all that...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
720 posts

That all said, I still wouldn’t be bidding for any production colors or what have you.  :bigsmile:

 

seriously though. Not because I don’t value the work from the real deal artists, but because I hang my pieces, and the older color stuff is fade-a- riffic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,366 posts
5 hours ago, ESeffinga said:

I'm not talking in terms of value in dollars in cents, but in terms of the overall artistic impact; and potentially even the desirability and memorability of the art that we all end up clamoring over the linework for. How much attention would people have paid to Dark Knight if it had it been colored as desaturated and "gritty" as it was? If it had been a total color-by-numbers job? I'd argue that the colors most definitely did add to that series appeal, and the seriousness of which it was treated. There were a LOT of factors in DK's success, but what I'd argue is that it's success was the culmination of it firing on all creative cylinders. There is a case to be made for how those colors in some small part affect the popularity, and thus the demand for the b&w inked pages today.

Just because it has important "overall artistic impact" does not, in my view, make it "art". Same with the plates by a good lithographer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,233 posts
9 hours ago, vodou said:

If visionary is the benchmark...sheesh, about 99% of all comic art or art for that matter is a fail. Heck, maybe fat center isn't even...art? Cool. I might agree :)

Now that we've debunked that visionary silliness (because that's what it is), if we could just call (original comic) art...art and call color guides...color guides: wouldn't that solve the problem? The hobby, as a whole, would be better served by eliminating production art from the lexicon. Production materials (broadly) would be more correct, with color guides still straddling a fence but at least those would be clearly and well understood to have that interesting (and valuable) hand-touched element which the others do not. Not that this will happen, of course, but further standardizing the lexicon sure would be nice and a lot easier for newbs to grip onto as well.

Heard at a con:

Fanboy: What's that?

Collector: Original art.

Fanboy: (clearly confused) Is there any other kind?

Collector: Well, yes, I guess, there's production art. That's color guides, printing plates, transparencies (lol), overlays, stats and other trade dress, and...and...and...

...and Fanboy prompty retreats back to the known-quantity-safety of...comic books.

I like production pieces more than many if not most on this board.  I think if a printed comic has value, then why not the printed (and sometimes touched up) production pieces which came before the actual comic book?   

That said, I would have zero problem if the community removed the word "art" from the conventionally used description of those kind of pieces.   

When, on the other hand, people in the community insist that a vintage production piece has no more intrinsic or monetary value than a piece made with a scanner yesterday, I consider that a view as extreme as any other.

 

 

 

Edited by bluechip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
232 posts

I think those Lynn Varley painted colors on Frank Miller bluelines are terrific.  

I also have an original Watchmen color guide with a lot of notes on it which I am glad I have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
720 posts
9 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Just because it has important "overall artistic impact" does not, in my view, make it "art". Same with the plates by a good lithographer. 

And so by the same token, then neither is the inker an artist? Because the impact CAN be degrees of the same.

Look at what 7 different inkers can do to the same pencilled piece, and you'll see what kind of contribution they make. Do the same with a colorist. Or even a letterer.

tThe penciller is, if I'm understanding your reasoning, the "real" artist, yeah? This is reflected by dollar values in the marketplace, and we do all understand that it is the most singular visual contribution to a comic page. It's why we'd all prefer Pencils under the inks, etc. Then the Inker's contribution is the next percentage of value. Most would agree to this. Then next in that line is the colorist, but it's only been in the lst decade, and really only in the last 5 or so years that certain colorists are really able to make names for themselves. Sure, back in the day we had guys like Oliff throwing marker colors on Wolverine originals after the fact (and it has historically devalued many of those... ouch), but I for one do think there are real deal artists among colorists.

 

And so do a great many artists. Mignola has said as much about Stuart, etc. And I dunno about you, but if I were a colorist, I'd rather know my artistic peers considered me an artist than the average layman.

 

Not what I think is a great example, but an easy to find sample making a bit of a point...

Des5FYFX4AALcBY.jpg:large

 

...and here's a divisive one. Killing Joke, recolored.
The first by the original unlauded colorist, and the recolored modern re-release that had Bolland's blessing.

KillingJokeCompare02.jpg

The kicker here is I think the original coloring, as eye-splitting as it is, really is part of the mood of the book. It's crazy. Insane even. Such a nutty palette. And yet, with the crnival lights and such all throughout the book, it made total sense. In fact it was exciting and bonkers. As bonkers as the book. The recolored edition certainly makes Bolland's linework shine through, but to me, some of the lunacy of the book was lost in the visual telling. Given that comics are a marriage of pictures and words, and a bit makeup of many comics is the color, the colors are just  as much a part of the storytelling process as every other creative part. The guy that writes the words is considered an "artist". The guy that Draws the lines is an artist. The guy that puts the ink over the pencils, interpreting the penciller's intent, while adding certain kinds of shading, texture and more is an "artist". How is the guy that then does what the inker does, but in color (and in some cases there is no inker, so it's all colorist) any less important? But again, by all means broad brush away.

 

I mean, ya know... for many Ad Reinhardt's Abstract Painting No. 5 isn't "art".
Certainly not my favorite.
It hangs in the Tate. It's pretty much just "color". Bolland, not in the Tate.

 

We don't all have to agree on where the line for art is. Just food for thought.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,366 posts
52 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

And so by the same token, then neither is the inker an artist? Because the impact CAN be degrees of the same.

Look at what 7 different inkers can do to the same pencilled piece, and you'll see what kind of contribution they make. Do the same with a colorist. Or even a letterer.

tThe penciller is, if I'm understanding your reasoning, the "real" artist, yeah? This is reflected by dollar values in the marketplace, and we do all understand that it is the most singular visual contribution to a comic page. It's why we'd all prefer Pencils under the inks, etc. Then the Inker's contribution is the next percentage of value. Most would agree to this. Then next in that line is the colorist, but it's only been in the lst decade, and really only in the last 5 or so years that certain colorists are really able to make names for themselves. Sure, back in the day we had guys like Oliff throwing marker colors on Wolverine originals after the fact (and it has historically devalued many of those... ouch), but I for one do think there are real deal artists among colorists.

 

And so do a great many artists. Mignola has said as much about Stuart, etc. And I dunno about you, but if I were a colorist, I'd rather know my artistic peers considered me an artist than the average layman.

 

Not what I think is a great example, but an easy to find sample making a bit of a point...

Des5FYFX4AALcBY.jpg:large

 

...and here's a divisive one. Killing Joke, recolored.
The first by the original unlauded colorist, and the recolored modern re-release that had Bolland's blessing.

KillingJokeCompare02.jpg

The kicker here is I think the original coloring, as eye-splitting as it is, really is part of the mood of the book. It's crazy. Insane even. Such a nutty palette. And yet, with the crnival lights and such all throughout the book, it made total sense. In fact it was exciting and bonkers. As bonkers as the book. The recolored edition certainly makes Bolland's linework shine through, but to me, some of the lunacy of the book was lost in the visual telling. Given that comics are a marriage of pictures and words, and a bit makeup of many comics is the color, the colors are just  as much a part of the storytelling process as every other creative part. The guy that writes the words is considered an "artist". The guy that Draws the lines is an artist. The guy that puts the ink over the pencils, interpreting the penciller's intent, while adding certain kinds of shading, texture and more is an "artist". How is the guy that then does what the inker does, but in color (and in some cases there is no inker, so it's all colorist) any less important? But again, by all means broad brush away.

 

I mean, ya know... for many Ad Reinhardt's Abstract Painting No. 5 isn't "art".
Certainly not my favorite.
It hangs in the Tate. It's pretty much just "color". Bolland, not in the Tate.

 

We don't all have to agree on where the line for art is. Just food for thought.

 

Yes, the examples you offer are striking, but I never said that colorists weren't artists. I said that a color guide, by itself, is not art. What they input on the final piece certainly effects the final output, which is why I think Heritage distinguishes color guides as "production art". The same can be said of letterers and the fonts they use to project content.

I'm not sure I agree with your comment about Abstract Painting No. 5. It's one of a series, and this is what is written about Abstract No. 4 (below):

"The matte black surface of Abstract Painting no. 4 is not read quickly, but close examination reveals subtle blue and plum squares arranged in a cruciform shape. Asked to explain his use of black, Reinhardt replied, “It’s because of its non-color. . . . Color has to do with life.”

So, a canvas which is part of a series, the last of which is literally a black box, conveys imagry as a whole, that is a lot more than a paint chip. It is the context which matters.

 

SAAM-1969.47.71_1.jpg?itok=G_WfwOrV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,072 posts

When I think of production art and color guides I’m assuming there is nothing original by hand on those pieces. So what is the consensus here concerning Lynn Varleys hand painted coloring over Frank Miller’s bluelines for DKR. Her painted pieces are actually the ones sent to DC for publication/print. So I wouldn’t call those finals a guide at all. I’d classify them as original art. Not to mention that 13k seems high for a color guide. That’s what a Varley DKR panel page went for at auction last May 2018 on CLINK. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0