Guest Post: “Colors” by Rebecca Mock

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I am pretty fascinated by today’s guest post from Rebecca Mock. My favorite part is when she talks about her mom helping. Moms are the best. Below the banner you will Rebecca’s guest post. Happy reading!

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I had been heavily referencing a lot of French comic artists, and I imagined the best color style would be flat, bright shapes, with only minimal shading to enhance dramatic lighting. We originally wanted to hire a colorist, but it was hard to find the right fit. After going through a couple, Hope and I had an emergency pow wow. I had never really colored my own comics, but I had a clear idea of what I wanted, and all it would require was time.

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Top to bottom, from Isaac the Pirate by Cristophe Blain, and Miss Don’t Touch Me by Hubert & Kerascoet

 

I remember the conversation I had with Hope when we decided I would color the book myself. We considered our due date–the publisher wanted the book by the end of 2013, so I only have about 2.5 months. Hope said “Do you think you can?” And I did the math in my head. “Yea. Sure. That’s like….20 pages a week? Yea? I think so?”

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I tried to keep it simple, but I still used a lot of shading

 

To save time, we needed the book flatted with outside help. But we had no budget to hire anyone else, and we were short on time. So we put out a call for help–anyone who could volunteer to flat a few pages or more, for free. Many people came to our rescue! I also flatted a fair number of pages. One of my biggest helpers was actually my mother! Once I explained the process to her, she ended up flatting 20 or so pages for me. This book wouldn’t have gotten done without all the help we received. Thanks guys.

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from my flatting guide

I tried to base each scene in 1 or 2 main hues, with accent colors. This was a historical story, so I used earth tones and sepia for any parts I was unsure of.

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Coloring this book ended up being very interesting. Some scenes came together perfectly, as I had imagined the colors of a scene from the beginning, while other scenes were so difficult I was re-coloring them up to the day before the book went to print. In particular, I struggled with the whole rainforest scene. I loved all the scenes that took place on ships, I think because I loved those bits of character development, the color “mood” felt easy to choose.

Rebecca Mock is an illustrator and comics artist. Her work has appeared  in various publications, including theNew York Times and the New Yorker.  She is co-organizer of the Hana Doki Kira anthology. Compass South is  her first book. rebeccamock.com

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