Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cartoonists Hold a Hues Conference

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cartoonists Hold a Hues Conference

Article excerpt

A GROWING NUMBER of cartoonists are giving new meaning to the term "local color."

More than a half dozen syndicated creators are now coloring their own Sunday comics via computer, rather than relying on a national prepress operation like American Color.

Three artists demonstrated their hues-gathering techniques during the recent National Cartoonists Society meeting in Asheville, N.C. The trio--working on a computer hooked up to a large screen--included "Non Sequitur" creator Wiley Miller of the Washington Post Writers Group, "The Norm" creator Michael Jantze of King Features Syndicate, and Chris Cassatt, who colors the Sunday "Shoe" and "Mother Goose & Grimm" strips for Jeff MacNelly and Mike Peters of Tribune Media Services.

"Until a year and a half ago, I had never touched a computer,"Wiley told the NCS audience. "Now it's an integral part of my work."

Wiley draws his Sunday cartoon the traditional way and scans it into his computer. Then, working in Photoshop, he creates an "overlay"-like duplicate copy and starts working from his color palette.

"I think of it as a high-tech airbrush," said the cartoonist, who does his digital drawing with a stylus.

Wiley noted that he uses "different lights and textures to give a three-dimensional look" to his computer coloring. And, after the hues are put in, he can erase the original black lines underneath.

"It's similar to the old Disney film technique of doing the outlines in color." Wiley observed."It gives a softer texture"

And the time spent on coloring? "It does take a little longer than the usual method but the effects you can get are much richer," he said. …

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