Heroes*Con 2017 marked the debut of BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE and my story "The Invisible Woman." I am so proud of this project. Writing a comic book script was very difficult for me, especially since I come from the fiction world and want to use ALL the words. But Kelly Sue, Valentine, Craig, Lauren, and the entire team were so gracious to me as we put this project together, and I think it turned into something amazing with their help.
The con itself was awesome. I met so many cool folks who chatted to me about their projects and hobbies, filmed a little something for a secret project that should be coming sometime in 2018, and got to talk all about my work and the writing process with lots of creators.
Imagine it’s not your best day. Maybe you’re wearing
sweatpants or don’t want to hold doors open for people or even say something to
the guy who walks right into you.
Now imagine being reprimanded for those things – not in the
sense that someone says something back to you, but actually reprimanded. It’s
noted in your record and you’re expected to correct it. If the action persists,
you’ll be sent off to a holding area designed for people just like you. Got it?
Spatterings of red in a muted color field. Panel from Pretty Deadly #1, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Emma Rios, colors by Jordie Bellaire. Screencap via
Second only to the inker for the “most misunderstood job in the comics business,” the colorist has the ability to either completely enhance or deflate the mood of a comic with their work. In this week’s edition of comics masterclass Strip Panel Naked, Hass Otsmane-Elhaou looks at Jordie Bellaire’s color work in Pretty Deadly #1, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. According to Otsmane-Elhaou, color work in comics isn’t just about “naturally coloring the world around the linework in the book. There’s a lot you can say or do with your choice of palette, and so I wanted to take a look at how Jordie Bellaire does more than just ‘color in’ Emma Rios’ linework in Pretty Deadly. I wanted to show how she, crucially, adds more to the story and theme and subtext of the book, things that wouldn’t exist without her input.”
The same clouds give off different vibes in different panels. Panels from Pretty Deadly #1, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Emma Rios, colors by Jordie Bellaire. Screencap via
“A colorist is an artist like any other role,” says Otsmane-Elhaou, “like the letterer, the writer, the penciller, whatever. So yes, the role is to add color and effects to the linework, but really you’re making a series of choices in how you want an audience to perceive the world, or the characters. If you rendered a whole page in blue tones, for example, it would create a calming, colder effect than if you did that whole page in shades of red.”
Otsmane-Elhaou says the coloring of Jordie Bellaire works so well because of the way she limits herself and her palette. “If you have a million colors to choose from—as colorists do—and you use them all, they all start to lose meaning,” explains Otsmane-Elhaou. “If you reduce that number to a limited selection, it allows you to tell your audience ‘this is our color space.’ Once they understand that, you can start breaking those rules, and throwing in new colors to really create a huge impact. I really love when artists do that.”
For other instances of amazing color work in comics, Otsmane-Elhaou recommends Dave Stewart’s work on Hellboy in Hell, and, of course, “anything at all by Jordie Bellaire. Honestly.”
I've been a fan of Roxane's lyrical, gorgeous work since The Butter, so I am THRILLED to see her branch out into comics.
World of Wakanda will chronicle T'Challa's struggle to bring order to Wakanda in the wake of civil war, and will also center on two members of the Dora Millaje, Ayo and Aneka. It will also provide more insight into the women of Wakanda.
According to the interview, they've got some awesome writers and artists lined up, as well:
...Alitha Martinez will be drawing Roxane’s story, and Afua Richardson will be providing the covers. Additionally, there'll be a backup story in #1 that Ta-Nehisi is co-writing with Yona Harvey, and Afua will be drawing that.