March 21, 2017:
How does one create visual drama through colour? That’s something I ask myself pretty often, and unfortunately there’s no singular answer because it’s completely contextual. Think of Sin City. Noir setting, limited palette with deep blacks and stark whites. And your eyes have gotten used to seeing this world in black and white. Now let’s say we add a red in the middle of that; suddenly with that shift from the norm, it becomes dramatic. From black and white, imagine turning the page and seeing a double page spread in full glorious colour, it’s beautiful because it breaks the norm.
Now Bonabyl is already a full colour comic. Each page I try my best to use a rich and varied palette, and your eyes get used to seeing the world in these vibrant colour combinations. Now suddenly we go in the opposite direction, and put immense restrictions on the colour. All the blues and greens and purples and browns are gone, and replaced with a relatively flat and terrifying red. Instead of adding colour, we’re subtracting, but the effect is the same, a sense that we’re witnessing something extraordinary.
Establish what’s normal, then break it. That’s drama.