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Author Topic: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!  (Read 1192 times)

Frank

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #15 on: 30 October, 2019, 07:31:41 pm »

Kevin Hall and the 2000ad Review Page must have some good contacts. After Colin MacNeil last week, he gets some interesting details from colourist Chris Blythe.

Nothing spoilery this time, Funt. Some fascinating insights into his process and what seem like great tips for anyone colouring art digitally:


"I grew up on Dredd back in the day, when it was black & white. For me, he’s the most iconic character I work on. Getting a chance to add to the complex, grimy, layered world of Mega-City One is always a thrill, for sure."

Do you have any restraints from Wagner, MacNeil or Tharg about the use of them, or are you free to let the art tell the colours?

"None at all. Very occasionally there may be a colour note for a specific story element, but other than that it’s a blank canvas, colour-wise. Tharg is very hands-off in the production – he trusts us to do our best work. Occasionally I might get the ethnicity of a character wrong, but that’s about the only note I’ll get."

I love your colours on Hershey and the scenes in the hospital - how did you approach this?

"Thank you! Obviously it’s a big moment, but a sombre and low-key one. These sorts of scenes are always trickier to handle. A wham-bam explosive scene is much more straight forward. I found some photo reference of a hospital scene that I liked the colour palette and lighting of, and painted an establishing frame first – the first frame from page 2. When I was happy that it struck the right note, I went back to the first page with the same palette."

Dos has a very unique colour style - what was the process behind this?

"Colin designed them with a very WW2 look, so brown and greens seemed appropriate. There’s a bit of mix & matching, as they’ve been repaired over the years."

Was it tricky to get the Los Humanistas costumes different, colour wise?

"The obvious choice would be to have them in browns and blacks – salvaged and grubby but tactical. But I already had established the airport as dusty and sun-baked, and the robots similar. I wanted them to stand out as humans so I gave them little flecks of colour, a little individualism, a little colour rebellion in the dusty robot-run state.

I gave their leader the most colour, weaving red through her look. Red became a recurring motif. Only the main leaders sport the colour: Dredd, El Presidente and his generals, and the leader of the human resistance."

The bright blue sky against the darker colours and explosions in Part 2 are sublime and really stand out! How do you apply your own set of colours for Dredd, and what makes yours stand out from others?

"I approach each story and each artist differently. I have different techniques depending on the artist’s style and establish a colour palette from scratch. I don’t, for example, have swatches of Dredd-red, or shoulderpad-gold! Local colours appear very differently depending on the ambient colour of the scene, especially things like gold.

In this case, we’re out of the Mega-City, so it was a chance to use a brighter, sunnier palette, but it’s not a holiday destination! It’s dusty, baron and inhospitable. Colouring should be about story-telling, not just about slapping some colour down. It should lead the eye just as much as the linework does."

Can you tell me a little about your daily colouring process?

"I have to be pretty regimented because of the amount of work I do. I block the pages the night before. It’s a fairly mechanical part of the process and it requires the least creativity and brain-power.

I’m at my desk by 8 and I gather some reference. Screen caps from movies, photos, paintings – images that I like the colour palette of and that I think would work well with the story. Sometimes, but not always, I’ll throw them under the linework to get a rough idea of how it will work.

Quite often I paint over the whole page with a nice big painterly brush to lessen the stark black & white. Then start chipping into it. That way, it’s easier to keep colour harmonies, rather than clicking around with the paint bucket tool and tackling things individually. Things become very disconnected like that. It’s not just the individual frames that need to read, but the page as a whole.

Once I’ve established the feel of the page in broad terms, I’ll move onto the next page. I don’t plod through each page, finishing them in turn. Once the broad strokes are done on all 6-pages , I’ll go back to the start and work on the details.

With the palettes established, it’s easy to flit around the pages without struggling with continuity. This way I can work on whatever’s holding my attention and it all stays fresh and exciting. If there’s a splash page or a money shot – I’ll focus on that early on and make sure it’s the stand out piece. Of course everything’s dictated by the deadlines."

I love your shadowy shades too - how is the balancing act between using it and over using it?

"Simple answer is values. I look at the page in grayscale from time to time to make sure it all still reads - is there enough contrast to form a focal point? You can have 100 colours on the page (not that I’d recommend it!), but they can all have the same value – meaning if you covert it to grayscale, it’ll be all be the same tone. I’m always checking that my eye is being drawn to the right part of the frame."

What can we expect from the rest of the series, and what are you working on next?

"Funny thing about working on something serialised like Dredd, is that quite often I have no idea what to expect from the rest of the series. In an ideal world, I’d have the story in it’s entirety so I could work colour themes through it. But that’s a luxury that just can’t be there.

In the case of ‘Guatemala’ I didn’t even know how many episodes there were going to be! As it happened, it all worked out nicely to an explosive climax, where I could really double-down on the theme of the colour red representing conflict, and blue representing pacification, which had been weaved subtly through the whole series.

As for what’s next. As far as comics go, there’s more Dredd lurking in the wings – a completely different artistic style, and a different approach from me. Mainly I’m working on colour scripting TV shows and games."




norton canes

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #16 on: 31 October, 2019, 10:52:55 am »
Five strong strips make for a great read once again. 'Guatemala', resplendent with John Wagner's trademark dark humour, leads the way. Is Wagner eligible for an OBE or even a knighthood? Some sort of honour needs to be bestowed forthwith. Defoe finds Pat Mills on familiar ground but still manages to pack a punch. Hope scores with a strong installment that's kick-started my interest but Brink still seems to be searching for something to hook me in this chapter. Deadworld remains perilously susceptible to the sort of characterless technobabble that spoiled Kek-W's recent stint on Indigo Prime but is still eminently enjoyable.

In all, despite any slight shortcomings, I have to say that with these stories 2000 AD is giving me exactly what I want - a line-up of weird and wonderful strips packed with fantastic scripts and art. It's a wonderful run.

ZenArcade

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #17 on: 01 November, 2019, 09:51:37 am »
Gotta say Guatemala and DeadWorld are engrossing me at the moment. Z
Ed is dead, baby Ed is...Ed is dead

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #18 on: 01 November, 2019, 10:26:53 am »
Guatemala is amazing work, and reminds me why I still buy the prog.  I have a feeling this will go down in history as classic Dredd.  I sometimes miss Colin's painted work but this story has shown me he can make an incredible impact with his linework too, and Chris Blythe remains the best colourist in comics.

Deadworld is brilliant too. Unrelenting bleakness and horror.  Love it.

I'm enjoying Hope a lot.  The script is great (old-timey John Constantine works for me) and the artwork doesn't, in my opinion, get enough credit.  This is a masterclass in black and white illustration. 

Defoe - struggling with this one.  Generally I'm a sucker for highly-detailed pen and ink, but this is hard to follow.  Also, how many times can Pat Mills recycle the old 'powerful superbeings divide humankind with religion and language' theme? Defoe, Slaine (many times over), Finn, The Fear Teachers.  We get it, Pat.

I'm not reading Brink yet. I keep meaning to read the bits I've missed from the beginning. By all accounts it'll be worth it.

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #19 on: 01 November, 2019, 10:31:12 am »
Brilliant Blythe chat there, thanks to Kevin (and Frank).

Five really strong stories again, each one wonderfully dense and atmospheric, and all playing off a central contrast of themes. One of the best lineups in recent memory for me.

How does Wagner do it?  Another dodgy Dredd riff on South American juntas with signature comedy robots turns into something genuinely horrible and threatening. Nobody else strikes that balance of humour and menace that he brings to his robots  I nearly wrote 'Wagner should just give in to his natural urges and write a new strip with a robot protagonist', and then remembered that he did just that.  :'(

In Defoe, the Author returns to his Theme. But to be honest, there is so much going on here that I don't mind hearing the same philosophy expounded yet again, it's almost background to the splendidly involved KSM art. Moore's alien designs are magnificent, and the facial expressions on the humans throughout are great. Pretty sharp action too. Another example of Mills' alchemical genius for matching artist to strip to create gold.

Can't add much to my habitual praise for Brink. The mechanical grinding of the SF police procedural played against the existential horror of its setting is a source of tension that makes the whole strip sing. Throw in convincing character relationships and INJC's stunning sense of design and it's just the best strip running.

Hope sees me back on board again, again doing that thing of mixing grounded shoeleather investigation with a yawning supernatural abyss. How Broxton hasn't been spirited away by the Big Boys is a source of mystery.

Deadworld does that wonderful thing where a bit of background unpleasantness moves into the spotlight and you suddenly grasp how horrid it really is - this week it's the Gates golem, holy heck is that the stuff of nightmares!

The Monarch

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #20 on: 05 November, 2019, 05:37:57 am »
did mills crossover defoe with finn?!? :o

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #21 on: 05 November, 2019, 06:33:33 am »
did mills crossover defoe with finn?!? :o

Pat never met a pompous higher bring intent on imposing a destructive cartesian duality through the mechsnisms of religion and civilisation that he didn't like.

Frank

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Re: Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« Reply #22 on: 13 November, 2019, 08:11:21 pm »




On June 17, a UN Human Rights Council tribunal which has been investigating "forced organ harvesting" from Chinese prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners and Uighur Muslims, published its final judgment.

The China Tribunal concluded that "forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale, [and] the tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues till today."

Central to the tribunal's findings were estimates of the actual number of transplants taking place—far higher than official statistics, implausibly short waiting times and first-hand testimony from former detainees. Some of the organ extractions were said to have been conducted on live victims who were killed during their procedures.

The final judgment confirmed an interim statement from late last year that "the tribunal’s members are certain—unanimously, and sure beyond a reasonable doubt—that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims." Separate reports have suggested the market for such organs in China to be worth billions of dollars.

The tribunal's chair Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who made his name by prosecuting Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic, said that "there is no evidence of the practice [of prisoner organ harvesting] having been stopped and the tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing."

Back in 2014, the Chinese government claimed that the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners would stop, but according to the tribunal that is not the case. "Falun Gong practitioners have probably the main source of organ supply," the judgment stated, but "the concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs are more recent and it may be that evidence of forced organ harvesting of this group may emerge in due course."

The tribunal heard evidence from human rights groups, investigators and medical experts in December of last year as well as April this year. Its conclusion that the number of transplants was far higher than official figures claim—with no plausible explanations and an entire infrastructure built up around the practice—came despite China's claims that it "always follows the World Health Organization’s guiding principles on human organ transplant, and has strengthened its management on organ transplant in recent years."

Various reports have estimated the number of transplants in China is somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 per year.

One formerly imprisoned Falun Gong activist told the Guardian that "after about a month in the camp, everyone was handcuffed and put in a van and taken to a huge hospital. That was for a more thorough physical check-up. We were given X-rays. On the third occasion in the camp, they were drawing blood from us. We were all told to line up in the corridor and the test was given."

The tribunal's judgment included assurances that China’s reputation as "a gross human rights abuser" has not had a bearing on its "even-handed" conclusions, and that "the tribunal has requested contributions from the PRC at every stage."

The tribunal found that "the Commission of Crimes Against Humanity against the Falun Gong and Uyghurs has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt," with the "torture of Falun Gong and Uyghurs" in addition to "forced organ harvesting," but stopped short of concluding that genocide had taken place. The tribunal left that open for further investigation: "There can be no doubt that there is a duty on those who have the power to institute investigations for, and proceedings at, international courts or at the UN to test whether Genocide has been committed."

Commenting on the judgment, Sir Geoffrey Nice said "very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those, for the time being, running a country with one of the oldest civilizations known to modern man.”

Responding to earlier claims ahead of the final report, the Chinese embassy in London said that its "government always follows the World Health Organization’s guiding principles on human organ transplant, and has strengthened its management on organ transplant in recent years. On 21 March 2007, the Chinese state council enacted the regulation on human organ transplant, providing that human organ donation must be done voluntarily and gratis. We hope that the British people will not be misled by rumors.




Thanks to Judge Dredd (1995) producer Charles Lippincott for the link: SECOND SOURCE, BBC