Michael Allred’s art is completely distinct from that of the rest of the comic world. Though it would seem impossible, somehow Allred’s art both closely resembles the classic comic art of the 60s while looking completely original and unlike anything else in comics. The work of colorist, Laura Allred, contributes a big part of what makes the art in this book so great. The husband and wife team have long standing partnership and that continuity means their work supports each others styles and never clashes.
For readers who might be unfamiliar with what a colorist does, the nature of work is contained right there in the name. The colorist takes outlines from the penciller and inker and fills in the colors of the art. If this sounds like a mechanical or simple job, it absolutely isn’t. For evidence, compare the work of this book with that of the classic Vertigo comics of the early 2000s. It’s not that one is right and the other is wrong, it’s that the choices of the colorist completely change the tone and feel of the book. A muted pallet can suggest ambiguity or uncertainty; a brighter higher-contrast pallet makes a book feel more exuberant. Beyond style, there’s a simple issue of skill. Colorists can obscure the detail of the original pencils if they don’t work carefully, golden age comics often suffer from this. Read more
This is a blog with varied interest, but I want to make sure it’s easy to find the comic book content. So here’s a quick post linking all the Trade Waiter reviews from the last three months:
- Astro City by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross
- Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wes Craig
- Jupiter’s Legacy by Mark Millar and Frank Quietly
- In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
- Low by Rick Remender and Greg Tochinni
- The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin
- Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
- SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
Also, I was recently asked about the name “Trade Waiter” this comes from a bit of comic book reader jargon. Someone who waits until issues are collected is sometimes called a trade waiter. I thought this name was appropriate because I only review books that have been collected into at least one trade or are a complete graphic novels. Happy reading.