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Comic Countdown #45: Captured Colors

Posted on November 18, 2012 AT 08:40pm

Once again it’s time for the Comic Countdown! Over the last few weeks, the topic of the best in the comics business at what they do has been discussed, and now it’s time for the colorists to get their turn. Being a colorist is usually a vastly overlooked occupation, as many who aren’t too focused on the pulse of the industry think that the artist/penciller do all the work artistically, which is true at times, but there are several art teams that employ a separate artist just for color work. While the outlines and figures are incredibly important to the artistic aesthetic of a comic, colors are something that many readers look for without even realizing it. That said, there are hundreds of talented colorists that do tremendous work in the industry, and several of them will be recognized tonight. (Note: There are many, many more than will be mentioned here tonight, so there is no disrespect meant towards those who aren’t listed here. Some of these may also be particular artists whose color work is incredibly well done.)

#10: Kristian Donaldson

Donaldson has done some very interesting work, providing his skills for books such as The Guild, The Massive and 99 Days. His work is stellar, as his past history has shown, and while his colors sometimes look a bit muted stylistically, his talent has shown through many times throughout the course of his career.

#9: Rod Reis

Reis doesn’t have the massive backlog that many other artists have, but his work in terrific nonetheless. Reis’ work has been especially good on the New 52 relaunches of Aquaman and Nightwing, truly making a name for himself for making the artistry of the books really pop and stand out from the rest (especially Aquaman, which has been heralded as one of the best books of the year, and at the top of the New 52 titles).

#8: Riley Rossmo

Rossmo is known for both his work all around in the artistic field, Rossmo has shown superior skill, especially in taking on some very strangely themed titles. Strange titles such as Green Wake and Wild Children have allowed Rossmo to show some major creativity, displaying a unique artistic style that places him among the best in the industry for his color choices and use of specific palettes.

#7: Leinil Yu

Yu is well-known for his artistic capabilities, and is also regarded as doing wonderful color work. His work on Volume 2 of X-Men was specifically impressive, and he’s become one of the go-to creators at Marvel Comics during his time working for the company, most recently doing some great work on the AvX crossover.

#6: Mark Brooks

Another talented artist who does some incredible color work, Brooks is a high-powered talent that not many readers really know about. He’s always done amazing work, especially on titles such as Cable & Deadpool and Avengers: The Initiative. Brooks should and is regarded as one of the most talented artists in the industry, and while his work seems to appear less and less as time passes, his talent is timeless.

#5: Laura Martin

Martin started working on the smaller house of Image (and afterwards DC Comics), WildStorm, and then later on exclusively with Marvel Comics. Martin had some notable work on title such as Astonishing X-Men and color work on Secret Invasion. Martin has since moved on to Gaijin Studios, contributing work to lots of great titles and special projects.

#4: Sonia Oback

Oback has had a great history with Image and Top Cow Productions over the course of her career, most notably on titles such as Witchblade and the current hit Mind The Gap. While also doing some work with Marvel, Obacks colors shine brightly among many other titles by being vibrant and detailed, adding a level of realism to each piece she works on. While she mostly does work with her fiancee Mike Choi, Oback’s work with artist such as Rodin Esquejo show how impressive her talents are.

#3: Dean White

White has shown some incredible skill on some high-profile books for Marvel Comics, including major characters such as Iron Man, Spider-Man and Wolverine. His work has really shown out in the latest work on Uncanny X-Force, where his talents shown through brilliantly with vibrant and detailed colors throughout the book. While most of his work has been with Marvel, his early career with Top Cow’s Weapon Zero has shown the longevity of his talents throughout his career.

#2: Laura Allred

Allred recently won an Eisner for her amazing work on the series iZombie for Vertigo/DC Comics. Her work is mainly done with her husband Mike Allred, but her work is able to stand out on its own, creating a combination of detailed and vibrant work that fans and industry members alike have come to adore. While her line of work isn’t as detailed as others, Allred is already making a major splash in the comics industry, and with good reason.

#1: Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart is the pinnacle of talent in the comic book industry when it comes to colorists. Working on series such as Batwoman, The Goon, Captain America and many more. His work has been named throughout the industry as some of the best there is, and is arguably the most renown colorist in the comics world today. He was also the reigning Eisner Award winner for several years, until Laura Allred took over the mantle in 2012. His award history and the long line of terrific titles he’s worked on should be proof enough that Stewart is one of, if not the best of the current crop of colorists in comics.

That’s it for the Countdown this week, be sure to drop any more names that come to mind in the comments if any were missed and be sure to check back next week for another edition of the Comic Countdown!


Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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