May 13th, 2014

Colorin’…

by John Rose

In addition to penciling, inking and lettering, a Sunday comic strip has an additional requirement that I need to complete each week that the daily strip does not–coloring! Yes, I still color with markers and colored pencils each week just like I did when I was in grade school!  I know this looks like a gigantic mess, but it is actually a color guide for the Sunday Barney Google and Snuffy Smith comic strip that ran on May 11th.

A recent color guide. A recent color guide.

After the penciling, inking and lettering is complete, I make a good clean black and white copy of the strip and then I get out my colored pencils and magic markers.  I have a color palette chart in my studio and every color has been given a specific number.  I have hundreds of colors from which to choose and I have to follow this palette each week.  For example, you may notice on the above guide, the number 3 represents the color of light pink.  I have to number each color after I color it.  After I finish coloring, I scan in and then submit the color guide along with the black and white version of the Sunday comic strip to Reid Brennan Media Associates (RBMA), a division of King Features.  I cross my fingers because then, like you, I don’t see the full-color copy of my Sunday comic strip until it hits the newspaper (or website) on that Sunday morning!  The finished strip, when it ran on May 11th looked like this.

The finished May 11th Sunday comic strip minus the title panel.  Newspapers use or don't use the title panel based on their individual space. The finished May 11th Sunday comic strip.

The daily Barney Google and Snuffy Smith comic strips run in color in many newspapers and online, as well, but I only have to color the Sundays.  The fine folks at RBMA color the dailies and they do a bee-yoo-ti-ful job!

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