Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Zero Man

These are a couple of pages out of a recently acquired book on Zero Man. The art was done by Osamu Tezuka, who is known as the Japanese equivalent, of Walt Disney. He is probably better known for his work on Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, and Phoenix. I'm not a real big fan of manga, but I find this stuff very charming and stylistically appealing. Even though this was created from 1959-1960, it has the feel of classic Disney animation from the 1930's. What I really like, aside from the style of the characters, is the coloring. In the first page, the color is so warm and sophisticated feeling. It's amazing to me, with all of the modern technology that we have today, that the comic book coloring I usually see, is overly rendered Photoshop effects. Here's something that was done 45 years ago, and it is so attractive and appealing. The matte paper stock also works well to allow the colors to blend in with the paper, as opposed to the color sitting on top. The second page was colored with only two colors, red and black, and again the technique makes it look almost like full color. It's interesting how with a limited palette, that the colors make that page feel so organic. There isn't a sense that the colors overpower the line art, they seem to work together in harmony to create some really beautiful artwork. Maybe, in this case, less is more.

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