Today I am feeling extremely happy and proud to present the complete Phantom Sunday strip #136, The Return of the Thuggees, in colour, for my esteemed readers and loving friends. It took much more time than I had initially expected, but at least I have able to produce it within this calendar year.
I thank all the visitors and downloaders of previous segments of the strip. Special thanks are due to all those who spared their time not only to write a comment and provided feedback, but also came up with valuable suggestions, which I undertook while moving on to next sections. All these wonderful people have kept the flame of desire burning constantly within me and have encouraged me to produce more, even though it was not easy for a novice like me to enter the field of comics colouring. Considering my (bad) nature of getting bored easily with new experiments and a tendency to leave it unfinished, personally I feel it is not a small achievement to finish a large comic comprising of none less than 65 pages for an amateur like me.
The opportunity has provided me some valuable experience in digital graphics art as I spent a lot of time with Photoshop. Most part of the strip was done with PS 6. It was after I purchased a new PC in October that I switched to PS CS4. Last quarter of the strip is being done with the newer version.
I would like to sum up the experience I had in some detail.
How the idea came:
I always wanted to do something like this, but was unaware of the process involved. Didn’t have any clue about which software to use for this purpose. So the ambition was not taking any shape. Then I came across few Phantom strips coloured by some comic enthusiasts (like one by Ivan Pederson). That was very beautifully done and that rekindled my desire. Why not somebody from India attempts to do a similar work, I wondered. We have many good artists associated with comics Industry, but why can't somebody who is just a comic lover and not professionally involved with media comes up with a similar work? There were definitely some gaps and I thought of filling some of those.
It was about the same time that Comicrazee produced some masterpieces for Balaji’s blog. Seeing the hope I asked him about the needed software and he said he had used photoshop only. That inspired me to dig into the possibilities of using p/s and after some hard searching on net, finally got the hint. So began it all.
Selection of colours for main characters:
That was the beginning. The first question I faced was exactly which colour to choose for Phantom. OK, it is purple to which most of us are accustomed to, but even for purple, different shades appear in different publications. After testing few of those I finally decided to choose the colour used by some newspaper strip artists as the colouring scheme of those were the best. A quite different purple shade was used by Harvey Hits and that was equally appealing. But I decided to stick to newspaper strip. (But later I used Harvey colour for Phantom pistols).
Pigmies (that includes Guran) were also selected from the same strip. For Diana, I looked at Indrajal Comics colouring. They used blue to colour her hair and I liked the appearance. Rest characters were my own imagination.
The overall process has taken some 10 months working irregularly. Between each installment I paused for some time and tried to look at more publications for directions. For example, second installment (page 11-20) was influenced by Wolf Publication of UK. But I couldn't copy the effects cleverly and it ended up with some average work. I am saying average because the colouring appeared darker than I had desired. For fifth installment (page 41-50) I experimented with brighter colours, but immediately recieved negative feedback from CW and Rafiq for that. That was a course correction and I kept it in mind during later work.
I personally feel that towards the last 10-15 pages the colouring work is better than the earlier work. May be I have gained some experience now which should be helpful in future.
Corrections and Modifications:
Even after completing a page, I have constantly worked on some of the panels to keep the consistency and to improve the effects. For instance the body colour of Devil was brownish when first post was made. In later parts it was changed to greyish. some more changes were made from time to time.
The Complete Strip:So now, the strip is ready for all comic lovers to download. For those who have been downloading the parts there are two options.
(i) Either they can download only the remaining 5 pages
(ii) They can download the strip in its entirety. This option is recommended for two reasons. One, as I mentioned earlier, all previous pages are retouched. Not a single page is left without check for consistency. Many pages have been improved. A more detailed work is done on Luaga and Bababu's appearances. Secondly, and more importantly, I am now posting a higher resolution version of 1500 px width. All earlier pages were 1100 px wide only. But even at 1500 px resolution the strip is only 36 MB in size (remember there are 65 pages).
A 1100 px wide full strip version is also being provided if someone is interested in that.
So friends, enjoy.
Last Five Pages (61-65) 1100 px wide
Looking for your feedbacks, so that I can improve myself in future projects.
|Previous posts in this series are here:|
Page 1-10, page 11-20, page 21-30, page 31-40, page 41-50, page 51-55, page 56-60
Next Colouring Project:
Want to go for one Mandrake Strip next. Actually, I have already selected one, but not going to disclose the title now.
So dear friends, you can expect more here.