Saturday, December 26, 2009

Completed (Phantom Sunday Strip #136 Full)

Hi friends!

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:

I also got useful hints from Rafiq on contrast of few colours when I first posted that part (bodyguard unit of President Luaga). Those were immediately corrected and from the next installment, the uniform colour was changed to something more soothing to the eyes.

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.

16 comment(s):

  1. I am first. Congratulations on completing this enormous task. I like the idea of giving a link for the complete strip as it makes it easier to read together.

  2. First of all congratulations on completing this herculean task.Now,we comic lovers,have one more colored strips added in our collection.As a first try the results are quite good.Slowly slowly experience will teach you the needful to do for further improvement.
    Have a look at total 65 pages from beginning to end and you yourself can pick the areas for further improvement.
    And,yes,a Mandrake strip for next project is a wise selection,will be waiting eagerly for magician in color.

  3. TPH, congrats for completing your mega project. I am going to enjoy the full blown version, first-up, once I reach back home. And going to come back for commenting about the same.

    And a Mandrake for next.... well, it's indeed a welcome change. But, get the much needed break my dear friend.... and Wish you a Happy New Year too..

    I 'll be Back :)

  4. @Col Worobu:Thanks col. Small coloured strips (<20 pages) will be posted in a single file. Large ones in two or three parts.

    Scanning, digitally improving and posting a single comic takes me around one hour, while colouring a "single page" consumes around three.

    [Time investment]
    1 page colouring = 3 comics scanning and posting
    65 page colouring = 3 x 65 = 195 comics scanning and posting

    You don't expect me to post 195 comics in a single post. Do you? :o)

  5. CW: Thanks CW. I think later parts of the strip have shown improvement on the earlier work. Now my main target is to learn how to do it fast. Want to bring down the time par page under 1 hour.

    Mandrake is in line. A classic phil Davis art. Need to do it somewhat differently so as to keep the classic atmosphere intact. I'll show it to you before posting.

  6. @ Rafiq: Your suggestions have helped me improve. Very much thankful for that. Still hope to get benefited from your expertise in comics in general and comic art in particular.

    Yes, taking a break now but need to complete the next strip by March next year. Will be quite busy from Apr to Aug (as usual)

  7. Great job, well done TPH. I had been eagerly waiting but with patience for this completion.

    On a side note, has anybody taken the task to finish scanning all the Diamond Phantom and Mandrake comics? They are also a treasure worth keeping to all the Falkians.

  8. @ bhotla Thanks. I am happy that I have able to complete it at last, though it took much time. Appreciate your support and patience.

    I am planning to scan few Diamond Phantom and Mandrake myself.

    Thanks again.

  9. Dear TPH, thanks for this. I was following it for quite some time now. Wonderful effort and dedication from you. Looking forward to your next colouring project.

  10. Dear TPH,

    Salute you for the completion of this ambitious project and also for educating us on the effort that is required to get a comic strip....

  11. Old Man Mozz: Thanks. I enjoyed the creation and it feels good to come up with something original. Thanks again.

  12. S...U...P...E...R...B...!!!
    U r not an amateur anymore!
    TPH, keep it up! All the best.


  13. Sorry for bother you. In the Friday, February 20, 2009 post for pages 1-10 the link don't work. Is it possible fix it? It would be nice to see the evolution from page one to the last page.
    Your work is wonderful. Thank you very much for share


  14. General Bababu, the man who will in the end kill Phantom #21.

    1. 'Ghost Who Walks Will Never Die'.
      Phantom-21 will never be killed in a KFS story.