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Match to Flame 151

posted on June 11, 2021

 So I decided to learn Photoshop in order to do what the guys in the comic books were doing. Now, those coloring cowboys in the comic books already had a decade of experience on me, and I figured that it would take me about a year to catch up—given that I’d also be producing two comic strips at the same time (and actually a good bit more, but we’ll be coming to that). Which is why I decided to tap someone from the comic book field to color the strip while I got up to speed. My son Brian and I were fans of the Batman animated TV series. I remember him coming home from elementary school in the afternoon and stationing himself in front of the television to videotape the programs with the appointed task of removing all of the commercials (and, yes indeed, I now have them all on DVD. Thanks for asking). When the TV material migrated to the comic books, I became aware of the coloring of Lee Loughridge and sought him out to color the Sundays on Funky during my learning year. When the first Sundays started coming through, I showed them to Cathy and she said: “If he can color them like that, why are you bothering to learn Photoshop?” Point taken. So I hired a colorist. Lee’s first Sunday was May 3, 1998, and it was an auspicious debut. One of Lee’s strengths was his color picking, and that Sunday strip is a great example of his skill. I’m not even sure if I can name some of those colors. Funky’s wedding Sunday in the town square came along soon after. It’s an incredibly difficult piece, and fortunately for me, instead of quitting, Lee turned a difficult piece into a masterpiece. I really liked the new richer tone that his coloring gave to the work and how it set itself apart from the rest of the comics page. In 1996, the primary East Coast printer for the Sunday comics got rid of all of their color files prior to that point. So no clean color files exist for the first twenty-four years of Funky. I’m talking about color now, however, because starting with this volume, we can begin presenting the Funky Sundays the way they were intended to look, which is important because the coloring would markedly add to the feel I was trying to achieve.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9