Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Overly Colorful Look Back

Yesterday DC released the first three of their DC RetroActive oneshots; these books, which featured Batman, the Flash, and Wonder Woman, were more or less written and illustrated to capture the look and feel of a bygone decade. Batman was quite well done, Flash slightly less so, and Wonder Woman read like a 70s "Emma Peel" issue, but the art looked was far too cartoony and animation-influenced to properly evoke the era.

I was surprised to see that DC chose to use contemporary coloring for the books, though; the more nuanced computer coloring seemed out of place. I think the RetroActive concept would have been much better served had the colorists been told to imitate the color palettes, styles, and limitations of the appropriate decades. Apparently DC didn't agree with me there, and I'm sure they had their reasons--but it seems to me that if you're trying to coney the spirit of a bygone era, you should try as much as possible to make it look as much like a previously-unpublished work from that period.

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