Reviews for POSTAL & GLITTERBOMB

New project announcement: YAKUZA DEMON KILLERS

Hey, I'm happy to announce that I'm coloring YAKUZA DEMON KILLERS for IDW coming this fall with writer Amit Chauhan, artist Eli Powell, and letterer Marshall Dillon.

Read Fangoria's exclusive preview here: http://www.fangoria.com/new/exclusive-preview-idws-yakuza-demon-killers-comic-book-series/

Pre-order codes for GLITTERBOMB #1

Thanks to Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds), Kieron Gillen (The Wicked & The Divine), and Karen Berger (Founder of Vertigo) for the kind words on Glitterbomb #1! 

Pre-order Glitterbomb #1 at your local comic shop with the preorder codes in the image below. I can't wait for this book to hit the shelves. :) 

A Very Different Coloring Method (than mine anyway)

Colorist Tamra Bonvillain is a friend of mine, and she has a VERY different method of coloring than I do. I thought it was pretty interesting, so I thought I'd do a video to explain the basic concepts anyway. 

Tamra paints on masked "Solid Color" adjustment layers with a different layer for each color. She also does some things grouping layers and combining them with Levels adjustments layers that I do get into yet. I'm still figuring it out too. 

This method does have some advantages, and I learned a lot trying to figure it out! I won't be changing to this method or or anything, but I do think I'll be using parts of this method for certain things. It's always good to learn new tricks.

Anyway, enjoy the video!

Coloring contest!

Hey! To celebrate 12,000 YouTube subscribers, I’m doing a coloring contest! The winner will be enrolled in my coloring course and receive a full portfolio review. Second place also gets enrolled. Third place… steak knives… just kidding, there’s no steak knives and no third place.

If you aren’t familiar with my course, you can read about it here: http://learn.comiccolor.com/courses/coloring-comics-dl

It’s very thorough--10 hours of tutorials, and it includes all of my Photoshop presets, settings, brushes, etc. It also has a syllabus, so you know it’s legit!

I don’t want you working too long on this, so it’s just one panel for fun. You can download the image here (kindly donated by pro penciller and colleague Max Dunbar (LEGENDS OF BALDUR’S GATE, RED SONJA, SLASH & BURN): https://www.dropbox.com/…/ColoringComics-coloring_contest_M… Click the three dots on the top right to download it.

I’ll be looking for clarity and focus more than fancy lights and shadows. Storytelling is what coloring comics is all about. Highlight what’s important; minimize what isn’t. No script here, so just assume the girl coming through the door is the focus of the panel. Hair/skin colors don’t matter. I won’t judge on things like that.

Post your entry by uploading a link to the image in a comment on this post. Do not email them. (I’ll also be seeing if you can follow instructions!) :)

The contest ends on June 20, and I’ll decide a winner shortly after that. Best of luck!

Source: https://www.facebook.com/kmichaelrussell/posts/1196463170372277

New interview from Graphic Policy

Graphic Policy did an interview with me on coloring and my course! Check it out here: 

https://graphicpolicy.com/2016/05/12/an-interview-with-colorist-k-michael-russell/

New tutorial series starting: How NOT to Color Comics!

I'm starting a new tutorial series on YouTube called How NOT to Color Comics! 

I'll be talking about a lot of common mistakes--most things I used to do at some point.... haha... 

Check out this week's video here on AIRBRUSH EVERYTHING MODE! :) 

Answering an FAQ about breaking in as a colorist

Since the announcement of a new Image Comics project I'm coloring, GLITTERBOMB, with writer Jim Zub (THUNDERBOLTS, WAYWARD, SKULLKICKERS, et al), I've been asked a few times about how to "break in" with Image. I need a post to point people too. :) 

I'm no grizzled vet or anything myself. I'm still a relative rookie compared to a lot of other colorists, and there isn't really a formula for "breaking in" of course, but this is my two cents.

First off--a little background... 

Image isn't really one thing. Their books are owned by the creators of the respective titles, and Image (the company) doesn't really put teams together or hire colorists directly--or at least not in my experience. 

Usually the creators will put together a team themselves and pitch the book with the team already in place. So there's no one single place to submit portfolios or anything.

Back in December of 2013, I didn't have many credits under my belt at all. My friend, writer, and former collaborator Mark Bertolini posted on Facebook that Jim Zub was looking for a colorist for a new creator-owned project. Mark and I did a pitch together once.

Jim had posted about it on Twitter and his blog. The post is still up here: http://www.jimzub.com/colorist-wanted-coloring-notes/ 

And the Twitter post: 

I barely even used Twitter at the time, but I sent my portfolio (along with about 100 others--I later found out). Shortly after that, I was selected to work on this pitch! I was actually his second pick, but the first pick's schedule didn't work out. That was my introduction to Jim Zub. 

The pitch wasn't picked up unfortunately, but I stayed in touch--checking in every few months. Jim's long-time letterer Marshall Dillon forwarded my name to Jim again in September 2015 to work on the GLITTERBOMB pitch. 

Every series I've ever worked on started the same way.

I colored a four page short for Tim Seeley for Black Mask Studios in late 2013 on the recommendation of a penciller I'd worked with previously on... yep, another short. I colored yet another short written by Tim for IN THE DARK after trying out for Rachel Deering. I wouldn't have known about that project if it weren't posted on Facebook by one of the first writers I ever collaborated with -- Magnus Aspli. I started coloring Tim's HACK/SLASH a few weeks after all that.

Another four-page short I colored led into a on-going monthly series. This hasn't been announced yet. More on this soon.

So it's a small industry. Everybody seems to know everybody else. I guess the moral of the story is that no job should be too small. You never know where it might lead. Befriend other creators. Hit your deadlines. Be nice. Be patient. 

If it takes you five years to work for a major publisher, are you still interested? That will separate most beginners that "make it" from the one's that don't. 

I hope this helps someone! Best of luck. :)