HELLBOY WEEK: The Color of Hell, with DAVE STEWART

Saturday’s Hellboy Day, according to Dark Horse Comics, but at 13th Dimension it’s been HELLBOY WEEK! And today, we’ve got a MIGHTY Q&A with Eisner-winning colorist Dave Stewart!

(In case you’ve missed them, this week we’ve brought you a two-part interview with creator Mike Mignola, as well as interviews with editor Scott Allie and writer/collaborator John Arcudi.)

Dan Greenfield: Hellboy is one of the most atmospheric comics of the last 20 years and the color palette has a lot to do with that. How much collaboration is there with you and Mike or you and any of the artists?

I always try to get the artist’s or writer’s input on the project. The level of that varies. Mike and I sometimes talk a lot about what he’s looking for. He thinks about how to use color when he is creating the story. Scott Allie thinks about color a lot when he writes so that always seems like a deeper collaboration. Then some teams we don’t talk a lot about it. A lot more straightforward. But I try to take take the things I learn to those projects.

Hellyboy in Hell #4, Page 9

Hellyboy in Hell #4, Page 9

How much has your approach changed since you first worked on the book?

It’s developed quite a bit. Just learning how the color and value works with his art was important. I started separating the book freelance. I’d take painted guides and interpret them into the computer. Eventually Mike and I working so closely led to me coloring the book. We’ve gone from linear blends to more of a flat painted look. And we’ve developed a short hand.

Hellboy in Hell #4, Page 10

Hellboy in Hell #4, Page 10

What lessons has working on this kind of character and this kind of property have you learned?

I think it really developed some of my ideas about coloring. You can’t just lift this approach and apply it to anything, but the basics of good coloring in a really graphic way have informed my other work. Working on such a successful creator-owned project has really been a privilege.

Hellboy in Hell #4, Page 11

Hellboy in Hell #4, Page 11

Do you ever go back to your earlier work and wish you could do it over again differently?

Hmmm. Some stuff. You maybe overdo it on rendering or too subtle with a color palette. Maybe the choice of a certain color palette doesn’t print well. Too dark or light.

Hellboy in Hell #4, Page 12

Hellboy in Hell #4, Page 12

What’s your favorite Hellboy storyline?

The current one, Hellboy in Hell. How could it get better?

Do you have a favorite Hellboy character?

I guess it’s always been Hellboy. A regular guy that just happens to be a key to the world’s destiny. I love that he’s a giant red demon that acts like he might just be turning a wrench in a shop.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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