Monday, December 7, 2015

Dealings in the Dark: Color and Narrative

Color is something that is often overlooked in comics, it is something that readers don't pay particular attention too. To them, color is as natural in a comic as it is in a movie or TV show. More often then not subtle color changes can be contribute significantly to the narrative of the comic in question. The two images below are taken from Darth Vader #12 and features Vader meeting with his associate Aphra. Aphra, who is introduced in issue #4, could be considered Vader's private investigator with regards to finding information about Luke Skywalker, Vader's son. In this instance, Aphra and Vader meet in a dark cave and discuss the tense employee/employer relationship. In the 4th panel in the image on the right, we see Aphra's features darken so that she is barely recognizable, the same can be said for Vader of the opposing page (but he has such a recognizable silhouette readers wound instantly him). The reason the are meeting in the dark on a faraway planet, is that Vader does not want his superiors to know about his dealings with Aphra, and the color change contributes to this notion of secrecy. We see a return to the normal color palate in the 5th and 6th panels on the second image. This is interesting to note because this takes place immediately after Aphra and Vader strike a new deal. There is no more need for secrecy now that the deed has been done, and the cartoonist returns to the original color scheme to suggest that the need for hidden faces (or masks in Vader's case) is no longer necessary.

-James Holland

Darth Vader - November 2015
Darth Vader - November 2015

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