Monday, December 7, 2015

Use of Color in Plutona

 In the first issue of Plutona, written by Jeff Lamire and Emi Lenox, color definitely adds to the experience of the reader. By looking at the cover, the reader can already be engaged in the story, without even knowing what happens in it. On the cover of this specific issue, the reader is introduced to the main character, Mie. Mie takes up a large portion of the front of the comic, and in the background the reader can identify that the image represents a forest. The use of purple  here draws in the reader as the colorist, Jordie Bellaire, has blended multiple shades of purple together to achieve a mysterious element to the forest. Bellaire also adds tones of faint purple in Mie’s shirt and also in her face. The way he uses these colors to compliment each other emphasizes the facial expression of Mie (as her black hair stands out and frames her face, drawing attention to her expression), thus making the cover as a whole intriguing for the reader or a potential reader. By seeing these elements on the cover, the reader automatically wants to know why this character is in a forest, and what she seems to be uneasy about. The use of color on the cover also offers the idea that the pages of the comic will also be colorful, and used to enhance the readers experience. 
Throughout the pages, artist Lenox and colorist Bellaire work together to help the reader understand the personalities of the characters presented in the comic. This idea is shown as each character has a different colored background that identifies them. The character which stood out the most in the comic is Ray. He is introduced on page six, and has the darkest page among the characters, which can be seen to be depicting his personality. The almost grey wash that lingers over the panels on this page, give the reader the idea that he is recognizably different than the other characters, as their background colors are bright. Here, the colors work in unison with the scene going on within the panels. By seeing Ray’s dad surrounded by beer, and Ray having to wake his dad up for work (when he is up and ready for school), it shows that he comes from a different home life than the others. The grey sort of adds a sad element to the page, also persuading how the reader should feel whilst looking at these panels. The way color works with the scene helps identify Ray, and also helps the reader to understand why he is the way he is, when he is represented in further pages. 
In this comic, it is easy to see that color strongly influences the way the reader views the comic. Aside from Ray, the other characters are represented by certain colors as well, but they are lighter and almost add a happy element to those pages. If these pages were not so colorful, perhaps one would not have the same connection to the characters, which would then change the way the comic makes the reader feel as a whole. In comics, color definitely adds something beyond what just picture, words, and black and white can do. 

By: Emily Lukas

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