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Friday, April 24, 2015 

The color pallettes of the Avengers

The Wall Street Journal wrote about how use of color palettes in comic books changed from the 1960s, when machinery of the time made it difficult to use really fancy colors for books like the Avengers.

Unfortunately, it turns out to be another superficial propaganda piece, where one of the captions for cover comparisons reads as:
DARKER, MOODIER COLORS The cover of the first issue of “The Avengers” (Left: “Avengers” #1 from September 1963) only really has about eight colors (plus white and black). The color palette from this cinematic 2014 cover (Right: “Avengers” #28 from April 2014) illustrates how dark and moody the palettes have become. Note, for instance, how different the greens are for The Hulk.
To be fair, this photo caption does tip in-the-know readers off to some of the biggest mistakes in modern comics - making them look more like movies, and how too many superhero comics have plunged into darkness. But the downside is that it's all told without comment on whether making regular comics look more like movies hurts them in the long run.

And towards the end, when bringing up Marvel's first major movie ventures, it says:
The shift to digital coloring occurred in the late 1990’s, and by 2000 it was the industry norm. Around this time, Marvel started rolling out its first major superhero films, such as “X-Men” in 2000 and “Spider-Man” in 2002. These new films were significantly darker, and had a more muted color palette than their comic-book representations. The popularity of the films brought many new readers to Marvel’s comics, and those new readers’ expectations led to a shift in the colors used on the comic-book covers. [...]
Wrong again, and sales receipts prove it. The early 2000s were the first time I know of when sales for X-Men began to sink below 100,000 copies on the charts. As for expectations, I don't think the audience ever expected or wanted darkness supreme, certainly not in Spider-Man. That's what brought down X-Men too in the 1990s. Grant Morrison's vision clearly didn't impress any moviegoers, but they conveniently ignore that.

Man, the WSJ sure has fallen in quality all these years. Darker color has only become as unhelpful as darker storytelling.

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It's like an endless cycle: as the public gets dumber, so does their material for entertainment.

The Silver Age comics had limited pallettes, but that was enough to generate sales figures that dwarf those of today.

Marvel comics look like a bunch of crap a computer spat out now.

Comics today are static poses of characters floating in some sort of limbo, because today's "artists" can't draw perspective, and they can't draw backgrounds.

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