Color, color, everywhere...

I've combed through the Artist Show-Off forums quite a bit over the last week and there really are some good artists that hang around this site. Seeing the numerous character redesigns and homage pieces has really put me in an artistic mood as well. It's nice to find some motivation in the productions of like-minded comic fans.

Typically I stick with my pencils and inks but I have seen some great colored pieces on the forums that has encouraged to branch out to some coloring. I like ink mostly, so I'm thinking of markers, but colored pencils work fine too I suppose. If anyone has any suggestions for some good marker brands, I would really be interested in hearing about them. I have some Prismacolor markers, but the price of a full set of those is a little out of the range at the moment.

Also, aside from Photoshop can anyone recommend any user friendly coloring/effects programs?

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The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same. 

The New 52. The Ultimate Line. Revamps. Reboots. New Creative Team! A Bold New Direction! (Another) #1!!!

All of these things are nothing more then sales gimmicks, designed to pull in new readers to keep dying sales from dwindling down to nothing. Sales gimmicks designed to undo the damage brought upon titles by the wrong writers or a controversial moment and most especially... over exposure.

The 1960's gave the world a great number of books and characters that are still very much around to this day; Spider-man, The X-Men... too many to list. These characters have thrived through thick and thin to maintain their longevity. But I have to ask this: where would they be without the multiple titles and all of the re-envisioning?

For years, Spider-man was a single character with a single book. Come the 80's, Marvel begins to branch the character into different directions and stories and incorporates new titles. The idea breeds; another new title. And again, a new title. By the 90's we have an Amazing, a Spectacular, the Web of, an Unlimited, and even a Sensational Spider-man... that's quite a lot for a down on his luck superhero, struggling with the responsibility of saving lives and maintaining his own...Each book would typically offer its own story arcs and on occasion they would crossover with each other for a larger story.

An over saturation of this character led to muddled continuity and a premature disinterest for the character. The time had come for Marvel to try and reinvigorate and we got... the Clone Saga *blech*... and then again we got Brand New Day... ugh. At least in that mess we had the Ultimate line (a rehash with spunk, but it was at least enjoyable)... and then they killed Peter...

My point is this: comic companies lose readers because we get sick of seeing the same thing over and over. Forcing a character on us in half a dozen books and team affiliations and guest spots is gaining them money in the long run but it's also making those same appearances less meaningful and the stories are becoming more and more redundant. I see the New 52 DC and all I can think about is Marvel's similar attempts with Heroes Reborn; not a bad idea, just mediocre execution. And I see a recurring trend: Batman, The Dark Knight, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, JLA, JLA International, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman... all books in this relaunch with Batman or at least Bat-influence. Don't jump the shark DC. Keep the reader coming in for more with great stories and art. make us care enough to give you our money. All you're doing is insuring another relaunch at some point, in some way. Take that focus and apply it to some deserving characters.

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