Tsutomu Nihei, Blame Gokuen, and Color

Some old crazy colored Nihei comics.  (Blame Gokuen)

I hate a lot of Nihei’s older colored stuff—which I think on it’s best day, was just sort of weird glossy Bilal comics—but I dig this fine.  Lots of interesting textures.  A complete puke of colors in every panel.  I think Nihei is at his strongest though when he stays off the digital painting and just makes strong bold decisions with flatter colors.  I think the coloring of the Blame! anime logs is really beautiful because of this.  And the covers for his Knights of Sidonia stuff are really beautiful(they’re mostly just red and white).  When your style is so completely the show—I think overwrought  coloring techniques end up distracting.  Even here, the techniques he’s using to apply his colors are more sort of blurred and smooth—when his style is more precise and at least at this point dirty.  His coloring decisions are working in opposition of his strengths as an artist.  It’s difficult maybe for mangaka used to working so much with heavy blacks and grey scale to sometimes make that switch into color.  Though I think too there may be a cultural thing at play in terms of color that I’m not picking up.  I think Q Hayashida is one of the main mangaka’s that I think of that is as good in color as in black and white.  I would be interested to see her color a Nihei piece actually—because their styles are similar texturally—though Nihei has more heavy blacks.

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1 comment
  1. Which reminds the lurker me, have you ever posted something about Q Hayashida? I got two posts about different things but maybe I just suck at searching. I’m halfway through the archive reading old stuff and it’s good.

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