Written By Neymar Jr. Comics on Nov 05, 2019, Posted in Neymar Jr. Comics
In the latest series from Neymar Jr. Comics, “Red Card,” our hero Junior enters a post-apocalyptic world that begins after a mission into space goes horribly wrong, with alien spores released into the atmosphere.
After the majority of humans transform into zombie-like creatures, it’s up to Junior to liberate a camp of survivors, calling on his football skills to win barbaric matches for survival. For a further look into the world of “Red Card,” we sat down for an interview with art director and colorist Dustin Evans.
Question: What was your motivation/inspiration to become a colorist? What else have you worked on in your career?
Dustin Evans: Well, I didn't set out to become a colorist, initially. It sort of found me. When I started doing my own drawings, growing up, I felt like they were incomplete until I added some sort of color. I started with colored pencils, pastels, paints, etc.
When I was in high school I got my hands on a demo version of Photoshop, and I was immediately blown away by what was capable just by clicking around and applying some basic FX. From there I started devouring every tutorial I could find online to figure out how to color my own line art. It was very soon after that I realized just how much colors add to comics and illustrations/art in general.
I find inspiration for the color I bring to the table from everything around me, especially pop culture. In the past I have been fortunate enough to work with Disney on Pirates of the Caribbean, Dreamworks, IDW, Warner Brothers, and I was even on the Conan O'Brien show for a few milliseconds to feature my artwork at a special SDCC show.
Q: Beyond just coloring the page, what’s the job of the colorist? How do you help bring the world of Red Card to life?
Evans: Really a colorist can make or break a book. It's their job to not only add color, but you set the whole tone and mood for the book. For instance, with “Red Card,” we worked hard to figure out how to complement the line art and set the right amount of moodiness that is worthy of an apocalyptic story.
We actually had several test runs on getting the colors and look just right, and I think we settled on the best answer to the artistic equation which was texturing along with a hand airbrushed sort of look — really hitting the highlights and accentuating the dark areas make the characters pop and come to life.
Q: You’ve worked on various Neymar Jr. Comics titles, and each series contains its own distinct look. How do you give comics a visual feel that complements both the art and the story?
Evans: Great question! You're right, it's important to give each book and title their own distinct look. Imagine if My Little Pony was colored like an issue of Spawn, haha!
So, Inked and Red Card are similar in that they are both pretty serious, BUT they needed to be completely different in tone and mood. With Inked we have a lot of vibrant colors that pop with the tattoos springing to life. We also used a more traditional comic book shading technique utilizing gradients and selections to give Inked a look that is more than cell shading but also not airbrushed looking.
In Red Card we wanted a more muted palette, because the sky is scarred and cloudy the majority of the time. Things are dingy and grungy. Let's face it, not many people are washing their car in the apocalypse, so you have to think about all of these things when coloring a book and bringing it to life. You're Bob Ross-ing the world from blank canvas to whatever the story calls for.
Q: With the new title Red Card, what did you hope to accomplish with the colors that would make it stand out from Inked: Art Animates Life?
Evans: We wanted Red Card to have a completely different and more realistic look. Inked is more traditional in terms of line art and colors, but with Red Card we wanted to capture a certain moodiness and darkness that is fitting for a horror or apocalyptic story. It was my goal for someone to see any single page from Red Card and immediately, just from the colors, know what type of book this is and what sort of story you are about to dive into as a reader.
Q: The world that these characters inhabit is not a pleasant place. What did you enjoy about crafting this ominous and murky setting?
Evans: Textures! As a colorist it's easy to sort of get used to just shading your work with gradients and you're done, but Red Card forced us to think outside the book in terms of texture. Not only did I apply textures and FX to the roads, rusted metal, grass, etc., but if you look at the page as a whole, there is an overlay or filter that sort of covers the whole page.
I think of comics as film on paper, so if you think about a movie like Saving Private Ryan, the whole movie has a certain grittiness and filter applied to it. That's what I hoped to achieve with Red Card, and that was the most rewarding and fun part of coloring this title. On really great projects you will learn something new, because you are forced out of your comfort zone and made to try new things. As an artist, you're always growing, and growing is the most fun.
Q: You also serve as Art Director at Neymar Jr. Comics. What do you think are the biggest creative strengths of the company based on the work you’re producing, not only now, but for books that are upcoming as well?
Evans: Yes! We have so much in the pipeline that we are excited to share with readers. I think we have assembled a creative team that delivers on so many fronts that it has created the perfect production storm.
First and foremost, everyone is a hard worker, and they all deliver on deadlines and in six different languages. Secondly, we really are a team, so if help is needed somewhere with edits, coloring, lettering, etc., we can tag someone in to come to the rescue. Last, but definitely not least, our team is just so immensely talented. They can tell a dynamic story, visually, and capture the heart of Neymar and the heart of the story.
Q: If you were in Junior’s shoes and forced to compete in an apocalyptic soccer game, how would you fare? Would you be a survivor or meat for the Shuttle Dusters?
Evans: Well, in my mind, I would be amazing. Taking down Shuttle Dusters left and right in an 80s style action montage...but in reality, I would probably pull a hamstring first thing and be an amuse-bouche for the Dusters.
You may also read: