Hello! Today I will be talking about color and environment in webcomics!
In order to do this I will be using artwork from a very interesting comic called Romantically Apocalyptic (RA). RA is a post-apocalyptic webcomic about the adventures of four characters trying to survive.
The art director Vitaly S. Alexius describes RA as “a high-detailed graphic novel that combines delicious servings of: end of the world / life in a dark post-apocalyptic dystopia, and twisted humor”.
What is really interesting about RA is the way they produce the webcomic. They use multimedia techniques to create stunning artwork. The team uses photographs, digital artwork, music, film and more! Once I discovered this I understood the comic so much more and began to see how it was constructed.
I want to focus on two main aspects of RA’s artwork for this post: color and the creation of environment and mood.
Being in a post-apocalyptic world, there aren’t as many bright cheerful colors as you may think. But something that works so well is how RA artists used color. Many of the backgrounds have a more somber and dull color space. However they use a dominant color in the characters or objects to help our eye focus on something in the image.
In the instance above, they have used red to get us to focus on the character the Captain. This technique is very effective, especially when the rest of the image tends to be grayscale. RA does this in many of their panels and I think it is a very good technique, especially since there isn’t a huge amount of dialog in the comic.
They also use color as a way to give us specific visual connections to the characters. Each character tends to have a color that they are represented by, and this is an immediate way for us to know who is in the scene together.
The image above is another still from RA that uses really nice dominate color to bring focus to the character. There isn’t much action going on, but there is a lot of artwork going on, and with so much to look at sometimes the viewer needs help to know what to look at. RA uses dominate color to guide the reader through the page, which is even more helpful when there is an absence of dialog.
Now Environment and Mood:
There are so many epic scenes in this webcomic, and they artists definitely use that to set the mood, or give scale and perspective to the reader.
The image above not one gives a great perspective and scale on the space that the characters are in, but it also frames the characters into the picture. The environment in a post-apocalyptic comic seems to be of high importance to the creators, and RA is no different. The picture is immensely overwhelming and makes the viewer feel in awe and even intimidated, but more importantly intrigued. Seeing this panel made me want to explore more and discover other parts of the destroyed world.
Yet again, RA provides another incredibly interesting, but decrepit environment. This is totally different from the image above, but does a lot of the same things. It creates fascination and makes the viewer want to know more. Establishing a strong sense of environment is so vital, and RA has done that so well, there were countless examples in just the first few pages.
I know I rambled a little bit about this comic, but I was so impressed by the artwork! The team goes to such incredible lengths to make each image look as realistic and interesting as possible, and the hard work definitely pays off!
I hope you enjoyed as much as I did!!
Speaking of the team, I must give credit!
Art Director: Vitaly S Alexius
Photography: Vitaly S, Oggy B, Chico G, Mabi
Illustrators: Vitaly S, Mabi, Allyssa N/Hatsie, IlDanmrak
Artists: Andrey F, Christine Z, Ivan Y, Malin F, Caroline H
Music Editor: Oggy B
Intern: Tina Hoffman
Romantically Apocalyptic is a copyright © of Vitaly S Alexius. No infringement intended.