Tuesday, September 8, 2015

No. 44 Gary Caldwell

First Prog: 682 (cover artist); 717 (strip artist); 1082 (colourist)
Latest Prog: 1899?

First Meg: 3.46
Latest Meg: 342

Total appearances: 201 and counting

Art credits:
Judge Dredd

Colouring credits:
Judge Dredd
Nikolai Dante
Shimura / Hondo City Justice
Sinister Dexter
Age of the Wolf
Plenty of Future Shocks and other one-offs

Late 80s comics art - way more fine art-y than comics have ever been before or since.
Words by John Wagner
On Gary:
After a promising cover and a perfectly decent Judge Dredd one-off, Gary Caldwell disappeared for a lot of years, only to return as one of Tharg’s best colourist Droids. At his point he is, I think for those of us who pay attention to colouring*, heavily associated with artist Simon Fraser, and especially his work on The Adventures of Nikolai Dante.

I certainly took notice when that epic series started on its slow march to an ending with the story Sword of the Tsar. Where the tone before had been generally bright and breezy – even in the relatively gritty Tsar Wars episodes – it seemed to turn a bit more subdued at this point. Perfectly matching the character of Dante himself, who by now had given up believing he could live as a roguish charmer and knew that he had a responsibility to trying to make his world a better place.

Sorry about the blurring - that's all me and my feeble scanning skills. The clever use of greyscale is all Caldwell, mind.
Art by Simon Fraser; Words by Robbie Morrison

Much later on, when Dante wakes up after having been stripped of his weapons crest, the blues and greys really come to the fore, and it tugs on the old heartstrings like nothing else.

Washed-out colours to reflect all kinds of pain.
Art by Simon Fraser; Words by Robbie Morrison

A picture of depsair painted in pink and red.
Art by Simon Fraser; Words by Robbie Morrison
Of course, Caldwell worked on plenty of other Dante styles too – romantic, swashbuckling, political etc. 
In the later books, he managed to add a 3Dish sort of sheen to some of the characters, presumably using some new computer-based colouring tools.

Look, the bad guy is all shiny while the good guy is hiding in shadow. Subversion.
Art by Simon Fraser; Words by Robbie Morrison

And he’s worked with plenty of artists besides Simon Fraser, although those two do seem to be especially in synch.

Here’s a small celebration of the man's work…

Bright and breezy with PJ Holden.
Words by Gordon Rennie

Keeping it clean with Andy Clarke.
Words by Robbie Morrison

MC-1 has never looked pinker or bluer.
Art by Simon Fraser; Words by John Smith

A haze of vampire red
Art by Paul Marshall; Words by Robbie Morrison

Realistic colours meet impressionistic gore in Aquila.
Art by Leigh Gallagher; Words by Gordon Rennie

Green, red and blue as everything goes wrong for space super-merc Synnamon.
Art by Laurence Campbell & Lee Townsend; Words by Colin Clayton and Chris Dows.

*Which I must confess I don’t do nearly as often as I should.

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