Thursday, March 9, 2017

No. 98 Eva de la Cruz

First Prog: 1360
Latest Prog: 1956

First Meg: 246 (new material); 218 (on Metro Dredd reprints)
Latest Meg: 382

Total appearances: 91
-including 15 epsiodes of Metro Dredd reprinted in the Megazine, but not a handful of Metro Dredds that weren’t
(and I bet my count here is a little low as I didn't pay proper attention to colourists way back when I first started compiling the list. Sorry, colourists!)

Words by Matt Smith (I think)
Art by Inaki Miranda
Colour credits:
Judge Dredd
Road Warrior
Dead Signal
The 86ers
Judge Anderson
Sinister Dexter
Havn - just started in the Meg the day after I posted this!
Various one-offs and Thr3llers

Notable characteristics:
Obviously there are exceptions in her work, but there’s an awful lot of indigo and violet, and indeed some deep reds and pinks. She also often adds a sheen to everything that puts me in mind of animated films more than comics, and it’s no bad thing. Often adds depth, for one thing. 

Child-friendly ultra violence, with an anime sheen
Art by Inaki Miranda; Context by Gordon Rennie

Reassuring deep blue
Art by Jesus Redondo; Words by Robert Murphy
On Eva:
Eva came to the House of Tharg in a package deal with artist (and, I believe, life partner) Inaki Miranda. Their work together is pretty darned glorious, and although I can see why Tharg hasn’t used Miranda too often – his style skews quite a bit to the younger end of 2000AD’s core readership, and his exaggerated version of Dredd in particular feels very young – de la Cruz had picked up steady work paired with a range of artists (chiefly PJ Holden), and bringing her own recognisable colouring style along.

It’s very rich, is what it is. Sumptuous. Lends itself to epic grandeur, summed up by her work – with Miranda, not coincidentally I’m sure - on one of the best of Tharg’s Thr3llers, the Ghostship Mathematica:

Sophisticated anime; grogeous layers of green slime on the ship there.
Art by Inaki Miranda; Words by David Baillie

But before that there was Dredd, with a high-profile job doing the Dredd cartoon strip that ran in Metro back when the idea of a free daily newspaper on the tube was a novelty.

Working on actual Judge Dredd in the Megazine was a definite step up for all concerned, and de la Cruz soon found herself as one of Tharg’s go-to colourists for a wide range of jobs.


Dig that crazy lilac!

Between the artist and colourist, that's some funky work getting the relflection / see-through trick going with the windows. Did you know, this is an exmaple of quanutm mechanics in action?
Artby Inaki Miranda; Words by Gordon Rennie

I’m no expert on coloring  -I can barely open up a file in Photoshop, let alone do anything to an image – but I do find de la Cruz’s style much more noticeable than, say, Gary Caldwell. She really seems to go for it with the mood stuff, and isn’t afraid to let the colours dominate the way a scene feels, letting lighting dictate the colour of clothes, buildings and such.

She’s also pretty big on bright lights unapologetically being bright lights.

I love HQ scenes with loads of strip lights. I'm old fashioned enough that it still reads as well futuristic.
Art by Inaki Miranda; Words by Gordon Rennie

If you can look past the extraordinary volley of blood and brains, those are some BRIGHT lights.
Art by Leigh Gallagher; Words by Al Ewing

Her work with Miranda does have a very particular quality that isn't quite the same when she's colouring other folks. Mostly she seems to play it starighter, with less of the cartoon shine. But there's always that commitment to enhancing the mood by emphasiing one hue over all others.

Why yes, the colour for murder and protistution IS red.
Art by Vince Locke; Words by John Wagner

If there's one way to try to sum up Dead Signal, it's that the protagioist uses the brioghtest possible pink ray gun.
Art by PJ Holden; Words by Al Ewing

More but darker red for impending death by giant missiles
Art by PJ Holden; Context by Arthur Wyatt

Modern comedy noir is, by contrast, black, yellow and orange
Art by Patrick Goddard; Words by Dan Abnett

F;ashbacks to the Acadmey of law are grey. OBVS.
Art by Steve Yeowell; Words by Alan Grant
She's been with Tharg for nigh on 10 years at this point, and long may she continue to appear!

More on Eva de la Cruz:
Good luck finding anything; all I got is
 -the link still exists, anyway, althoguh the site itself might be defunct now?

A meta-colouring joke, in which the protagonists go back home from yellow/orange hues to de la Cruz's preferred blue.
Art by Patrick Goddard; Words by Dan Abnett

Personal favourites:
Judge Dredd: Dog Soldiers; The Family Man
Road Warrior
Dead Signal
Thatrg’s Thrillers: Ghostship Mathematica; Rewind
Tales from the Black Museum: Dead Man’s Gun

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