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SILVER SURFER 131 (1997) 20 PAGES of Interior Story Hand-Colored Original Color Guides by Marvel Comics colorist Tom Smith. Each page signed by Smith in margin.This lot is 20 original hand-colored pages (there should be 22 for the full story but it is missing pages 2 and 3 - but includes story pages 1, 4-22) used for the production of this comic book. PLEASE NOTE: I could only add 12 images to the listing, but there are 20 interior story pages of color guides are included in this lot. Message me and I can provide images of the other pages if you wish to see them. I am also including a copy of the original comic book. The pages each have an overlay on which Mr. Smith noted the color separation notations, which preserves the clean image of the colored artwork underneath. See images.
These particular guides are super bright, sharp, and the colors pop off the page. An excellent example of comic book colorist artwork.
This issue is chock full of great cosmic and space-related splashes and partial splashes!! It has an appearance by Galactus, as well as great images of the Surfer interacting with Zenn-La and Shalla-Bal and taking Alicia Masters on a journey through time and space.What Are Color Guides?Prior to the digital era, color guides were used to inform the printer on how to accurately print the colors of the comic book. These are ONE OF A KIND pieces of the production process of each comic book. Although they vary in size, most color guides are normal note-book paper sized photocopies of the comic book's original art, that were provided to the staff colorist, who would hand-color, water-color, or paint the color guides. The work was pain-staking and required a high level of attention to detail, as well as consistency! Often times a coding system of numbers and/or letters was used to indicate specific colors, shades, and information that was vital to ensuring the printer accurately printed the comic's coloration. These are sometimes drawn right onto the color guides themselves, and in some instances the colorists would mark them up on an acetate or rice paper overlay.
Color guides are a unique, one-of-a-kind collectible aspect of the production of a comic book, and as such they have historic value, because they provide insight into the studio and artist's vision of how the comic book should appear in print. Often times the color guide colors are more vibrant and richer than the actual printed comic book, since colors often degraded when printed onto the cheap newsprint paper that comics were traditionally printed on. In addition, some of the nuances of shading and color gradation were sometimes more complex than the print house was able to recreate (or cared to take the time and effort to recreate) and so the color guides often have a truer sense of what the comic should look like, than the actual comic book itself.
In today's digital age, color guides are no longer used, and therefore, vintage color guides are garnering more interest from collectors who are looking for a unique piece of a particular comic book's history and production process to own.