Heroes behind the scenes
Beetle Bailey, 8/26/10
Since I’m prone to cruelly mock the comics colorists when they fail to acknowledge even the most obvious of in-strip cues, I feel obliged to praise them for their service and dedication when I see evidence of it. Take today’s Beetle Bailey, for instance. In panel one, Dr. Mustache (I have no idea what this ancillary character’s name is, but since this is Beetle Bailey, it may well actually be “Dr. Mustache”) has clearly been drawn wearing a scoop-necked sweater vest over what, based on the tie, we must presume to be a dress shirt of some kind. The colorists left the shirt white, which makes sense, and colored the vest a sort of teal, which is aesthetically questionable but not outside the realm of possibility.
Then! Panel two! The artist decided to draw Dr. Mustache writing angrily on a clipboard, and then realized that doing so would place the doctor’s hand and pen right in front of the vest’s neckline area, and then decided that drawing in the details behind the hand would just be too hard, and so the doctor is now suddenly wearing some kind of undifferentiated torso-covering garment. But our brave colorist remembers! He or she cannot just forget about the sweater vest from the previous panel, and so heroically draws in a neckline, even doing a bit of detail work on the doctor’s left, all without predrawn lines to serve as a guide. The tie appears to be beyond his or her capabilities, but we must salute the brave attempt to pick up the slack left by the actual strip artist, who, we cannot emphasize enough, is paid good money to draw a strip that will appear in virtually every newspaper in America until the newspaper industry goes out of business completely. So kudos to you, anonymous colorist! Too bad you couldn’t do anything about the incomprehensible punchline.
Apartment 3-G, 8/26/10
Poor Lu Ann, so dim she can’t even recognize the old game of Good Makeover Reality Show Host, Bad Makeover Reality Show Host. Kitty will have her sporting a goth-black brush cut in no time!