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Looking over the new Kodansha version of Vol. 1 of Akira (which, I’m sorry to say, is little more than the Dark Horse version on cheaper paper and the word Kodansha on the spine), I realized how much I appreciated colorist Steve Oliff’s work on the series when it was initially serialized by Epic, Marvel Comics’ fancy-shmancy line, back in the late ’80s and early 90s. I think it’s one of the few instances where an already great body of work was actually improved upon in translation.
I’m not the only one, as Ryan Sands at Same Hat! is a big fan of Oliff’s work as well. Apparently, Oliff was at APE last weekend selling the color reproduction pages to interested parties, and Sands shares a few pages on his blog.
Oliff also was featured recently in his local newspaper, the Independent Coast Observer, in a non-comics, rather tragic fashion. According to the story, Oliff came upon a deadly car accident in Manchester, near San Francisco, and attempted to pull the driver from the crash but was unable to do so before the man died.