Robot 6

Your Steve Oliff update of the month

Color separation page from 'Akira'

Color separation page from 'Akira'

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.

If you want to know more about Oliff and his work, by the way, check out this interview with Frank Santoro, and this interview by Oliff about his experiences coloring Akira.

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.



Steve Oliff is great. It was his work on Akira that made me realize how important a colorist is and made me look for them like I do inkers. Since then, the whole coloring side of things has become much more sophisticated, and we’ve lots of other greats now, too (Laura Martin, Paul Mounts, many others), but for me it started w/SO

I would love to see a post (here?) where contemporary colorists are interviewed… Folks like Jose Villarrubia and others who are doing interesting work, and get their thoughts on color. I only first thought about it when learning who Marie Severin was, and then when Frank Santoro posted that interview on Comics Comics.

Now, after picking up those pages by Steve and seeing the color guides for Akira in person, i’m extremely interested in the topic.

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