In case you haven’t heard, there’s been a changing of the guard here at Atroxity central, with Lee taking over page coloring duties from Mike. More can be read on that in our previous news post, but the bottom line is real life has gotten hectic enough to make it impossible for Mike to commit to a regular Atroxity schedule, and as such page six of scene 1.3 was the last to bear his colors.

It’s a bittersweet moment–bitter because we lost Mike, but sweet because Lee is awesomely talented and his pages look great and we’re excited to have him on board. But if nobody minds, I’d like to take a moment to praise our departing colorist a bit, and I’d like to start by showing you the horror of the Atroxity that could have been.

My Original Coloring Attempt

Not pretty, eh? This was my attempt to color a panel of Atroxity, you see, and even though it contained enough yellow skin to pass for a screengrab of particularly violent episode of The Simpsons, at the time it was the closest we had gotten to reaching a colored panel that matched what Luke and I saw in our heads. As such, this panel–yes, this utter piece of shit–was what we circulated to potential colorists as a rough example of what we were looking for.

Michael, one candidate of several, took a whack at it and wound up with this:

mike

This was my introduction to the act of wrapping my brain around an art submission that looked drastically different from what I originally envisioned.

This was also my introduction to admitting that a drastically different art submission was far better.

saulleap

Of course, Mike went on to hone things further–see the actual published page–and play a massive part in shaping the overall look and feel of Atroxity. At the time we were just throwing vague ideas around with some idea of what effect we wanted finished Atroxity visuals to evoke, and Mike pioneered through all this to arrive smack at our end goal–and then some.

Luke and I had been toiling away for quite some time before Mike came on board, and the protracted birthing process meant that each panel contained the scars of bad ideas cut out and good ideas grafted on late. Mike somehow pulled it all together, smoothed over the seams, and created pages in which countless months of discussion, planning, and drawing could be experienced in finished form.

Not to say that Luke and I weren’t on to something cool initially–because we were–but it wasn’t until Mike climbed on board that Atroxity was converted into a fully functional creative endeavor with finished visuals.

And so I thank Mike. I thank Mike for two years of easygoing no-drama collaboration. I thank Mike for 42 fantastic looking finished pages. And I thank Mike for the fact that pages of Atroxity even exist in finished form.

I’m not sure what’s next for Mike, but it’s going to look fantastic.