Today we welcome Kelly Fitzpatrick to On Comics Ground. Kelly is a Hugo-nominated colourist, whose work can be seen in the pages of Archie 1941, Archie meets Batman ‘66, Betty and Veronica Senior Year, Bitch Planet, Quincredible, and of course, Bad Luck Chuck.
Kelly, welcome to On Comics Ground, thank you for taking the time to chat with me I’m very excited to have you here.
Kai Kiriyama: I’d like to start off by talking about Bad Luck Chuck, the colours in this book are amazing, bold and warm while balancing the nighttime tones, it is a visual treat. Do you have a specific colour palette that is going to remain constant throughout the book?
Kelly Fitzpatrick: Thank you for saying! There is specific color coding going on in the book with different characters. I also always try and shake things up when it comes to flashbacks and certain objects or I guess totems you see in the book that might be doing some foreshadowing.
KK: Are there any colours specifically within the world of Bad Luck Chuck that signal changes in the balance of luck? Does Chuck’s bad luck powers activating mute a colour, or present in any specific colour?
KF: Nothing necessarily shifts from a color perspective when bad luck is going down. Fires are going to be hot and floods are going to be wet you know? In that sense it’s skewed a little realistic. It feels appropriate to ground everything down into the real world and not take a psychedelic approach like I did with Shade.
KK: What has been your favourite part about bringing Bad Luck Chuck to life, so far?
KF: Working with such a great team!
KK: Do you find that working on, for lack of a better term, ‘retro’ titles, like Archie 1941 shifts the way that you colour? Do you limit yourself in the colours you choose to reflect fashions and interior design choices of the era?
KF: Oh my gosh! TOTALLY! I’ve worked on period pieces and I look up ads, military uniforms, swatches of fabric and pictures of sewing patterns of the time (like McCalls), etc. to have a frame of reference. I’m constantly googling reference pictures for weird stuff.
KK: You have worked on so many different titles, with different styles of art, is there something different that you do when approaching the tones and palettes for each book? And is there a signature that you put into the colours in each one that we can pick out as decidedly Kelly Fitzpatrick?
KF: It’s so hard to pinpoint it yourself. When I look at other colorists’ I admire I can pinpoint who it is based on their style even when things are colored wildly different. I think we all have a perspective to coloring, but it’s hard to see or describe our own styles. I’ve been told I use purple a lot, but then if I compare myself to Hollingsworth (who I consider the king of purple) I feel like I don’t use it that often. Ha. I try and make each project unique and to find a way of coloring that I think will highlight the line artist and the tone of the book.
KK: If there is one thing that you would like people to take away from your work as a colourist, in any of the titles you work on, what would that be?
KF: I hope people will see the work as something cohesive- like one, big, beautiful brain created an amazing comic and that we all try and put forth our best work and passion into each thing we do. Live to create and create to live.
Thank you so much again, for taking the time to chat with me. It’s been an honour to have you here.
Bad Luck Chuck is in stores now, from Dark Horse – this is one book you do not want to miss!