Mon, 11 April 2011
None of us here at SiDEBAR are exactly sure when we first noticed Dave Stewart's work and said, "Damn, he's puttin' that down". But clearly, at some point, we all did.
In the twelve years that he's been in comics, Dave has rapidly ascended to the top of many an artist's and editor's preferred list of colorists. This man knows his stuff.
He's laid his stylus to tons of regular books — B.P.R.D., Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Detective Comics, New Avengers, Superman, The Goon, Hellboy. And he's no stranger to special projects and limited series' like Greendale, Joe the Barbarian and 2003's breakout hit, DC: The New Frontier.
I think New Frontier was probably my baptism into the gospel of Stewart. I found the color choices in each scene were at once sophisticated, and just as much fun as the tale Darwyn Cooke was weaving.
With the variety of stories thrown at him every month, Dave's intuitive ability to adapt has become a precious and sought-after commodity in comics. And that's important to note.
No matter what one's discipline, be it writing, penciling, inking, lettering — what have you — everyone working on a comic book is a storyteller. Or at least they should be whether one knows it or not. Dave certainly knows it and shows it with much panache.
This modern day 'Peter Paul Rubens' hails from Portland, Oregon; the home of Dark Horse Comics, the company that gave him his professional start. Portland is also the home of Greg Manchess — painter, illustrator and Dave Stewart fan, just like the rest of us (more on that connection covered in our talk).
We ran Dave down at his home studio and chatted with him about those early days at Dark Horse, his process (lots of process), the joys and the rigors of his gig, and some of the incredible artists he's had the pleasure to embellish — Cliff Chiang, Darwyn Cooke, Guy Davis and Mike Mignola.
Thank you, Dave, for making time for the Boys at the 'Bar. We appreciate it. And thank you, 'Nation, for checking back in once more.
**The title of this episode is a clumsy reference to the 1970 ballad, 'Colour My World', recorded by Chicago and written by band member, James Pankow. Great song!