Tuesday Q&A

Thursday Q&A: Javier Rodriguez

The Daredevil colorist talks about setting the tone for the series and stepping in on pencils for a two-issue arc!

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Daredevil #28 preview inks by Javier Rodriguez

By Jim Beard

Artist Javier Rodriguez sets the hue and tone each month as the colorist on DAREDEVIL, but he’s also a distinguished penciler in his own right. After the one-two punch of the wrap-up of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s epic DD storyline this June, Rodriguez steps in and joins with Waid on a special two-issue set of Man Without Fear adventures.

We went to Rodriguez to not only talk with him about how he chooses the color palette for DAREDEVIL, but exactly how he feels about taking the artistic lead on July’s issues #28 and 29.

Marvel.com: Javier, overall, what's been the most rewarding part of your work on DAREDEVIL to date?

Javier Rodriguez: Well, I guess that I don't have any in particular. [I’ve enjoyed] so much coloring this title from the beginning and to this day. No doubt the book is my favorite work as a colorist since my career started. Let me say that the team is fantastic. Working with editors Steve Wacker and Ellie Pyle is marvelous and they take care that everything flows nicely. Mark [Waid] is a great writer; there's always things happening in his scripts and the character development is great. On the art side I'm so lucky. Paolo Rivera and [his father and inker] Joe, Marcos Martin, Kano, Emma Rios; all of them and Chris Samnee—it's hard to find a series with such talent.

Marvel.com: How would you characterize your connection with Chris as you work?

Javier Rodriguez: Chris is an amazing artist. His approach to comics is like a dream for any colorist. All is clear and pretty straightforward which makes it all the more easier for coloring. Chris has a clean narrative, easy to understand, and he puts all the effort into making the reading experience enjoyable. Comics aren't just nice drawings - throughout twenty pages you should connect with your reader and keep his interest in what happens to the main characters. Chris is a master playing with this.

Daredevil #28 preview inks by Javier Rodriguez

Each artist deserves a different color treatment, so it takes time to choose the right one. If you have a good connection with the artist that always improves the final result. And this is so easy with Chris because we're always in touch, from the moment I get the first pages up until the book goes to print.

Marvel.com: Where did you begin when designing the color palette for DAREDEVIL? How would you define it?

Javier Rodriguez: When Steve asked me to do the colors for the book I started to think about how to approach it. I think that coloring is very important in comics, even to the point where it can completely change the drawing. I like to keep the drawing as strong as possible, you know, so to me, the best way to do that is to apply basic color concepts. When you've got the chance to do color work with artists like Chris you must focus your coloring in the storytelling.

I prefer using a rich color palette and classic color theory, rather than over rendering and trying to make everything more "realistic." Comics are not movies in which images are in motion. Here the movement comes from the reader's eye. So color composition is very important to make the eyes focus [on] the things that are important in any panel in particular and on the page as a whole.

I know that DAREDEVIL is a title that readers might have in mind as a "dark" title. But as a boy that bought “Born Again” every month in the 80’s, I’ve always kept the amazing work of Christie Scheele in mind. Rich, flat colors and a powerful basic palette, always serving the narrative and keeping the drawing as clean as possible. But yet, dark. Why is that? Well, I think it's because a dark story doesn't need a dark palette. Sometimes a simple magenta is more disturbing than a thousand shades of gray. I like that!

Daredevil #28 preview inks by Javier Rodriguez

Marvel.com: You’re doing the pencils for DAREDEVIL #28 and 29; how does that feel? Will you be coloring your own work for those?

Javier Rodriguez: It's like a dream. Daredevil is one of my most favorite Marvel characters. Just thinking of the names that have been involved in this series through the years is unbelievable. Colan, Wood, Miller, Mazzuchelli, Nocenti, Romita, Janson, etc. Look at this list of names; if you start looking for reference it's just scary!

So I'll try to do my best in these two issues. And yes, I'll do colors. Thanks to Alvaro Lopez doing the inking, I'll have time to finish the coloring myself.

Marvel.com: Are there any characters in those issues that you're having fun with? What's cool about them?

Javier Rodriguez: I have a lot of fun drawing Matt Murdock's childhood, drawing Jack Murdock and Matt's accident. And it was fantastic to do a panel with a lot of my favorite characters from the 1970's. I love all the 70's Marvel "exploitation" heroes, like Luke Cage with tiara and yellow shirt, Valkyrie, Doctor Strange—and the Hulk!

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