When Golden Age comic book artist Victor "Quick Vic" Carrabotta decided to produce a comic of his own, Colorado Springs artist Luna Douglass was invited to flex her skills as the project's colorist — and she was excited. Not only was it an opportunity to work with a seasoned artist from the era when Marvel was still Atlas Comics and learn the ropes of publishing, it was a chance to be part of creating a unique comic story.
Starlady offers the story of a black female heroine whose methods for tackling evil are the complete opposite of the violence prevalent in the genre. Instead of a blade or a gun, her weapon of choice is love. She uses a special crystal to help the villains she encounters to see the cascade of choices that have led them astray, and change for the better.
The comic pairs Carrabotta's "old school" comic style, cultivated from his work in the 1950s, with Douglass' modern digital colorist skills. Carrabotta penciled and inked the pages on large sheets of paper, which were uploaded to a computer via a specialized scanner. From there, it was time for Douglass to begin her end of the project — painstakingly coloring 32 pages of line and form.
Douglass made minor corrections to the comic's angles and lines — but she was careful to avoid any drastic changes that would harm the integrity of Carrabotta's personal aesthetic.
"I like how fresh his drawings are," says Douglass. "His artistic style is so different, and I wanted that to show."
Digital software has made the coloring process somewhat easier than the traditional brushwork of the past, but a solid piece still requires the deft skills of an experienced artist. Douglass took page-by-page notes to ensure she could create the right look for Carrabotta. "I had to make sure the coloring was right, not too digital and in line with Vic's vision," she says.
Starlady remains in the fledgling stages of publication. A small team of Colorado Springs visionaries, including local publisher Jackie Haag and video producer Joe Acosta, have been hard at work to make it a reality. The comic will be revealed at GalaxyFest, where fans will be introduced to the new heroine's story and learn about the ongoing crowdfunding campaign to publish the book. Members of the team, including Douglass, will also be participating in a panel discussion during the event.