Introducing Gat Melvyn: Colourist on Fallen Heroes

Following on from our introduction of Moon colourist Ivanna Matilla this week we thought we’d like to introduce the longest standing colourist associated with Beyond the Bunker. The SA based Mr Gat Melvyn. In the early days of Fallen Heroes I had run up some pencil and ink pages and drafts but was wondering whether to handle the colours myself. It was a line in the sand because I had never considered completing digital painting – and still remain a little slow at it. I was in contact via Deviantart an artist from South Africa named Gat Melvyn. I had found his work on a Marvel Heroes Forum where he had completed the colouring of Phoenix and Emma Frost, both reclining in front of a starfeild. The depth and clarity of colour and the use of natural phenomena and bold lighting and tones led me directly to it. Having asked him to work with us on Fallen Heroes he jumped on board with both feet and put out two of the most impressive pages I’d ever seen for pages 1 and 2. He then improved page by page. FH put up enormous challenges for Gat and myself as we found our way but I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime.

NAME: GAT MELVYN
HOME COUNTRY: SOUTH AFRICA
PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Www.Toshigawa.com (www.toshigawa.com)
INFLUENCES: ALEX SINCLARE, NEI RUFFINO, BEN10, SPAWN, GREEN LANTERN, GEN-13, BATMAN, DC Tv SERIES, DISNEY
INTERESTS: Painting, Playstation, Magic: The gathering, clubbing, photography, drums, cinema

An editor at Boston City Campus, Gat is many things to many people in his home country of SA, simultaneously an old-fashioned gentleman, old-school metal-boy and hardcore Christian. Currently residing in Evendale, East of Johannesburg in South Africa where he’s lived all his life. As a kid, Gat says, he was quiet and whiled away the hours enjoying a blank page or a colouring book and box of markers and crayons. He’s tried as many different creative outlets before landing at the colourist stage as art took a back seat when entering High School. Turning his hand to Drama with a love of the stage became his main focus, learning to play the drums in mid 2002 and being a founding member of the band, Broken Lyrics, with their hit single ‘ Who the hell melted the Chocolate Chips?’ (yet to be released in the UK) but in his own and sort of Bono’s own words he ‘still hadn’t found what he was looking for.’
Studying film editing, scriptwriting, animation and directing, DGat graduated with a BA in Motion Picture Medium in 2006. It was only in late 2008 that Gat had a crack at digital painting (the acceptable adult version of sitting flat on the living room floor with your legs in the air and a pad and crayons). He describes his first works as “like a 5-year old on a sugar high, left with crayons and Mom’s wall,” but the possibilities that Photoshop offered him has grabbed him and refuses to let go.
A year later, he coloured his first story for http://www.toshigawa.com and a few months later, a young Brit by name of Steve Penfold offered him the chance to work on a new project, FALLEN HEROES!

A great character, Gat’s colours are bold, gripping and exciting. Its mainstream colouring but with sweeping and beautiful attention to detail. The thing that sets Gat apart from almost every other colourist is the magic effects he pulls with smoke, dust, fire, air and light. Notoriously the most difficult elements in colouring because of their incredibly delicate and detailed nature, Gat handles them like they’re just flat mat wall paints. Enhancing battle and even dialogue pieces his light play and detail effects put him in the top percentile of technicians. I would classify Gat as an Engineer of light as his application of colours and tones is incredibly enhanced by his finishes and effects. Not to say that his initial colouring isn’t masterful. For someone who has spent so little time mastering his art, Gat’s work reflects a awesome palette for high arcane and superhero artwork in particular. Embattled throughout Fallen Heroes, he took constant alterations and reedits really well. While I knew he was swearing like a trooper somewhere in Evendale, SA, none of it reflected back – he was the epitomy of professionalism and determination. As such and because he held true I think Fallen Heroes his strongest work to date and I can’t wait to see his new work on FH 2 and another project – to be announced soon….

There was one crack though and frankly a brilliant one at the finish of Fallen Heroes Gat expressed a fat ‘with all due respect, Fuck You’ which was well placed given the amount of pressure he’d been placed under. Obviously, there’s no hard feelings at all between me and Gat (if I had the money I’d like to fly to SA and meet him in Evendale) because we got the job done (now available at Fallenheroescomic.com in digital format) and I can’t wait to work with him again. He’s one of the rawest talents in the world and I consider him a partner on any project we work on. Even if he did call me Steven Pemrose in a recent E-mail. Pemrose? What?

There’ll be Gat spat all over this site every Thursday as we present a gallery of his work over the coming months!! Keep it here Bunkerites!!

FALLEN HEROES 1 IS AVAILABLE AT KAPOW COMIC CON 9-10th APRIL AND ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AT WWW.FALLENHEROESCOMIC.COM.

Advertisements

Introducing Ivanna Matilla : Colourist on Moon

We would like to take this opportunity on the run up to the big launch to introduce Ivanna Matilla, colourist on Moon 1. After the creation of the first 12 pages of Moon it became clear that the work required a deft hand. At Beyond the Bunker our intention is always to put out the best work possible and while there were possibilities of myself (Steve Penfold) doing the colour there were very good reasons why I should not. Namely that I was not adept enough at colouring digitally (as was required) and that I was no where near fast enough. I had already had experience of working with a colourist on Fallen Heroes with Gat Melvyn (introduced next week) and have enjoyed a good working relationship with him throughout (excluding a couple of hiccups – you’ll see what I mean next week) but nothing could prepare me for the sheer exuberant sweetness of working with Ivanna Matilla. Perpetually cheerful she has been brilliant throughout what would have been a really difficult process of bringing on a new creative and showing them the ropes.

NAME: IVANNA MATILLA
HOME COUNTRY: ARGENTINA
PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: THE UNFORGIVABLE (Graphic novel) http://www.theunforgivable.com/
INFLUENCES: LIQUID (Christian Lichter) and SIMON BORK.
INTERESTS: Painting, Cinema, Teaching, Learning languages

An English teacher 200 miles from Buenos Aires in Argentina, Ivanna Matilla has a boyfriend with a comic book shop in the town in which they live. Making time to paint (digitally), Ivanna stands out as one of the best digital colourists out there. Totally self taught (‘because she didn’t have time to study’) she only has one professional job to her name (much like everyone else on Beyond the Bunker), a graphic novel named Unforgivable. (http://www.theunforgivable.com/). A late find in the search for a new colourist for Moon 1 her eclectic and abstract style was not immediately the first choice – as we were looking for a horribly commercial artist – but with second looks at her Deviantart page she completely won us over. Between her skin tones and clothing detail and her lighting and shading her work represented something we initially thought was too advanced for our comic book – but we thought nah, let’s treat ourselves. And we were wrong to ever doubt it, her style fits well with a story of a fairytale gone slightly sideways and she had been a pleasure to work with throughout. Moon 1 was completed within two months (an incredible feat considering it is neither her day job and Christmas and a trip to her brothers for a week coincided with it. But nothing stopped her and Moon 1 simply wouldn’t have happened without her. We (and you I imagine) look forward to more of her stuff in Moon 2 and we are really proud to have her as the third member of Beyond the Bunker.

She also has a habit of ‘marking’ my work with arrows and questions about what this means and what’s that for. Two characters would not have had had hands in Moon 1 if it hadn’t’ve been for Ivanna. She requested two air tickets to Britain for the ‘Beyond the Bunker launch party’ as payment for the work she’s done. Unfortunately we can’t stretch to it right now but if her work attracts as many people as it should we should be able to afford a private jet within a few months.

Every time I see more of Ivanna’s work I am more and more in awe of her talent. We hope we can work with her for as long as we can hold onto her as she represents an incredible talent. Well, take a look for yourselves…. we’ll be showcasing her favourite pieces from her Deviantart collection over the coming weeks.