“We’ve had comics and manga in black and white for years. Why is applying color theory in comic art important?” you might ask. Comic art has indeed been around for a long time without colors, and we love those black-and-white stories that have captivated us for decades. But with the advent of webtoons and modern digital comics, we can also appreciate the importance of colors in storytelling. As said by Virginia Commonwealth University:
“Color has always played an important role in the arts, and comics are no exception. A well placed dot of red against a dark background can draw the reader’s attention just as quickly as a text balloon. Subtle shading of one color can enforce the illusion of depth, and the blending of another could create texture. Color is used to add visual interest, highlight story elements, and to support character identities.”
Dragon Ball, for example, was originally released in manga format without any colors. Many people loved it, and the black-and-white style helped to convey the art perfectly. However, when Dragon Ball was adapted into an animated series, vibrant colors helped bring the characters and stories to life in a way that could never have been achieved with just black and white.
Colors in webtoon comics also make sense because it’s a digital comic, and unlike traditional comic books, webtoon readers don’t have to turn pages. Readers see every new panel as a single image, and artists use colors to differentiate each panel. Using the color theory in comic art allow for more accurate color changes, making the art look cleaner and more appealing.
Manga and comics services now help realize the reprinting and republishing of classic comics released initially in black and white in color. Not only does this give readers access to the original work, but it also allows them to experience it in a new way.