Recent Dorkiness

Blow Up Yer Comics!!

Inspired by the strange beauty of the Four Color Process (4CP) blog, I’ve been playing around with my scanner and some old four-color funnybooks. If you’re not familiar with the four-color process, it’s how most color printing is done, combining tiny dots of yellow, cyan, magenta and black in varying percentages to reproduce a far wider pallette. Comics used a very crude, very cheap, and often imprecise version of this process for most of the industry’s history, and blowing the pictures up often brings out interesting details.

So, at the risk of infringing on the 4CP gimmick, I thought I’d share the first results of my own funnybook blow-ups with you tonight…

click to embiggen

From a coverless (and unidentifiable) old horror comic. Pretty sure it’s from the 1970s, and even more sure it’s a Charlton book. This is a background detail from a larger panel, and I chose it both because I liked the minimalism of the faces, and because the colors were so vibrant. I like the dot patterns on that pink pillow, too.

And speaking of the dot patterns… I was surprised that more dots weren’t visible on the full-size scans. Charlton seems to have just caked on the color at times. Of course, that’s the source of the colors’ vibrancy; the closer together the dots are, the darker the colors look.

Anyway… That’s by far the best of my 4CP attempts. If I come up with any others worth sharing, I’ll pass them along. But I did want to share something I found in an absolutely massive full-page scan I ran across somewhere out there on the web a few months ago (I don’t remember the source at this point). It’s a tiny detail from an ad for the film Valley of Gwangi, and it’s one of my favorite Funnybook Blow-Ups.

click to embiggen

About Mark Brett (455 Articles)
Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at

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