The way colour was done in US comic books didn't change one iota from the early 1930s, when comics were run as an afterthought on newspaper presses, to the 1970s, when the direct sales market began to take hold. In the UK, colour was a bit of a moot point because the majority of UK comics were done in black and white, with the occasional application of spot colour, red or blue. The exception was the gravure papers like Eagle and Look & Learn. The superior printing techniques allowed artists like Frank Bellamy and Don Lawrence to turn in fully painted artwork on strips like Heros the Spartan and Trigan Empire.
     
Action Comics 309 (1963)



This was the way all comic book colouring was done for 40 years ... the technique is called four-colour and uses flat areas of three colours and percentage tones to aproximate real colour. For example, the skin tones here are achieved using a 25% tint of magenta - that's it. The red of Superman's cape would be 100% magenta and 100% yellow. The blue highlights in Superman's hair are 100% cyan (blue). The effect was carried out at the printers, with the print technicians following line photostats that had been coloured with markers by colourists in the publishers' production departments. One of the best known colourists was Marie Severin, who coloured almost all the EC line of comics and most of Marvel's books from the late 1960s onwards.
  Savage Tales 4 (1973)



Neal Adams was one of the new wave of talented artists that came along at the end of the 1960s. Though he was best known for his line work on titles like Batman and X-Men, during the 1970s he turned in some superlative cover paintings for Savage Tales and Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, using a sophisticated watercolour technique
  Storm (1982)



Though Don Lawrence began as a black and white line artist on strips like Karl the Viking, he soon began creating full colour strips like Trigan Empire in Look & Learn. Lawrence used anything that came to hand to colour, from gouache to ordinary colouring pencils
 
           
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