BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #183 – Celebrating NIGHTLIFE – part 2

Boytoons Magazine #183 cover

As you know, my buddy Dale Lazarov, the master of sexual pantomime has recently seen the release of his latest hard cover book called NIGHTLIFE.  Published by Bruno Gmunder, NIGHTLIFE features three lovingly detailed and wordless short stories full of humor and lust.

Dale has teamed up with artist Bastian Jonsson and colorist Yann Duminil.  These three talented individuals offer us a glimpse at men seducing men in sweet, romantic, and very direct ways.

Last issue I brought you my interview with NIGHTLIFE artist, Bastian Jonsson.  Today, I am very pleased to bring you my interview with the book’s brilliant colorist, Yann Duminil.

NIGHTLIFE is now available. Story by Dale Lazarov, Art by Bastian Jonsson, Colors bt Yann Duminil.

NIGHTLIFE is now available. Story by Dale Lazarov, Art by Bastian Jonsson, Colors bt Yann Duminil.

BOYTOONS MAGAZINE: Hello Yann.  Thanks so much for doing this interview with me.  Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic background?  Your color work is so lush and beautiful.  Did you study digital coloring or are you self taught?

YANN: Well, I’m kind of a late bloomer… I always enjoyed comics (I collected the French translations of marvel and DC comics as a child) and I liked to draw, but I wasn’t particularly gifted… At the age of 12, I had a friend who could draw like John Buscema, he was a genius and my drawings were child-like compared to his, but he truly inspired me.

I never stopped drawing on my school books, but It wasn’t until my first year at university that I decided to really learn to draw and eventually try to make a living out of this.

I failed miserably to enter the Gobelins in Paris, but after that, I went to an excellent art school in Lyon (Emile Cohl), and worked very hard for three years before graduating in Illustration. (I also met my first boyfriend there, told you I was a late bloomer…)

My Dad was a computer geek, so I was lucky to learn digital coloring at home: my first drawing program was on an old Apple IIe… with 16 colors !

NIGHTLIFE was my first coloring job for a comic, so I did some research about color separation, and the way to manage line art… Bastian was a great help on this, with his advice.

Yann Duminil's colors bring NIGHTLIFE to beautiful, sensual life.

Yann Duminil's colors bring NIGHTLIFE to beautiful, sensual life.

BTM: What was it like for you, coloring Bastian’s artwork?  I assume that you had color notes from Dale. As the writer, he probably had a very definitive idea of what he was hoping to see.  Did Bastian also give you input, or was the coloring, color tones and lighting strictly up to you to decide on?

YANN: Coloring Bastian’s artwork was great: his characters are very well drawn and expressive, so it was very easy to place the shadows on them. Some of the backgrounds were quite a challenge (the church!), but once I got the mood, the many details were fun to do.

The only instructions I had were about the characters (hair color) and the fact that all the stories happened at night (the title of the book was a hint, too ^^). So I was very free to set the moods and use any colors I wanted…

Of course, Dale had seen some of my artwork, and I made some color tests before he gave me the green light on the project… Usually, I sent them the colored pages by mail, Bastian eventually caught some mistakes I made, and after some touch ups, the pages were approved by Dale.

BTM: Which of NIGHTLIFE’s three stories was your favorite one to work on?  Why and what particular elements did you enjoy most?

YANN: This is a difficult choice… the three stories have great moments, But I’ve got a fondness for the last one, especially the ending. There are lots of cute moments in the story, and the sex scenes are very hot.  There is a panel where you discover the young guy’s apartment, and I spent an awful lot of time coloring all the little details… I even lost an hour digging in my junk to find my old Playstation and sample the color.  (^ u ^)

The final pages were also really interesting to do, I love how Dale and Bastian depicted the lasting relationship of the two characters (the final panel is very heartwarming and cute).

Lighting a church can't be easy, but colorist Yann Duminil pulls it off beautifully. A panel from NIGHTLIFE,

Lighting a church can't be easy, but colorist Yann Duminil pulls it off beautifully. A panel from NIGHTLIFE,

BTM: I totally love that story too.  And the details in the church and apartment settings are wicked!  You guys did an awesome job on that!

As a colorist, what are some of the things you enjoy most about collaborating with artists and writers? Are there some new techniques you picked up while coloring NIGHTLIFE?

Since I read Sticky, I’ve been a fan of Dale’s stories.  It was a great surprise to be able to work on one of his books !

My personal work is usually cartoony and / or stylized, so it’s a nice change to work on realistic drawings like Bastian’s.  I learned a lot just by looking at his drawings, and coloring them…

Most of the time I use vector programs to draw, and add some effects in Photoshop at the end. Masking layers, customizing brushes and using adjustment layers, are only a few of the many Photoshop tricks I discovered during this project… and that will be very useful for my future work!

BTM: NIGHTLIFE comes to wonderful, vibrant life, in part due to Dale’s wonderful skill as a writer, to Bastian’s gorgeous illustrative style, but also to your amazing sense of color and dramatic lighting. NIGHTLIFE has a very distinctive flavor of its very own, but did you find it helpful to turn to STICKY and/or MANLY for ideas on color direction?  What other items do you find useful as inspiration and reference when coloring a project, if any?

YANN: Since Dale didn’t ask for a particular style, and the artist was different from his others books, I just tried my best to compliment Bastian’s great linework with a warm and sexy mood (I didn’t want the book to be all blue just because the stories are set during the night).

I love Steve Mc Isaac’s work: while using very few colors he’s able to set the lightning and mood perfectly, and it gives a very elegant look to Sticky. In MANLY, Amy Colburn’s drawings and warm colors are wonderful and very sexy, and were also a great inspiration.

At the beginning of the coloring process, I Googled madly to find reference pictures for some of the backgrounds and also flipped through my comics and book collection, but in the end I didn’t use most of that documentation… I just felt more secure with that big pile of books by my side!

Yann Duminil's instinct for proper lighting and mood are part of what makes his work on NIGHTLIFE so wonderful.

Yann Duminil's instinct for proper lighting and mood are part of what makes his work on NIGHTLIFE so wonderful.

BTM: Would you ever consider doing a second book with Dale and Bastian?

YANN: It was a great experience, and I’m very happy to have collaborated with them… so hopefully, yes.

BTM: I truly enjoyed your work on NIGHTLIFE.  What projects can we look forward to seeing your art on in the near future?

YANN: Right now, I have a lot of work to do to refresh my professional portfolio, and I’m trying to find some time with my freelance activities to work on personal projects…  Amongst the many things I’d like to do are a comic book, going back to painting, and completing a flash dating / erotic game project I set aside a long time ago…

BTM: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these little questions of mine. I truly appreciate it.

YANN: Thanks you again very much, for your attention and all your kind comments.

BTM: So this concludes my special 2-part NIGHTLIFE special.  To hear some of Dale Lazarov’s thoughts on the book and his creative process, you can check out this cool interview with him on Gayporntalk (posted 11/08/09.  You can find it by going down the chronological order of the various podcasts.).  Meanwhile, I encourage you all to pick up your very own copy of NIGHTLIFE.  You can get it here from Amazon.

NIGHTLIFE © Copyright 2009, Dale Lazarov.  All rights reserved.
Stories by Dale Lazarov.
Art by Bastian Jonsson.
Colors by Yann Duminil.

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