The Ghost Who Walks. Part One

I really gotta admit here that I was never that big a fan of The Phantom. I never read the comic strip, I only own one comic book with the character but that is mainly because of the cover art, and the movie with Billy Zane was ............. not too good. But it got better! "What are you talking about Jon??" Well, A few months ago I read someones blog about how certain movies are actually better in black and white. He showed some stills that he converted to validate his claim and I was curious. His main example, however, was not The Phantom, but the original Indiana Jones adventure "Raiders of the Lost Ark". He was right. I downloaded a free program and converted an iTunes file of the film. Awesome!! Looks and feels like an old Warner Bros. horror movie. I can't remember what sparked the idea to try it again with a different movie, but somehow The Phantom did come to mind. Maybe since it was a period picture helped. Whatever the reason was, it worked. It does not make it a good movie, but it makes it much more watchable. Treat Williams' over the top baddie just seems so much more acceptable in glorious black and white. Granted, I do love the old serials from the 1940's and when you watch those you have to take into account the bad acting, weak plots and low budgets. The Phantom fits that criteria and I assume that it why it works. Try it. Let me know what you think.

Screen shot from converted movie file.

As far as my picture of the character goes, I had a random, tiny little doodle in my sketchbook of the guy. I don't know why or when I did it. May have been when I was watching the flick. I just decided that it may be fun to actually finish it. I really liked the lighting possibilities for the piece when I did my color comp but I really am disappointed with myself for skipping a step. I normally blow up my sketch to work over it on my animation table to do the final drawing to keep it consistent. I didn't this time and now I am left with a figure that has moved and lost much of the drama that my original sketch had. Oh well. Lesson learned.

My original doodle.

Color comp.