Introducing Gat Melvyn: Colourist on Fallen Heroes

Following on from our introduction of Moon colourist Ivanna Matilla this week we thought we’d like to introduce the longest standing colourist associated with Beyond the Bunker. The SA based Mr Gat Melvyn. In the early days of Fallen Heroes I had run up some pencil and ink pages and drafts but was wondering whether to handle the colours myself. It was a line in the sand because I had never considered completing digital painting – and still remain a little slow at it. I was in contact via Deviantart an artist from South Africa named Gat Melvyn. I had found his work on a Marvel Heroes Forum where he had completed the colouring of Phoenix and Emma Frost, both reclining in front of a starfeild. The depth and clarity of colour and the use of natural phenomena and bold lighting and tones led me directly to it. Having asked him to work with us on Fallen Heroes he jumped on board with both feet and put out two of the most impressive pages I’d ever seen for pages 1 and 2. He then improved page by page. FH put up enormous challenges for Gat and myself as we found our way but I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime.

NAME: GAT MELVYN
HOME COUNTRY: SOUTH AFRICA
PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Www.Toshigawa.com (www.toshigawa.com)
INFLUENCES: ALEX SINCLARE, NEI RUFFINO, BEN10, SPAWN, GREEN LANTERN, GEN-13, BATMAN, DC Tv SERIES, DISNEY
INTERESTS: Painting, Playstation, Magic: The gathering, clubbing, photography, drums, cinema

An editor at Boston City Campus, Gat is many things to many people in his home country of SA, simultaneously an old-fashioned gentleman, old-school metal-boy and hardcore Christian. Currently residing in Evendale, East of Johannesburg in South Africa where he’s lived all his life. As a kid, Gat says, he was quiet and whiled away the hours enjoying a blank page or a colouring book and box of markers and crayons. He’s tried as many different creative outlets before landing at the colourist stage as art took a back seat when entering High School. Turning his hand to Drama with a love of the stage became his main focus, learning to play the drums in mid 2002 and being a founding member of the band, Broken Lyrics, with their hit single ‘ Who the hell melted the Chocolate Chips?’ (yet to be released in the UK) but in his own and sort of Bono’s own words he ‘still hadn’t found what he was looking for.’
Studying film editing, scriptwriting, animation and directing, DGat graduated with a BA in Motion Picture Medium in 2006. It was only in late 2008 that Gat had a crack at digital painting (the acceptable adult version of sitting flat on the living room floor with your legs in the air and a pad and crayons). He describes his first works as “like a 5-year old on a sugar high, left with crayons and Mom’s wall,” but the possibilities that Photoshop offered him has grabbed him and refuses to let go.
A year later, he coloured his first story for www.toshigawa.com and a few months later, a young Brit by name of Steve Penfold offered him the chance to work on a new project, FALLEN HEROES!

A great character, Gat’s colours are bold, gripping and exciting. Its mainstream colouring but with sweeping and beautiful attention to detail. The thing that sets Gat apart from almost every other colourist is the magic effects he pulls with smoke, dust, fire, air and light. Notoriously the most difficult elements in colouring because of their incredibly delicate and detailed nature, Gat handles them like they’re just flat mat wall paints. Enhancing battle and even dialogue pieces his light play and detail effects put him in the top percentile of technicians. I would classify Gat as an Engineer of light as his application of colours and tones is incredibly enhanced by his finishes and effects. Not to say that his initial colouring isn’t masterful. For someone who has spent so little time mastering his art, Gat’s work reflects a awesome palette for high arcane and superhero artwork in particular. Embattled throughout Fallen Heroes, he took constant alterations and reedits really well. While I knew he was swearing like a trooper somewhere in Evendale, SA, none of it reflected back – he was the epitomy of professionalism and determination. As such and because he held true I think Fallen Heroes his strongest work to date and I can’t wait to see his new work on FH 2 and another project – to be announced soon….

There was one crack though and frankly a brilliant one at the finish of Fallen Heroes Gat expressed a fat ‘with all due respect, Fuck You’ which was well placed given the amount of pressure he’d been placed under. Obviously, there’s no hard feelings at all between me and Gat (if I had the money I’d like to fly to SA and meet him in Evendale) because we got the job done (now available at Fallenheroescomic.com in digital format) and I can’t wait to work with him again. He’s one of the rawest talents in the world and I consider him a partner on any project we work on. Even if he did call me Steven Pemrose in a recent E-mail. Pemrose? What?

There’ll be Gat spat all over this site every Thursday as we present a gallery of his work over the coming months!! Keep it here Bunkerites!!

FALLEN HEROES 1 IS AVAILABLE AT KAPOW COMIC CON 9-10th APRIL AND ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AT WWW.FALLENHEROESCOMIC.COM.

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