Prettier in Pink
You don't need me to tell you how great Chica Umino's Honey and Clover is — not when the rest of the blog-o-sphere is mooning over it. And don't get me wrong, it is a great comic, but I have a small confession to make.
I like it better in pink. Or magenta, rather.
When Honey and Clover is serialized in Shojo Beat, it's always printed in magenta ink, but the trade paperback is (of course) printed in black. For some reason, the black seems a lot harsher to me — what seems sketchy and loose in magenta seems unfinished and rough in black. And of course, the magenta ink is also thematically appropriate for the story, since it's about rose-colored memories of college and all...
Gosh, that sounds a lot fruitier now that I've typed it out.
Anyway, I find myself wondering how much more expensive it would be for Viz to print a paperback with one process color. I imagine it's got to be a tad more expensive than doing it with black, but it can't be that much more expensive or they wouldn't print Shojo Beat in color. Still, since the magenta printing is most definitely not the artist's original intention and I'm probably the only person in the world who prefers it this way, I'm probably better off saving my Shojo Beat issues than waiting for the "ultimate pink" edition of Honey and Clover.
Also, I like the storytelling on this page, very basic and cinematic — long shot to establish location, progressively tighter close-ups bringing us "into the" character and making Morita's appearance a surprise — but effective nonetheless. I also like the scratchy pen work on Yamada's eyes and cheeks, which really drives home how bad she's been crying.