Get to know the flatter Paula Goulart

Get to know the flatter Paula Goulart

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What made you become part of the Oathbound team?

I met Paul Gori through a mutual friend, colorist Hector Rubilar. I’m currently working with Paul on another project, Astropunk, so when Oathbound needed a flatter, I was excited to join the team!

Art by Paul Gori

What was your first experience with comic books?

I read a lot of comics during my early childhood and through my teenage years. There were times I bought so many books while at the comic shop, I don’t think I ever even read them all! Comics are a hobby I have always, and still, enjoy.


Can you tell the folks at home what a flatter does and why it’s so important to a comic?

A flatter is a color specialist, who works as the colorist’s assistant. I prepare the inked page by separating the drawn elements and filling each with the appropriate solid color. After that, the page is ready for the colorist to render.


The pages are set up so the colorist can easily change these colors if desired, add light, shadow or highlight effects. This type of finish work is usually done in a digital art software program, like Adobe Photoshop.


The color flats must touch as any gaps or white space between them can cause problems later. A flatters job is varied, as each colorist may desire the flats to be done completely differently. Some may prefer flats that are very close to the book’s final color palette while others might prefer a much wider color spectrum from which to work.


There are software programs that can help flat a page, but they don’t always work well for certain types of line art. So, the best results are achieved when the page is flatted by hand. It can give pixel-level precision, with inks that won’t bleed when the comic is printed. It’s the most effective way to flat a page, although it can be very time-consuming.


Usually, the colorist and the flatter work together. But, some comic producers find commissioning a flatter and then searching for a colorist beneficial. It allows them to use the finished flatted pages to shop for a colorist. Having the same flatted page for each colorist from which to create a sample, allows the work to be compared fairly, side by side.


Also, since half of the color work is already done, they may be able to negotiate better pricing from a colorist. Lastly, having finished flatted pages means re-coloring, if the need ever arises, is a breeze.


What are some of your favorite comics? What comics (if any) do you currently read and what comics would you suggest to others?

My favorite comics are ones that have a definitive beginning and end, like mini-series. Being able to understand a story from the beginning, without needing for previous knowledge of the character, makes a story much easier to enjoy. I find it annoying when you begin reading something new, and end up feeling lost because there is so much inferred in the book, things you could only know if you’ve read the series in the past.


I used to read and follow the X-Men in the 90’s. I got to know Jim Lee and J. Scott Campbell at Gen 13 and have followed their work ever since. The TMNT comic books are some of my all-time favorites. I also enjoyed The Sandman collection quite a bit.


As time has gone by, I moved to reading Japanese manga. It has opened my eyes to a whole new facet of comic art and storytelling. I am currently reading Hajime Isayama’s Shingeki no Kyojin and think it’s a great series. It’s one I highly suggest.


What other (if any) comic book series/projects are you involved with and at what capacity?

Other than Oathbound, I am currently flatting Astropunk, penciled and inked by Paul Gori and written by Kenneth Centers and Rob Farinholt. I have also recently finished flatting a graphic novel, coming soon in Brazil, by one of the most well-known publishers here.I am not allowed to officially announce it yet. But, stay tuned!

Art by Joe Mad

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