Gary Leach bangfish at
Tue Nov 20 01:35:15 CET 2007


> I remember Gladstone had difficulties coloring some strips  
> precisely because of  the "gray coloring"-- a search has just  
> confirmed the name "Zip-a-Tone", but it turns out to be a brand  
> according to wikipedia; the actual name appears to be screentone.  
> Could someone please confirm?

Screentone is a proper term (there are others; printing terminology  
has never been terribly standardized) for the application of dots to  
simulate shading. It applies to black and white and color reproduction.

Comics artists used Zip-a-Tone for many decades, applying it directly  
to their original art or to stats of same, in order to introduce  
inexpensive shading to black and white reproduction. Before Zip-a- 
Tone came along - and became widely available - artists and prepress  
houses were known to use Benday (designed for four-color  
reproduction) for black and white screentone shading, with crude but  
workable results.

I'm not sure of this myself, but I've heard that Benday was the  
material used for screentone shading in the early Gottfredson strips.

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