You Got the Look by Nevada McPherson

You Got the Look by Nevada McPhersonLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “You Got the Look.” Enjoy!

I’d thought I was nearly finished with the latest installment of my graphic novel weeks ago but then something happened. I tried something new and everything changed!

My books have been evolving each time, but this time I tried something different that I’ve been a little nervous to try before, and it clicked.

My books started out in black and white, then I started using gray and black to add a bit of depth to the backgrounds, and now the shading has evolved into actual color!

Creating graphic novels

When I first started creating graphic novels I thought it would be fun to add color, but the labor-intensive method I use (doing everything by hand) made it really difficult. I liked the look of the black and white and stuck with it for a long time.

After all, I’m a fan of black and white television shows and films, especially film noir; I like black and white in clothes, décor, and design. Still it was time for a change and I explored the possibilities of using shades of gray.

While gray is popular in décor and design, it could be considered rather bland in some instances, but that’s not always the case.

When exploring shades of gray, I found it comes in cool and warm, and every shade within a particular “temperature” at that. Some are toward the pink or mauve end of the scale, others silver-y and pewter, and still others with a hint of tan.

One reason I wanted shades of gray was because then I would still essentially be using black and white in subtle degrees, but when I saw the effect of the color tones of each shade, I decided I wanted that as well.

The subtle hints of underlying color gave my drawings the look I’ve always wanted for my books. I’d felt like I was at an impasse right before I could finish this project and the rich gray tones led to my aesthetic breakthrough!

My book

My book now has a look, and one that I love. I’ve added some other shades of copper and “almond” as well, and gotten bolder using the colors of my own unique palette.

It’s exciting to see my work finally look the way I always wanted, only I didn’t know it was what I wanted until I saw it.

Sometimes when things take a long time to happen, we get frustrated, but when they finally do happen—joy!

It’s just another step in our creative journey, and another discovery that helps us get to where we’re going, wherever that may be.

Happy writing!



Nevada McPherson lives with her husband Bill and rescue Chihuahua, Mitzi in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is an associate professor of Humanities at Georgia Military College. Nevada received a BA in English/Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. She has written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, plays, short stories and the graphic novels, Uptowners and Piano Lessons. Queensgate, the sequel to Uptowners, is her third graphic novel. For more information, visit

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