Welcome back to the annual ComicBook.com Golden Issue Awards. Every year, the staff at ComicBook takes a look back at the year, and selects the best of what comics, movies, television, anime, games, and the rest of pop culture had to offer. For this category, we're going to put the spotlight on an often overlooked, but crucial part of the comic book development process with our recognition of the best comic colorist for 2021! Nominees for this year's award included 2017 & 2018 winner Tamra Bonvillain and 2019 winner Matt Wilson, plus fellow superstars Jordie Bellaire, Marte Gracia, and Matt Lopes.
And the winner of the 2021 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Award for Best Colorist is…
A renowned color artist and multiple Eisner Award winner, this marks Bellaire's first time taking home the Best Colorist crown for ComicBook.com's Golden Issues. Bellaire was nominated for her 2021 work on Marvel Comics' Black Widow with Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, and Rafael De Latorre. She also contributed color art to Ghost Rider: Kushala Infinity Comic and The Thing. As for other publishers, Bellaire provided colors for Wonder Woman: Evolution and Batman: The Imposter for DC; The Witcher: Witch's Lament, Barbalien: Red Planet, and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem for Dark Horse.
Coloring isn't the only thing in Bellaire's comic book arsenal, as she also illustrated covers and interiors, along with penning several monthly comics. 2021 found Bellaire making her Marvel Comics writing debut in The Darkhold: Wasp #1, a tie-in to the publisher's Darkhold event that saw Scarlet Witch assemble various heroes to help her fend off the Elder God Chthon after Doctor Doom summoned the deity using the cursed book. Another Big 2 comic that recruited Bellaire was DC's Wonder Woman: The Adventures of Young Diana, a collection of backup stories in the main Wonder Woman title.
Bellaire is one of the colorists that artists crave to work with, as her color palette enhances each and every page she touches. The perfect example of this can be seen in Marvel's relaunch of Black Widow. Even though the title has alternated art between Casagrande and De Latorre, Bellaire's colors have maintained consistency throughout the transitions, helping to stabilize the reader's enjoyment of the visuals. Casagrande and Bellaire have united to create a 1-2 combo of precision detail for Natasha Romanoff's adventures, making each of their Black Widow issues a must-read.
Congratulations to Jordie Bellaire for her Golden Issue Awards win!
The nominees for Best Colorist are:
Jordie Bellaire (Black Widow) — WINNER
Tamra Bonvillain (Crush & Lobo)
Marte Garcia (X-Men)
Mat Lopes (Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow)
Matt Wilson (Eternals)