This is a half-formed thought, but I want to throw it out into the blogosphere and see what everyone else thinks about it: the coloring in a comic book basically acts as its musical score.
This may be blatantly obvious to some people (I'm sure this isn't the first time anyone's mentioned such a thing), and it may seem completely deranged to others, but hear me out. First, this coloring=musical score notion struck me this week for two reasons: (1) Because Dean Trippe mentioned that he and I are the only two reviewers who talk consistently about colorists (which isn't exactly true, but he's a coloring damned expert, and I sure do gripe about bad coloring whenever I feel the need), and (2) Because I was showing "The Departed" in my cinema class this week, and that Dropkick Murphys' music is oppressive as hell (in a good way).
Since comics don't have musical accompaniment (and though I've had friends who listen to music while reading comics, I've never been able to do that without getting annoyed), what do they use to establish a strong emotional impact? What do they do to cue the reader on how he or she is supposed to feel?
Obviously, this notion doesn't make sense for black and white comics, but the spotting of blacks does provide a rhythm, a beat, around which the narrative whirls.
So when the coloring is wrong for the comic -- like David Curiel on the Atlas arc in "Superman" or Frank D'Armata on "Captain America" or all of the "painted" color on the "Project: Superpowers" nonsense -- then it's like taking out the Dropkick Murphys and replacing it with late career Billy Idol. It's like taking John Williams's "Star Wars" score and putting in Queen. It changes everything.
Thus, color is to comics as musical score is to movies, and if it doesn't fit, then the whole thing is ruined.
Am I wrong?