Image © DC Comics, Inc.
I was sad to hear of the passing of Adrienne Roy a few days ago. It wasn’t a surprise, I’d learned she was seriously ill about a year earlier. During the ten years I spent on staff at DC in the Production Department I saw and spoke to her often, she was a busy colorist for all of those years (1977-87). The sample color guide by Adrienne above was her stock in trade. In the years before computer coloring, hand-painted photocopies of comics art, like this page from Detective 562, were produced by colorists like Adrienne and her husband Tony Tollin in great quantity, using specific dyes to indicate to the separators (also working by hand) which colors to put where. The codes had to be added by the colorist after the color guides were finished and approved, and much of the time Adrienne spent in the office was to pencil those in, usually with someone hovering nearby ready to rush them off to the separation house in Connecticut.
I can’t say I knew Adrienne well, but she was always friendly and easy to talk to, intelligent and with a ready smile and warm laugh. We were often on the same books in those days, featuring Batman, the Teen Titans, and many others (not the issue above, which is lettered by John Workman), but I can’t recall discussing the work with her very much. In those days letterers and colorists didn’t often do that. I’m not sure what all we did talk about, but I do recall we went to a movie together once, one we both wanted to see, but Tony didn’t I guess.
When computer coloring became the norm some time in the 1990s, Adrienne’s name began to disappear from comics. I guess she didn’t want to do that. After I left staff I didn’t see her for many years, but when I was a guest at the San Diego Comicon in 2008 she showed up outside my spotlight panel, and we talked for a few minutes. It was good to see her, and it brought back good memories. Adrienne had a talent for coloring comics, but more than that she was a fine person, and will be missed.