Nowhere Men is a stylish and cool comic with Nate Bellegarde pencilling with a succinct and firm hand. But it is Jordie that makes the book vibrant and expressive with its colour. They work with so many generic characters that are employed by World Corp, in the fact that they are scientists and engineers with similar features. When it comes to the original four founders of the company, there is a more varied set of panels. The success relies on a set in the sixties and the hairstyles and clothes making it easy to distinguish Emerson from Simon from Thomas. However the deeply toned colours of their outfits really make them individuals nonetheless. If they truly were a Beatles cover band then they would be easily recognisable.
Now fast-forward to current times and the short hair, clean-shaven, t-shirt and jeans look, then Bellaire has a harder task ahead. She overcomes this with similar principles to the old boys and the apparel is not brightly coloured but vividly coloured. There are no garish or illuminating colours but each person is recognisable. There is an appreciable difference between the skin tones of many of the Caucasian scientists. Couple this with the crew developing ailments manifesting itself as a physical malady such as skin lesions and limb overgrowth then you have very individual individuals. The colouring transforms the place from geek to chic, which is the coolness the book strives for.
The environments in which the protagonists are set are coloured wonderfully. The scientific labs are full of detailed equipment and can easily be drawn as shades of drabness but at how the pipes are coloured yellow and blue and the circuitry is multi-coloured. The huge space is full of minutiae that can so easily be overlooked if it was not for the colouring.
The book then moves to the outside world where each set has a distinct feel to it. The single page splash shot not only shows you what kind of setting we are invited to but also the feel, such as cold and wet underwater. The colours shine and paint different scenes and the level of detail are breathtakingly surprisingly. This is demonstrated by the shimmering sunlight on the rocks underground and the wonderfully red canyon scene, which is subtly shaded to give a sense of magnitude. When we then add the protagonists with the variety of colour in the dress, skin tones and illnesses of the World Corp, we are treated to some incredible work.
Jordie and Bellegarde produce some wonderful effects in order to bring about the tension and animosity. This can appear intensely with the colour red reflecting an impending explosion, and the shading of their faces highlighting the palatable fear in the yellow fired reflections of their eyes. The tension can also be shown more softly with the withdrawn and dejected face looking out of the window at the forest ahead. When a character looks forward we rarely know what they are viewing, but the incredible pale blue moonlight with silhouetted trees expand the tautness of the scene. It is just a wonderful effect and is incredibly effective.
Jordie Bellaire seems to be on every book these days and that is only a good thing. Her work is quite varied and also achieves the desired expressive and emotional effects, none more so than in the phenomenal Nowhere Men.