The best current book bargain I know of is "Playboy 50 Years: The Cartoons" which originally sold for $50 and is now an overstock selling at Barnes & Noble for $13. The colors have been "remastered", i.e., simplified and drained of their subtlety, but for thirteen bucks, hey, it's still worth it!
I organized a few of the better pictures above (topmost) by colorists I like: Sokol, Dedini, Davis and Kliban. I also put together a collage by artists whose colors I like a lot less (above) (come to think of it, the center artist above isn't bad...he should be in the "good" pile). What's the difference? Why are the colorists on top so much better than the guys below?
Right away I can see the better artists use a lot more darks. Most of them also use more white. The good ones also seem to have a bold plan while the lesser artists are content to use whatever seems unoffensive. The red, white and blue schemes don't work...maybe they'd look better with more pure white areas.
Nobody ever talks about Kliban's color but the examples in the book are all first-rate. His color is funny, it actually enhances the gag. This restaurant picture is especially good but I can't figure out what the color's doing. Anybody care to venture a guess?