tick colors

Can anyone help me to figure out how to get tick
colors to be anything other than black?

  I am trying to produce a plot with a gray background
and red axes and tick lines. My code to do this is
as follows:

    plot1 = subplot(111,axisbg='#444444')
    set(plot1.get_xticklabels(), 'color', 'r', fontsize=18)
    set(plot1.get_yticklabels(), 'color', 'r', fontsize=18)
    set(plot1.get_ygridlines(), 'color', 'w', linewidth=2)
    set(plot1.get_yticklines(),color='r', linewidth=2)

    xlabel('r (Kilometers)',color='y',fontsize=20)
    ylabel('Luminosity (foes/s)',color='y',fontsize=20)

I have tried numerous tricks to get the ticklines to be anything
other than black with no success. Any help would be greatly