Coloring Between the Lines: Ian Herring

Hello Revuers! It’s time for another exciting segment of Coloring Between the Lines. Where we interview a Color Artist who is making an impact in the industry today. This time we have the fantastic Ian Herring with us. Ian was gracious enough to answer some of the burning questions we here at Deja.Revue had for him. Ian is among the elite in the game today working on such titles as Silk, Ms Marvel, Hawkeye (in fact I did an issue review of Hawkeye where I raved on Herring’s color work, you can check it out here), Hacktivist and many more. So without further ado here we go!

 

  • How long have you been a colorist?

I went full time in the fall of 2009

  • Was it what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to draw dinosaurs or look for dinosaurs

  • What’s the first comic book series you really got into?

I think it was Dragonball, fan translated off some websites.

  • Do you prefer superhero comics or other genres?

I don’t really have a preference but I prefer mini-series and one shot issues.

  • Who is your favorite superhero?

The Tick

  • Who is your favorite non superhero character?

J Jonah Jameson

  • What’s your favorite series that’s not a superhero series?

Akira

  • What is your process like for coloring?

The inks are sent to me by the artist or the editors and from there I have them flatted. These days I have assistants and professional flatters that take care of that aspect. Flatting is adding simple colours to the art so things are separated. Sometimes they are just random colours thrown in. From there I change them to fit the characters and story, build a palette for the scene or match them to one I’ve already used. I start to add depth and just work away until we’re set. I take care of adjustments throughout the process but make sure everything matches up with the book before finalizing it and sending it to the bosses for notes, revisions, approvals.

  • How do you choose a color palette?

Sometimes it depends on what the script is asking for, a lot of superhero comics are built around the palette of the main character which can’t deviate too much. Time of day is important, but after that it’s looking to create focus and push the artist’s ideas using colour.

  • What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand because not only was it challenging but it led to many other great projects and somewhat started my career.

  • Do you have anything coming out soon that we should keep an eye out for?

Ms Marvel and Silk are ongoing and usually coming out once a month. I started working on A-Force as of issue #5 so that will be released soon with art by Ben Caldwell. Hacktivist Vol 2 has been collected into a hardcover edition and is coming in May. I have a few copies sitting at my desk now!

  • Who are some of your favorite colorists in the industry today?

I look up to Dave Stewart and Laura Martin, I hope to meet them one day.

  • Is there anyone you draw inspiration from?

I tend to look at things on tumblr and pull images from concept art, posters, old French advertisements and Soviet art. Anything that’s bold looking.

  • I’ve personally really enjoyed your work on Ms. Marvel. How did you pick out the palette for that book?

I checked out Adrian’s concept work and fashion designs he had done before working on Ms Marvel. They tend to be more muted and some of the most fun in Ms Marvel is the day-to-day scenes before Kamala bursts onto the screen as Ms Marvel, bringing all her brightness to a page.

  • Another series I’ve really enjoyed is Silk. What was it like bringing her world to life?

     

     

     

     

Stacey Lee contacted me before we started and we chatted about what kind of palettes we could use. Silk has a somewhat monochromatic colour scheme so we talked about having lots of reflected lights and staying away from using straight white/grey/black. Page 1 of issue 1 is where we tested it and built out from there.

 

  • Speaking of Silk, is it hard to keep the color art consistent when artists change a few times?

Ms Marvel has also had a few artist changes so I’m used to it. I try to keep the palettes similar so the change is less of an impact to the reader.

  • Burritos or Coneys?

Burritos!

  • Where’s your favorite place to pick up a burrito when you’re at cons

I’ve never found one.

  • Where’s your favorite place to get a coney when you’re at cons?

Same answer.

  • What’s your favorite convention?

Emerald City

  • What would be your dream collaboration?

I would want to work with one of the artists I’ve already worked with on a Nintendo property of some kind.

  • If you weren’t a comic book artist what would be your career?

Historian

  • What’s the biggest difference between working for the big two and indie titles?

Mostly budget and the inter connected storylines.

  • What unique challenges does working for a big publisher or and indie publisher provide?

It’s usually monthly schedules vs a more long term one and the challenges they provide.

  • Who are some of your favorite artists to work with?

     

Every artist brings something different book and it’s always fun to see how we’ll mesh together.

  • Who are some of your favorite writers to work with?

I’d have to go with Willow Wilson and Robbie Thompson since I’ve worked with them on the same books for a few years now. Always looking forward to see where they take these characters.

  • Who’s your favorite character to color?

The Cyborg 009 crew, simple fun uniforms with a lot of impact.

 

Thank Ian!

 

If you are interested in seeing more of Ian’s work you can check out his Twitter, or his Tumblr.

If you are interested in buying some of his work you can check out his comixology page here

As always don’t forget to go to your local comic shop and pre-order some of his fantastic titles!

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Coloring Between the Lines: Brian Reber

Hello Revuers! It’s time for another exciting segment of Coloring Between the Lines. Where we interview a Color Artist who is making an impact in the industry today. This time we were fortunate enough to interview the amazing Brian Reber. Brian had some very interesting insights on coloring and life and was gracious enough to share them with us here at Deja.Revue. Brian is a consummate professional with over 15 years of experience in the comic book industry. You might recognize him from Ivar, Timewalker, Unity, Batwing and Bloodshot. So hold on to your hats and here we go:

 

  • How long have you been a colorist?

I’ve been coloring comics since late 2001, so roughly 15 years.

 

  • Was it what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

Growing up I wanted to be an artist that did everything on a book. I wanted write, draw, ink, and color. Coloring was actually the last thing I wanted to do.

 

  • What’s the first comic book series you really got into?

I want to say Uncanny X-men, but it was actually the reprinted Classic X-men that drew me in.

 

  • Do you prefer superhero comics or other genres?

I’ve always been a huge superhero fan.

 

  • Who is your favorite superhero?

Batman.

 

  • Who is your favorite non superhero character?

Kris from the Harbinger.

 

  • What’s your favorite series that’s not a superhero series?

My current favorite would have to be Velvet. Brubaker is such a fantastic writer. Then you have Epting and Breitweiser just doing amazing work.

 

  • What is your process like for coloring?

My process is pretty straight forward. When I first get the pages I send them off to a flatter. The flatter just breaks down all the shapes to make it easier for me to select and just start coloring. They use all kinds of crazy colors, so nothing they send me is actually carried over into the creative process. I’ll usually look over the pages to see if I can just tell what’s happening from the art. After that I’ll read the script to make sure I don’t miss any color notes. Following that I just start working and if needed I’ll google reference to play off of.

 

  • How do you choose a color palette?

I’m very grounded in the color choices. I usually visualize everything in true color. Once I finish “rendering” a scene I will then go back and adjust the colors using adjustment layers. I compare it to film. I’ll shoot the scene with whatever lighting I have then go back in and color correct it for mood.

 

  • What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

It’s really hard for me to pick and choose. The one project that I felt I grew and learned the most from is the “Madrox” mini-series. Most of what I consider my default style today was developed while working over Pablo Raimondi’s artwork on that book.

 

  • Do you have anything coming out soon that we should keep an eye out for?

Archer & Armstrong just started, so everyone pick that up if you haven’t already. I’ll also be working on a couple of the 4001 event titles from Valiant such as XO Manowar, and Bloodshot.

 

  • Who are some of your favorite colorists in the industry today?

There are so many currently that are doing great work. Dave McCaig, Matt Wilson, Rico Renzi, Dean White, but the colorist that knocks my socks off is Bettie Breitweiser. She should be winning all the awards.

 

  • Is there anyone you draw inspiration from?

I look to video game concept artists for most of my inspiration. Craig Mullins, for example, has a way of making anything look real. Like you could just walk right into one of his paintings or reach out and touch a helmet he’s painted.

 

  • I’ve personally really enjoyed your work on Ivar, Timewalker How did you pick out the palette for that book?

As I mentioned I have a realistic approach to my color selection and it pairs really well with Clayton Henry’s art. I think when we visualize things we have a very similar approach, so it all flows pretty naturally. The one thing I did have to take into consideration though was all of the different time lines. I tried to keep them distinct, but not so much that each scene was monochromatic.

 

  • What’s like working on several books at once for the same publisher in a shared universe?

     

     

It’s great at Valiant because we only produce about 9 books a month. Coloring 2-3 of them I feel like I get to influence a big chunk of the universe.

  • Does it present any unique challenges to create a semi-cohesive aesthetic between all the titles?

     

     

There isn’t that many challenges cause basically all of the aesthetic consistency is just from me being me. Now when are doing a large event it can get tricky with the books being split up with other colorists. Then it becomes a matter of who gets to color a scene or character first and the other colorists have to follow suit.

  • Burritos or coneys?

I’ve never had a real Coney Island hotdog, so I’ll have to go with burritos.

 

  • Where’s your favorite place to pick up a burrito when you’re at cons

I love burritos, but it’s one of the foods I avoid at cons. Can never tell how it might go.

 

  • What’s your favorite convention?

I would have to say SC ComicCon has become my favorite. Robert Young has just done a tremendous job with that show and the Valiant fans there are off the chart. It’s really fun for me to go to and it’s not too far from home.

 

  • What would be your dream collaboration?

I really want to color Jim Lee or Joe Quesada.

 

  • If you weren’t a comic book artist what would be your career?

I’d probably be doing something with video games. I was actually offered a job as a texture artist the same week I was offered my first comic book gig.

 

  • What’s the biggest difference between working for the big two and on your indie titles?

I feel way more invested in how well the books come out as opposed to the big two. I worked on almost every X-men title for 7 or so years at Marvel and it didn’t really seem to matter who they put on the books. The numbers were pretty much going to be the same cause it’s X-men. At Valiant the characters are lesser known, so I feel like the other creators and myself are trying to put our best foot forward to make sure our books stand out.

 

  • What unique challenges does working for a big publisher or and indie publisher provide?

With the big publishers there was always just so much going on that I always felt like I could get a little lost in the shuffle. At Valiant I have a chance to influence the look of a large portion the line. Even books I don’t do the interior colors on I might have done color designs for the characters. So the contribution level is drastically different.

 

  • Who are some of your favorite artists to work with?

I love working with all of my Valiant guys. Lewis Larosa, Clayton Henry, David Lafuente, Doug Braithwaite.. the list just goes on and on over there. I’m a really lucky colorist when it comes to artists I get to work with.

  • Who are some of your favorite writers to work with

Joshua Dysart, Matt Kindt, and Robert Venditti to name a few from Valiant. Ed Brubaker, Judd Winnick, and Brian K Vaughn were fun to work with in the past.

 

  • Who’s your favorite character to color?

Ninjak

 

  • What would be a dream series for you to work on?

If I were to concoct a project to check off everything on my want list it would be Daredevil by Ed Brubaker, Jim Lee, Dexter Vines, and me.

 

If you are interested in checking out more of Brian’s work you can find him on:

Facebook,

Twitter

 

Also you can find more of his work to purchase at Comixology.

Also, be sure to order Archer and Armstrong at your local comic shop!

 

 

 

Tales From the Pull List (04/06/2016): A Widows Peak

Hello Revuers! Its time for another edition of Tales From the Pull List. After several quiet weeks in a row, this NCBD turned into an embarrassment of riches. In fact of the last three years of religiously participating in NCBD this may have been my favorite week ever. Such tremendous talent and titles! So who won this week?  Well it was super close but in in the end only one title can be chosen as Pick of the Week. Read on to find out which one it was!

 

Pick of The Week

Black Widow #2: In what many might call an upset, this weeks Pick of the Week is Black Widow #2 by Matk Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson. Issue number two flashes back to one week prior to the last issue. Here we are given a funeral scene of an unnamed agent with Maria Hill and Agent Elder discussing the circumstances of the agents death. We find out that the Black Widow is at least party responsible. Then in a breath taking succession of pages and panels we see the Black Widow protecting Hill and Elder from a would be assassin team. In the end it’s Widow vs. a lone assassin. It’s then that she discovers the assassins true purpose at the funeral. No spoilers though so go out and get your own issue (if you haven’t done so already). This series is the creative team of Waid, Samnee, and Wilson’s second series together after a legendary run on Daredevil. I can honestly say that I can’t think of a better book for them to be on (Ok maybe Amazing Spider-Man, but I’m probably biased because Spider-Man is my favorite). The artwork by Samnee perfectly captures the feel and aesthetic of the world Waid has created for the Black Widow. The color work done by Matthew Wilson is spectacular, like it would be anything else, as it always is. Wilson is perhaps the greatest, most prolific color artist I have ever seen. Just this week alone I bought two titles colored by him (both were fantastic). All in all a great issue that builds suspense, reveals some of the Black Widows motivations for doing what she did last issue, introduces a new villain, and lets us watch the Black Widow single handedly take out a team of assassins. A very good issue indeed. Rating: 9.5/10

 

Buy

Black Panther #1: A great first issue on a much hyped debut. Ta-Nehisi Coates was under heavy pressure to perform and I must say he slayed it. If it hadn’t been for such an amazing issue of the Black Widow, Black Panther would have been my Pick of the Week. The artwork by Brian Stelfreeze is breathtaking. The color work by Laura Martin does a fantastic job of accenting and world building. Black Panther truly delivers this week and I can’t wait for issue 2. Rating: 9/10

The Wicked + The Divine #18: It’s back! And so is someone else. A great return for my favorite creative team in the business. Gillen, McKelvie, Wilson, and Cowles deliver a unforgettable issue full of action and destruction. In the letter at the end Gillen described this arc as “Taylor Swift’s Bad blood video for 6 issues”. I can’t wait for more of that. Rating 8/10

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #2: In this issue we learn more of the Rita’s grand scheme with the green power ranger. We also get more action that was lacking from the last issue. The page art of the dinozord underwater was some of the coolest art I saw this week. Fantastic! A great installment in this series that keeps me wanting for more. Rating: 7/10

Spider-Women Alpha: The first issue in this summers Spider family event. It sees Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, and Silk team up to take on crepes, Er I mean creeps, brunch, ball pits, clowns, o yeah and villains. We see them travel through inter dimensional space, fight adaptoid robots, and wind a sitter! This issue was a fun beginning for this cross over event and for the first time in recent memory actually has me interested in a cross over event. Rating: 7/10