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?
- Who is your favorite non superhero character?
J Jonah Jameson
- What’s your favorite series that’s not a superhero series?
- 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?
- Where’s your favorite place to pick up a burrito when you’re at cons
I’ve never found one.
- What’s your favorite convention?
- 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?
- 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.
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!