First comic you remember reading: I remember reading a mix of comics as a kid including Spider-Man, World’s Finest, Green Arrow & Black Canary, Fantastic Four, Micronauts, and more. The first series I remember actively collecting was Batman and the Outsiders by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo with colors by Adrienne Roy. I loved the concept that Batman was such a bad-ass that he essentially tells the Justice League to go #$@! themselves and starts his own superhero team. Batman plays by his own rules and I was really drawn to that as well as watching each of the Outsiders become heroes in their own right.
Creators who have inspired you: As a boy the comics where I noticed the color were always colored by Adrienne Roy. Her skills with warm and cool colors as well as her creativity were unrivaled in her own time. I’m fortunate enough to have chatted with her at length and purchased some original color guides from her several years ago at Comic-Con. We spoke about me interviewing her and sharing her history and experiences from yesterday with today’s colorists but unfortunately she passed away. Her work has influenced an entire generation and she will be missed.
I distinctly remember seeing an issue of Akira when I was younger and experiencing digital color for the first time. Flipping to the credits page and discovering Steve Oliff changed my life forever. I may not have realized it at the time but this is probably the moment when I started my journey toward coloring comics. I followed everything Steve and his studio, Olyoptics, colored and continue to be impressed by his work. I was fortunate enough to interview him for my second art-instruction book, Master Digital Color.
Dream Project: For me the dream project is never about working with any certain publisher or on any specific comic title. My dream projects are always about working with creators who I respect and admire. I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to meet and collaborate with many of my personal comic heroes like Dan Jurgens, Terry Moore, George Perez and many more. I don’t know what the future will hold but I hope to work with more creators who inspire me and who work hard to create great comic books. Regardless of the character or company those are always the dream projects and the ones that challenge me to grow as a creator.
Current Project: Right now in the studio we are coloring DC’s new weekly series Future’s End. It’s always a fun challenge to work on a project where 52 issues must come out over 52 weeks. The writers and artists involved are all incredible and seeing their ideas rapidly evolve as each issue is completed makes the hard work worthwhile. Future’s End shows us versions of our favorite DC characters dealing with events 5 years in the future. Some characters will be familiar while others have changed radically. Watching the events unfold and wondering if the heroes can save the word and themselves is very thrilling and I know fans are going to want to read every issue.
Favorite Art Tools: I use Adobe Photoshop for most of the comic book coloring I do and use a Wacom tablet connected to my Mac to paint colors directly into Photoshop. For painted book covers and pop-art posters I typically create the drawing and painting on the iPad using the Mobiüs Pro stylus. Once the illustration is completed I will export it from my iPad back to my Mac where I add the finishing touches and typography for the finished lithographs.
Anything special for ACME/Free Comic Book Day: Hi-Fi colored DC’s Future’s End #0 for Free Comic Book Day as well the SpongeBob Comic Snob story in United Plankton’s SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies 2014. I will also have a couple of new prints available including a 50th Anniversary GI Joe print and an art nouveau Harley Quinn print that will debut at ACME for FCBD.
Where can people find you and your work online: Fans can see samples of comics colored by Hi-Fi and learn about coloring comic books at hifidesign.com as well as on Facebook at facebook.com/HiFiColourDesign and twitter at @hificolor My personal pop-art propaganda posters can be found at oktopolis.com