This time around, we are doing our interview a little differently. Since the Grimm Fairy Tales: 2018 Cosplay special was a team effort, we had the chance to interview a few of the creators who took part in the issue for one collaborative interview.
Get to know more about the creative teams and find out what happens behind the scenes in making a comic for Zenescope.
Z: First up, interior and cover artist Allan Otero. Allan, what Zenescope cover or interior have you done that you are most excited about?
Allan Otero: It has been a real pleasure to be a part of Zenescope. The variety of themes and characters are very entertaining to illustrate (and read). Since my first assignment: “Salem’s Daughter. The Haunting” until the present one, very close to seeing the light of day: “Revenge of Wonderland” (my sixth miniseries among three one-shot and the beautiful 2018 Cosplay Special) and around forty covers, it has been an amazing experience. But if I had to choose only one cover and an interior until now… “Cinderella Serial Killer Princess” #3 Cover D (my first approach to Wonderland) and Van Helsing vs The Werewolf miniseries (by the clash between Vampires, the Werewolf and the always smart and gorgeous Liesel Van Helsing… but above all for the collaboration with the great Chuck Dixon). All my gratitude for Zenescope.
Z: Which Zenescope character would you choose to cosplay and why?
Jorge Cortes: Well for me one of my favorite characters is “Merlin” of Grimm Fairy Tales because he is awesome, has a great personality and the suit is awesome. I really love the cape and the colors are badass and he is a wizard :) of course, obviously they have great powers but yeah for me he is one of the best bad guys in all the Grimm Fairy Tales.
Z: Ula, describe your coloring process on a piece from start to finish?
Ula Mos: I start with cleaning up the scanned line art and digitally adjusting its contrast levels. Next I have the lines filled with solid blocks of colors called flats. I usually outsource this part to a professional called flatter. After I get the file with “flatter”. After I get the file with the “flatts” layer back, I start thinking about the color palette, mood, light source and point of focus and I’m adjusting the solid colors to match my vision and style. Then I start shading. When coloring digitally, I like going from darker base colors to lighter shading, which is quite the opposite to shading with traditional media like copics. I find it more convenient this way, but it’s actually a matter of personal preference. When I start shading I use mostly large soft brush, then use smaller and hard one for the details. For the finishing touches I add a couple of additional layers above the actual colors on various blending modes for effects like lightening, darkening or saturating parts of the picture.
Z: Moy Rodriguez, can you describe the line art and inking process from start to finish, please?
Moy Rodriguez: I start with some rough ideas and layouts to figure which camera shots and effects I want to add to the elements of the page. Once they are approved, I do a more comprehensible sketch of the final page with all the important elements (recognizable characters, perspective, etc). In the final step, I ink the page (digitally), fixing mistakes and creating atmospheres and effects with line variations and the illumination.
Z: How long does it take to color a complete story?
Leo Paciarotti: It is in fact a very subjective question, and I think I should rather answer how long does it take me to color a complete page. Everything depends on the deadline, if it is adjusted, you should color faster and if it is more flexible, you can distribute the pages during days. I think the most that I could color on a day is 3/4 pages (without losing quality of work). The full 22 page issue (classic) could be done in about a week.
Z: Hedwin, what is the best piece of advice you could give to another colorist?
Hedwin Zaldivar: The best advice would be, do not stop experimenting and risk in combining colors. Always study other colorists and artists of all styles, as well as comics, painting or 3D modelers. Studying photography is very good to have an idea of how to solve some scenarios and atmospheres and to add your touch of fantasy, let’s say an extra. I think what I say is something that many do now, the detail for me is not to stop doing it and keep growing as artists.
Z: What type of characters do prefer to color and why?
Sanju Nivangune: My answer for what type of characters I like to color is actually, I like many types of characters like; strong with special powers, good body, sexy body, sexy costumes, detailed costume etc. Most of it depends on the artist’s line work. It attracts me and makes me want to color it. We have some great artists on the Zenescope team.
Z: What is your favorite part in the process of drawing a pinup?
Vincenzo Federici: My favorite part is the creative process because I really enjoy looking for an idea, researching reference and trying various solutions to obtain the best result. The layout is the most important part of the process, so I take a lot of time and have fun on this!
Z: Gregbo, who are some of your artistic influences?
Gregbo Watson: Some of my art influences are classic bombshell pinup artists such as Gil Elvgren and Vargas. My work is also influenced by animation art.
Z: If you could trade places with one person in the comic industry, who would it be?
Ulises Grostieta: I though a lot about this, and I couldn’t imagine myself in another place than I am in now. I’m pretty sure I’m right now at the right place, and at the right moment. I really love my job. What I would like to have would be a photographic memory as many of my penciler pals. And Maybe I would like to write like Neil Gaiman.”
Z: Adam Kelly, this is the first comic you have written. What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing this short story?
Adam Kelly: If we’re getting technical, this is the first published comic I’ve written…I have another script that I’d like to see the light someday, somehow. Anyway, the biggest challenge was writing dialogue that sounds natural. It’s easy to just write what sounds good in your head, but when you read it out loud, that conversation can sound really stupid.
Z: What did you learn from this experience?
Adam Kelly: It sounds really corny, but I learned that you can do whatever you want to if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. I’ve wanted to be published in comics since I started reading them, and I was in the right place at the right time and made it happen thanks to Dave, Joe, and Ralph, and of course all of the artists…Moy and Leo, Fabio, Ula, Allan, Grostieta, Jorge, Ceci, Ylenia, Vincenzo, Hedwin, Alfredo, Joe, and the many others, thank you all. Sure, it’s just a little 8-page short story on the writing end, but it’s a step in the right direction and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in this interview. We are fortunate to work with these and many other talented artists! For your next cosplay ideas, be sure to check out the Grimm Fairy Tales: 2018 Cosplay Special releasing July 11th, 2018!