May 10, 2007

Kevin Colden

In the time since Kevin sent this to me, he's started serializing his new comic, Fishtown, on ACT-I-VATE, and won a Xeric Grant to publish it, which he then turned down to continue serializing the comic online. Appologies on taking so long, Kevin!

Comics: Todt Hill (at The Chemistry Set), House of Twelve, MAULED! and others.
Making comics since year of: 2002
Art education/schools attended: Joe Kubert School (Class of 2001)


Pencils: Koh-I-Noor Rapidiomatic 0.5mm 5635 (with blue lead) and Col-erase Blue #2044 (I have a huge stockpile of these)

Inks: Speedball Super Black India 3338 for brush work; Higgins Black India 4418 for dip pens

Brushes: Raphael Kolinsky 8404 #3 (also #1 on my smaller size pages); for effects I'll also use a stiff bristle acrylic brush or a toothbrush.

Pens: Maru G-Pen (for large lines), Hunt 102 (for details), and Hunt 107 in metal nib holders (the plastic ones suck); Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph .70 for panel borders; Staedtler Mars Professional .35, .5 and .7 tech pens for ruled lines.

Paper: 11 x 17 smooth pre-ruled comic boards from EON Productions; also 9 x 12 smooth pad for smaller pages.

Lettering: Illustrator CS2 with either my own font or CC Wildwords.

Color: Photoshop CS2 on my trusty Mac Mini G4 with a Wacom Intuos 2 Graphics tablet; scanners are a Mustek A3 USB and 8.5 x 14 Canoscan N122OU.

Layout/ Composition: 9 x 12 tracing paper with a regular soft #2 Ticonderoga pencil, then blow the roughs up to size if needed on a Xerox machine or computer.

Convention Sketches (when different from illustrations done in the studio): Kaimei brush pen and Staedtler Microns of various sizes.

Additional stuff: 14 x 17 lightbox, 18 inch metal ruler, French curves, circle templates, flexible curve, 4-inch brush for eraser scum, full spectrum OTT lite and an accordion case that doubles as my taboret.

(For the curious: the previous owner of the drawing table in the photo was EC comics legend Bernie Krigstein, and that's an original drawing of his above the computer.)

Tool timeline, starting from when you began drawing in any serious way until the present, and what spurred the changes:

I've used the Raphael brushes since my school days, and I can never use another brand of brush. No other brand comes close to the quality. I stopped using soft graphite lead for finished pencils because I couldn't tell how the inks actually looked until after erasing. I started using blue lead almost exclusively as a result of that and also because my inks would fade during erasing.

I tried a number of different pre-ruled papers including Blue Line and Pro Boardz, but only their top tier stuff was worth using (barely), and it was too expensive. Most artists would disagree, but I've always liked the paper surface of Marvel and DC boards, and Eon boards are the closest I've found. I bought a bulk box with my logo on it about four years ago and I'm only a quarter of the way through it. I also have a bunch of unused DuoShade boards from an old project, so I'll pull that out occasionally for illo work.

Recently, I was using the G-Pen a lot more for holding lines, and doing more of an open-line style, but lately I've been going back to the brush. I feel the same way about the #3 brush as I do about Chuck Taylor All-Stars: I may try something else for a while, but nothing beats the classic.

What tools you'd never use, and why:
I would never use bodily fluids, but other than that, anything's fair game. Actually, I probably wouldn't use collage because I would have no idea how to make it translate well. Wait, that's a medium not a tool. Never mind. I'd use pretty much anything that does the job.

And lastly, any advice you'd like to give:
Forget everything you've read here and find your own damn tools. That's half the fun!

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