giovedì 5 gennaio 2012

Comics: Ectoplasmic Coloring: Interview with Luis Antonio Delgado, by GBMx by Jorge Tovalin

from left to right, Jorge Tovalin (interviewer),
Luis Antonio Delgado, Elizabeth Gil and Alfredo SBG.
A few weeks ago, due to the release of the new upcoming Ghostbusters comics by IDW, Luis Antonio Delgado (colors) kindly granted this interview.

Jorge Tovalin: Sometimes the coloring work on the comics aren't that recognized, what do you think about it?

Luis Antonio Delgado: It's understandable. Once I read an interview on about a colorist who says our job is like the music on a movie. The movie can make it without the music, but this one helps to climate the environment and sometimes it's even so important like in Jaws and Psicosis. That's our job.

JT: How did you got into the comic industry?

LAD: It's a funny story. I was studying graphic design at the University, and one day my dad found and wrote down a phone number of a Animation School he saw on an ad. He gave it to me and never mind it. When I finished my studies, my dad asked me to give a call to that school, not very interested, I did, and found out the school was closed to business, but they gave me the phone number of the teacher.

The teacher was Raúl Cruz (a.k.a. Racrufi), famous artist. Talked with him and he invited me to his workshop. He got interested on my portfolios and granted to give me lessons twice days a week. There I learned to use watercolors, acrylics, and time later started to work with digital coloring.

I never was a color artist, only used graphites and inks. Never liked watercolors or color pencils, used only Illustrator to give color to my work. But Raúl teached me everything.

JT: What happened later?

LAD: He recommended me to attend that San Diego Comic-Con, he used to get some work there before, and encourage me to go and do the same. So I went to the SDCC on 2007 and arrived the Portfolios area (it was a complet chaos!). Get a job there is practically impossible. I was shocked, feeling like a tiny ant between thousands of people looking for a job into the comic industry.

I went out the first day totally depressed, didn't want to come back the next day, but they would screen that Superman Doomsday movie so I went. Suddenly a guy approached me and asked me if I could speak spanish. I said yes, and he asked me to help him with another mexican who didn't speak any english. I was "whatever, let's go.". The guy was Ricardo Sánchez, from Toluca (Mex), comic artist.

from left to right, Jorge Tovalin, Racrufi (artist),
Alfredo SBG and Luis Antonio Delgado.
I helped him and there I met Tom Waltz, IDW editor, nice guy who wanted to watch my portfolios but had no time, but asked me to send it to him when I was back on Mexico. So, when I was on Mexico I sent him my portfolios and a couple of months ago he told me I had work to do: Gene Simmon's House of Horrors, 12 pages penciled by Ricardo Sánchez.

He really liked my work and offered me the first mini-series of 5 issues. I was so excited about this. After that, I got no work in about a year. That was a hard year to me, doing storyboards and some illustrations to survive. But then Tom started sending me some work, until 2010 that I got the Ghostbusters Con-volution! comic. The next year got the Halloween issue "What in Samhain just happened?", the first with Dan Schoening as penciler and Peter David as writer.

Working with Dan is hard, cause he's the kind of guys that if he forgot to draw a flower in a corner, asks for doing it for him, no matter the drawing is cropped and the flower won't made it at the end. He's too obsessive with his work, but he told me he won't be able to finish the whole artwork by himself, so asked me if I wanted to work with him. Sent me an exercise, I did it and he loved it.

After that Halloween special, I worked on a couple of issues of Star Trek: Infestation and I was offered a Duke Nukem miniseries. I also worked for a small company called Commited Comics, for a project called God Among Men.

The next month they offered me to work on the Ghostbusters ongoing comics, the first issue (20,000 copies) got sold out, going for a 2nd printing. Eric Burnham (writer of Infestation) write this one, with Dan Schoening on pencils. Dan is a geniuos and draws fast as hell.

The story happens a few years after Ghostbusters 2 events. If you're a real Ghostbusters fan you'll love it. The man in gray battle a new entity, a minion Gozer sent. There you'll find that Ray has a odd connection with Gozer.

JT: What do you love the most working on Ghostbusters comics?

LAD: What can I say? I really like the comic, I always had been a Ghostbusters fan, though I didn't watched the movie at the theaters because I wasn't born by then, but loved the cartoons, the marshmallows man always was my fave character, I had all the action figures and the Ecto-1 vehicle. Being a comic based on a movie, people could be prejudiced with the characters and said "Egon wouldn't do this, Ray wouldn't do that", but fortunately the audience has accepted our work with the Ghostbusters. I enjoy working with colors I would never use on other comics.

JT: Who's your favorite Ghostbuster?

LAD: Always liked Peter, big fan since I was a kid. I think we all love him cause he's the daring one, the guy who keeps the girl at the end, and we all wanna be like him. But now that I grew up, my fave one is Ray, cause he's a big boy, just like me, people use to say I'm a 28 years old little kid. The Ray faces Dan draws are great, with an eyebrow here and the other there.

JT: How is it working with IDW?

LAD: My experience has been good, very positive, everybody there respect your work, deadlines and payments. The manager has as rule to never publish a comic if any of the artist involved hasn't got his payment. DC and Marvel take a long time to pay, but not IDW. Besides they gave me total acces to their server, to upload my artwork. It's available 24/7, cause I work with people from Australia and England.

JT: Do you have your own plans for the future?

LAD: Besides working on the Ghostbusters comics, I want to keep on working with IDW and other publishers. I could work with DC on some character I don't have interest on, but I really enjoy working with Ghostbusters, cause I'm a big fan. Working with Dan it's fabulous, cause every time I get a page from him, my first reaction is: "Wow!" and then "Damn!" cause I have a to work on it. (laughs)

I'm very meticulous coloring Ghostbusters, I work freehand on it, I don't like go selecting areas. If a line goes wrong, I redo it as much as neccessary until it gets right. That's why I'm working even 15 hour the day. So going to bed 3 a.m. it's becoming an habit. The last Ghostbusters cover got finished at 4 a.m., and 4 hours later, I was out of bed ready to keep working.

JT: So it's a lonely work...

LAD: Yes it is, but I'm a person who can work that way. Some times I think of myself as a little kid, can get distracted easily, so if I work in an office with other people, I could waste the entire day distracting me. I need to be alone to work.

To know more about Luis Antonio Delgado artwork, you can check out his deviantArt:

Translation: Rolando Munoz

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