Comics and Color

By Milena Deneno

Remember when comics were printed in just flat colors (lookin’ at you, 50’s comics)? How about in black and white?

Although all these have their own merits and their own audience, nothing makes me happier than flipping through a beautifully colored comic… and nowadays that is done mostly digitally.Coloring digitally has its own advantages: from being able to change the color composition with the click of a button, to never coloring outside the lines again by using layers. Not to mention, the most important and almighty “Ctrl+Z”.  Some insist it’s “cheating”, and I would have to strongly disagree.

Would you say using a cellphone instead of only having a home phone is “cheating”? Get with the times, people! Firstly, it takes a lot of patience and determination to learn the programs (Photoshop, Painter, even Manga Studio) and then the process itself is lengthy and involved.  The first time I colored digitally, I did not look up from the screen for a good, oh, seven hours. I know, probably not a good idea for the ol’ retinas. 

For example, if you look at the New52 Harley Quinn comics, written by Amanda Conner (who also does the cover) and Jimmy Palmioti, you are immediately pulled in, not only by the awesome art of Chad Hardin and others, but also the incredible color job by Alex Sinclair. If you happen to look at some other comics where the coloring is not as great, which I will not name as taste is subjective, you may find yourself, as I did, disappointed.

Harvey Quinn



If you’re the type that is drawn to more symbolic and abstract stuff, just take a look at “Low”, written by Rick Remender with art by Greg Tocchini. The greens and oranges are so alive and explore contrast in such a playful way that the results are truly breathtaking.



The point is, color is a huge, sometimes overlooked, part of comics. When done well, color adds so much to the aesthetic composition and narrative of the work.  With that said, aspiring artists must remember that coloring, like inking, is not meant to overshadow the pencils the artist has done, but bring them to life.

For those looking to get into or improve their own digital coloring skills, The International School of Comics is holding a Digital Coloring for Comics workshop right now, taught by Ben Hunzeker, the artist responsible for the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man comics. Just one look at his art is enough to convince me that this is not a class to miss, for anyone who wants to work in the industry, or who enjoys coloring as much as I do.

If you like beautiful digital coloring check out Harley Quinn new 52, Low, Saga, Spider Gwen, Invincible, and Pretty Deadly. Be warned these are not PG 13. For the kiddos, I suggest Sonic and Mega Man. For young ones with a taste for the horror genre, I suggest Seekers of the Weird, a collaboration between Marvel and Disney about an attraction that never existed and was supposed to be attached to the Haunted Mansion.

Reward Yourself This Holiday

The Holiday season has finally arrived. What better way to enjoy yourself this year by doing something you love. Join the International School of Comics and fulfill your passion of art and illustration with our Life Drawing Workshop.

Take time for yourself this season every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and invest in your artistic ambitions. Led by artist Thomas Gianni, this course allows artistes both skilled and new to drawing to explore the fundamental techniques of art.

Throughout each lesson, students will build upon their knowledge and skills previously learned to create unique works of art.  From capturing quick poses and seizing the energy of a gesture to learning the technique of light and shadow, our Life Drawing Workshop covers an immense amount of material.

Upon mastering the eight steps to Life Drawing, students will then move onto steps nine and ten of the course, which include putting into practice all they have learned during previous lessons. Students will be introduced to the proper finishing techniques allow their masterpieces to speak volumes.

Allow yourself some joy this holiday season and join the International School of Comics for another wonderful workshop. Classes may be purchased individually or as a series to assure all lessons are covered.

From the International School of Comics to you, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and joyful New Year!

Jam Comic Time!

During our still life drawing session, the Illustration class made their very first jam comic! It turned out pretty hilarious. Artists are Adam Gates, Christopher Kutz, Jey Davis, Matt McCandless, and Gabby Billings.



A Colorful World

Join the International School of Comics for a journey into the world of digital coloring hosted by Ben Hunzeker. A seasoned professional colorist, Ben Hunzeker’s art has been featured in titles such as Archie Comics, G.I Joe and X-men. Under his guidance, this 10-week course will introduce artists, new and skilled, to the basics and intricate techniques of digital coloring.

The 10-week course will begin on December 12 and end on February 27 with a break on December 26 to celebrate the holiday. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday, artists will come together to master a new area of art.

During the first week, students will gain basic knowledge of applications within Photoshop such as basic tools, panels, pallets and print settings. Each week the course will build allowing students to utilize the skills they have learned in previous weeks and develop their own piece of art.

By the end of week 10, students will have a completed portfolio demonstrating their knowledge and comprehensive understanding of digital coloring.

To learn more information on the Digital Coloring workshop or register visit, This is one opportunity you will not want to miss out on!

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