Published January 17, 2023

The Colorists Who Inspire Marvel's Colorists

To celebrate Colorist Appreciation Day, a few of Marvel's finest colorists reveal which other colorists have influenced their own work.

In honor of Colorist Appreciation Day, which takes place on January 24, Marvel is celebrating our mighty colorists all week long. To do that, we spoke with a handful of our finest colorists to gather insight on their work, the skills they learned from their peers and mentors, the advice they would pass on to the next generation of colorists, and more.

To kick things off, we asked Jesus Aburto, Edgar Delgado, Marte Gracia, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Matt Wilson about the colorists who inspired them and influenced their approach to the art form. From industry veterans like Laura Martin and Paul Mounts to their own peers, they had plenty of praise to go around!

Jesus Aburto

"Well, back in the beginning, I wouldn't work as a colorist without the invitation to be part of Studio F, where my fellow colorists Edgar Delgado, Marte Gracia, and Antonio Fabela helped me to craft my way into adding light and color to the panels and covers. Besides them, I admire a lot of colorists, like the legends Justin Ponsor, Richard Isanove, and Laura Martin, and my friends David Curiel, Israel Silva, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joey, AKA Guru-eFX."

Edgar Delgado

"It's gotta be Paul Mounts. It was his work on the original ULTIMATES series with Bryan Hitch that showed me what a colorist can do. I still think of his use of color intensity and cinematic lighting whenever I start a page."

Marte Gracia

"I love how many colorists out there are doing incredible stuff that keep the craft fresh and inspiring! One of the masters that inspired me to do what I do is Joe Rosas. He was doing color work in the '80s and '90s. His color choices permeated my mind and I keep unconsciously emulating him; his hot pinks and flat foregrounds are trademarks! He is the one that made me notice there are people whose work was to color comics… That was astonishing (and defining) for 11-year-old Marte!"

"Another of my favorite colorists ever and Eternal Master is Justin Ponsor. His skill has always been immense and always explored new paradigms that added to the coloriot's language. We owe him so much. He had an incredible eye for cinematic scenes; his comics always looked like pulled out of a Hollywood movie—something to really look up to. To this day in my moments of doubt, I still wonder: 'WWJPD?'"

Rachelle Rosenberg

"So many great Marvel colorists! But if I have to pick just one, I would have to say Christina Strain. She was everything I wanted to be. She had so many different ways of coloring—different styles and palettes, to match the art. To really bring the story to life. I love how she interacted with her peers, fellow artists and fans. She was kind and generous with her talent. She seemed to color every book at Marvel and it was truly inspiring.  She set an example for me, that I had hoped to emulate, from how she colored to how she carried herself in the comic industry as a color artist."

Matt Wilson

"A Marvel colorist that inspired me early in my career was Laura Martin. I was inspired by her range, from her beautiful rendering work on Olivier Coipel's THOR work to her more simple cell-shaded approach to coloring Leinil Francis Yu in SECRET INVASION. A close second would be Dave McCaig's color work on NEXTWAVE, and his intriguing palettes and color choices."

Thanks for celebrating Colorist Appreciation Day with us! Don't miss these other articles about the art of coloring:

Inspirations | Proudest Moments | Advice | Fun Facts

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