Published December 17, 2020

Stormbreakers Profile: Artist Iban Coello

The 'Venom' veteran shares his influences and favorite moments drawing the alien symbiote!


What did your path to becoming an artist look like? Did you attend art school or are you self-taught?

Iban Coello: I attended school, and at the same time, when I was 15 or 16 I attended the JOSO art school for some years. I did those two things and I decided to focus on drawing when I finished all my studies.

When did you start drawing?

I started drawing when I was a kid. I tried to copy all the illustrations from the screen of arcade machines, the few comic books that my father bought for me, video games, and magazines.

Why do you draw? Why is the process of drawing or making comics meaningful to you?

Actually, besides to pay my bills, I draw because I enjoy drawing and I try to express the way I see the things and emotions.

Art by Iban Coello

Who were your biggest supporters and/or influencers—those that encouraged you to pursue art in life and as a career?

My biggest supporters were my friends, who believed in me since the beginning, from one of my best friends and my girlfriend to other artists giving me advice on how to improve my work.

How did you find or create your style?

I created my style just mixing everything I like about comics and art. And I'm always adding new techniques and learning new things from other artists. An example can be the use of the fingerprints to do textures/"crosshatching" when I ink in paper from Sean Gordon Murphy, or the use of kinetic lines in action scenes from various Japanese artists like Akira Toriyama or Yusuke Murata.

Art by Iban Coello

Which Marvel comics that you read growing up had the most impact on you as an artist, and why?

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN from Bendis and Bagley, because I was a big fan of Spider-Man but I couldn't buy too many comic books when I was young, and this was the first series I started to buy and read.

Has illustration always been your career?

I studied computers when I was young and I worked in a variety of jobs until I was able to make a living drawing.

Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1

Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

How did you start working with Marvel? How did they find out about your work? Did they reach out to you after you had something published?

I live in Spain, near Barcelona, and I met C.B. Cebulski at a convention there when he was doing portfolio reviews, maybe in 2007 or 2008. He liked my work and he asked me to do some ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and RUNAWAYS samples, and I have been working in the industry since then.

Art by Iban Coello

What do you feel like was the tipping point in your career as an artist? What was it that got you to this point of being one of Marvel’s Stormbreakers?

I think that moment was I was drawing DEADPOOL & THE MERCS FOR MONEY. I think it was the first time I looked my work and I felt I was growing as an artist and the art was "fine." I'm very critical with my own work.

Having worked on more than a dozen VENOM issues, what have been your top three favorite moments drawing the infamous symbiote and host Eddie Brock?

One of my favorite moments was when I drew a double splash page with a lot of venomized heroes in VENOMVERSE #1 (because I'm a very huge Venom fan since I was young, it was a dream for me). Another moment was when I drew Eddie Brock inside the Agent Venom costume with Flash codex fighting bad guys. The last moment is one from the upcoming Venom issues...and I can't talk about it!

Art by Iban Coello

What are you excited about in the upcoming KING IN BLACK titles that you’ll be working on?

I'm really excited to see the reaction from the fans. They don't know what is coming and it's awesome!

When it comes to drawing other Marvel characters, like Deadpool during your run on DEADPOOL & THE MERCS FOR MONEY, or Spider-Man in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues, how is it different to work on these characters versus Venom?

When I draw Venom, I have to draw it darker than the other characters like Spider-Man or Deadpool, and I have to play with the lights and shadows on the characters to express the tension of Donny Cates’ scripts.

Art by Iban Coello

Tell me about the first step in your artistic process with an existing Marvel character, in terms of their design. How do you connect with them and make them relatable?

Before I work with a new character, I read previous stories of that character to try to understand the motivations and the acting of that character.

Which Marvel character have you worked on that has surprised you the most?

I was really surprised when I was drawing Deadpool and how much I was enjoying making him do silly things. My friends told me that I share some of the silly personality of Deadpool...

What was the weirdest or strangest thing you’ve drawn for Marvel?

Deadpool eating a taco with a lot of zombies inside.

Art by Iban Coello

Read Iban Coello's work on Marvel Unlimited today!


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