HALL OF HEROES is a new comic convention for Jacksonville. This partnership between publisher, promoter and COLLECTIVE CON co-founder Max Michaels and SUPERHERO HIVE & SUPERHERO BEACH comic shops brings together a show celebrating the art and creators of comics. This one day con is scheduled for Saturday November 12th, 2016 (Veteran’s Day Weekend) at the Snyder Armory on Normandy Boulevard. More information at HallofHeroesJax.com
Nick Filardi is a professional comic book colorist. Videogame, Boardgame, and magic card enthusiast. He grew up in New London, CT listening to Small Town Hero, watching Batman the Animated Series and fending off ladies. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004, he colored for a Zylonol Studios under Lee Loughridge in Savannah, GA while maintaining the pretense of working an “office” job.
When did you decide to pursue a career in comics?
It was never really a fully thought out decision. I loved drawing as a kid, and got into comics both large and small press when I was in middle school. That captured my attention more than fine art or video games. From there it was less me deciding to pursue a career and more “lets see how far I can run the ball” kinda thing. Haven’t stopped running yet!
For those that don’t know, what is a colorist responsible for?
I’m the second to last link in the creative chain. A colorist will get the pages in black and white, so we’ll go through it and in addition to just coloring, we’ll try to lead the eye with color. Make the book more legible and beautiful than when we got it. We are also responsible for ink levels and making sure the pages are ready for print. Then we’ll pass it to the editor. We’ll do a round of corrects to make sure the whole creative team is on the same page, and then it is off to the final step, lettering.
What’s your process like?
My process varies wildly from book to book. Each creative team i work with has their own strengths, weaknesses and goals. When I get in there, it is about amplifying the good stuff on the page, and minimizing the bad. That kind of thought process never really lends itself to rules set in stone. Powers, a crime noir book, needs something different from your average Deadpool story.
You’ve worked on some fairly high profile projects: Powers, Stephen King’s Dark Tower, and Victories to name a few – what was it like working on those?
Powers was huge for me. At the time that I started on that book, I was really struggling for decent pay and barely keeping afloat. I had started reading that book as a fan when it had started maybe 8 or so years before I was added to the team. So not only was it a chance to really step up to a bigger more high profile book, but it was also a total dream come true to work with Mike Oeming and Brian Bendis. Still is. When I got off the phone and was hired on that one, I literally jumped for joy. That is probably my favorite career moment. I work on maybe around 50-60 issues a year, so a lot of books come and go. Obviously Dark Tower was big because of the names attached to it, but at that point I was experienced enough that, while excited, my feet remained planted on earth.
I absolutely loved your covers for “Madame Frankenstein” – what inspired those designs?
Thank you! The very talented Joelle Jones and I did those covers. We did a 12 issue run on Helheim with Oni press before those covers, so I was in a rhythm with Joelle when I got the Madame Frankenstein covers. With most of them, I was leaning on Joelle’s fantastic costume design, and trying to amp it up. A fabulous dress? Lets make it sparkly beaded! A gruesome operating table? Lets splash the thing with blood!
“Deep Gravity” is one of my favorite sci-fi comics in recent memory, how did that come about?
Dark Horse tapped me for that work because of the color work on Victories. Most of the work that I get happens that way. A weird spiderweb of this book lead to these two, which lead to two more books. When I saw some of the sample pages from Fernando Baldo I was all in.
Out of all the Marvel characters you’ve had an opportunity to work on, who’s been your favorite?
Total 50/50 toss up of either the Hulk or the Punisher.
Are there any titles you’d like to tackle at some point?
I haven’t had a ton of opportunity to play in the DC comics sandbox yet. Swamp Thing is very high on the list. I’d also love to work on a Deadman book eventually. It is kinda a tough sell though. He hasn’t really carried his own title well. Maybe after a justice league dark movie….
What’s in store next?
LOTS! Today I just wrapped up a Gwenpool backup with the very talented Bruno Oliveria. Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye is coming out through Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint with DC comics, which is this amazing “sad dad” super hero comic. If you are into weird experimental comics with a superhero twist, that one is for you. And on the distant horizon, I’m about to start a new volume of the old wildstorm book the American Way with the original creative team John Ridley and Georges Jeanty. Very excited to start that. If you want to keep up with me, follow me on Twitter @nickfil
Who inspires you the most and why?
Depends in what moment you catch me. I just read Mockingbird and was totally blown away by the bold use of 60s wallpaper in it. Everyone should at the very least pick it up at their shop and flip through it even if the book isn’t for them. No, you know what? Just buy it. Thank me later. I actually added a hydra 60s wallpaper in the Gwenpool backup with Bruno as a nod to Mockingbird.
If there’s one piece of advice you could share with all the aspiring artists out there, what would it be?
Pace yourself. It sounds so stupid to say, and if i got that advice at 20 years old I would’ve brushed it off. But it took me years to figure out that even working in comics is a job. It is ok to figure out how much you can handle and follow through with those projects really well, rather than taking all the books you can and working around the clock. This great game of comics is not a sprint, it is a marathon.