My Little Pony: About the Coloring

This week my Twilight Sparkle story appeared in the first issue of
the My Little Pony micro-series, published by IDW. I’m happy with the reaction I’ve seen, and while I’m trying not to read too many comments, I have seen a lot of people commenting on the animated style of the art. Specifically, the colored ink line effect.

I have to say right here, that wasn’t me. That was the colorist, Ronda Pattison. Not only did she have to color bookshelf after bookshelf (and, if you’ve read the story, you know just how many books I drew in that issue) but she colored the ink lines. I couldn’t be happier with the result, and I want to make sure she gets the credit for that.

I’ve only really had my art colored by someone who wasn’t me twice. First was in the installment of The Gutters that I drew last year where I was colored by Rus Wooton. The other was when my good friend Sean Tiffany colored the cover for the second issue of Love and Capes: What to Expect.

It’s a very different experience to have your work colored by someone else, at least for me. For the past five years of Love and Capes, I’ve been coloring it myself. I can see the colors while I’m pencilling it, and I don’t have to convey that to anyone, because I’m everyone in the process. I’m lucky that my My Little Pony had such a good colorist on it. It’s very different than what I would have done, but I think it’s much truer to the show than I would have done.

For instance, in my head all those bookshelves were browns and golds. Ronda colored them in cool blues and purples. It works very well, but it’s not the way I saw it. I also didn’t say anything because it wasn’t "true to my vision" or whatever nonsense artists often say. You hire people who can do the job and then you trust them.

So, when you see my heavy brushy cartoon lines converted to color, that’s all her, and I couldn’t be happier. It really punched up my art.

What would it have looked like if I’d colored it? Different, that’s for sure. I drew all those crazy books, I certainly wouldn’t have colored all those lines.

You can click on the artwork here to embiggen the image and see the difference.

2 Responses to “My Little Pony: About the Coloring”

  1. Dragon Paw Lady Says:

    We just got it for our girls! It is SO AWESOME! My hubby was especially surprised that I knew who the artist was! Love your art style, love your comic, really wanna meet you someday soon!

    Maybe you could come to the Calgary Expo…?

  2. Thom Zahler Says:

    I wish I could come to the Calgary show. It’s the same weekend as C2E2 in Chicago. I’d love to come next year, though. Feel free to let them know.

    And I know Canada is vast, but I should be at Toronto FanExpo in September.

    I’m so glad you and your family liked the book!

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