This is a weekly column where I will showcase up and coming or undiscovered talent, bringing to your attention artists that I feel will be break-out stars in the near future. Everyone has a favorite comic book artist. One they’ve discovered recently, or maybe followed from the very beginning of their career. Some have so many favorites it’s hard to choose just one. Every one of those artists started somewhere, be it by producing photocopied mini comics to sell at their neighborhood comic shop, getting a table in the artist’s alley at their local comic convention, posting images to deviantart.com, or doing commissions through the internet or at conventions.
It takes talent and hard work to get into this industry. There’s a lot of networking involved, portfolio reviews at comic conventions, and sometimes just submitting your work blindly to every publisher you can think of, and hoping one responds. That’s how Colton Worley got in.
Growing up in Spokane, Washington, there weren’t a lot of great art teachers, especially in public school, so Colton just watched how other artists approached their work, learning as much as he could from them, as well as books by Andrew Loomis and George Bridgeman. Starting out as a traditional oil painter, Colton grew weary of the gallery scene. Wanting more than anything to create comics, he taught himself how to use Photoshop and Painter. and submitted his work to a couple of publishers to see the response he’d get.
Dynamite Entertainment asked him if he wanted to illustrate The Complete Dracula, written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, and he jumped at the chance. And he’s been a working professional ever since, going on to work on Kato: Origins, The Spider, and The Shadow Now, all for Dynamite.
His dynamic page/panel layouts add a lot of excitement to any series he works on, and his unusual angles keep the composition fresh with every turn of the page. He has an amazing ability for storytelling, and his pages have such a moody weight to them that it’s hard not to get dragged into the story. His action scenes, especially the fight scenes, are delivered in such an excitingly choreographed way that you’ll catch yourself flinching and ducking for cover.
Still relatively new to comics, if he keeps delivering quality work of this caliber, he’s destined to be a Future Comic Rock Star.