RICH INTERVIEWS: Heidi Black Artist “Sons of Fire Vol. 1”

First Comics News: How did you get onboard “Sons of Fire Vol. 1”?

Heidi Black: Adam and I met at a writer-artist meetup at New York Comic Con in 2010 (? check me on that Adam). I really enjoyed his idea and he really enjoyed my Doctor Who scarf.

In all seriousness, I really did enjoy the script for the prologue of Sons of Fire, and we wound up working on it together. One of the best decisions of my life!

1st: What characteristics does your art bring out in Jacob Crowe?

Heidi: I’d like to think my favorite part to capture is just how vulnerable he is – he’s just a kid with all these terrible things that have happened, and he’s trying to deal with it the best he can. So he can be a bit skittish and scared maybe, but he’ll try his best not to let it show. However, it is ridiculously fun to draw him just out of his mind scared.

1st: Besides Jacob who do you enjoy drawing the most in “Sons of Fire Vol. 1”?

Heidi: Quentin! I used Tom Hiddleston as one of my references for his character design, so it is always fun to draw him.

1st: When will we see “Sons of Fire Vol. 2” released?

Heidi: We’re working towards late winter or early spring 2018. I juggle doing Sons of Fire around my full-time work as well as conventions and other projects, but I promise its coming!

1st: Will there be any action scenes in “Sons of Fire Vol. 2”?

Heidi: We start to see Andrew really use his powers, so yes! Please look forward to it!

1st: What is the best advice you have for new artists?

Heidi: Draw all the time. Seriously. Reference and do figure studies and draw even when you hate drawing or don’t feel “inspired.” Do it because you love making art and because you couldn’t imagine doing anything else with your life.

1st: What is the Electric Abyss?

Heidi: ElectricAbyss is both the name of my website and the name of a tutorial art book I put out when I first finished grad school at SCAD. I put together the art book with the idea of making a tutorial book that I would have wanted when I was learning to draw. There is a lot on using various materials and what makes them unique, as well as some color theory and small tips. My favorite part to put together in it was the images I messed up on or that were just bad – I think seeing that everyone makes mistakes is more helpful for young artists.

As for the name? That’s a secret!

1st: What was your first published comic book?

Heidi: My undergrad thesis, Spitfire, was published in 2008. I also did some comic work in high school, but thankfully that will never again see the light of day…

1st: Besides “Sons of Fire Vol. 2” what else are you working on?

Heidi: I just finished the Kickstarter for an adult coloring book, which should be up on Amazon before too much longer. I’m also contributing to several Yuri!!! on Ice fanzines right now.

1st: How do you feel about going to conventions?

Heidi: Now that I work full time I’ve scaled down on doing them, but I used to do them so much I helped run a blog on how to do them – Since I have to take PTO for them now, I try to only do local shows here in the San Francisco Bay Area. (If you have more specific questions, please ask. I’ve done shows for 16 or so years, with one year doing 16 shows that year. So I know a lot about conventions. A LOT.)

1st: Which comic book besides “Sons of Fire” would you most like to draw?

Heidi: I’d love to work on anything for Loki! (I especially enjoyed young Loki in Journey Into Mystery and Young Avengers, as well as Agent of Asgard.) Beyond that, I’m hoping I can make the stories in my head into comics someday, though I may have to convince Adam to do the writing for me!

1st: Which other artists do you admire?

Heidi: My Illustration professor from college, Ron Mazellan, has always been an inspiration: Also Tom Lyle, who was one of my professors at SCAD.

I’m heavily influenced by Manga, and some of my favorite Japanese artists include Makoto Yukimura (Vinland Saga), Mitsurou Kubo (Yuri!!! on Ice), Kaoru Mori (A Bride’s Story), Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), and Takeshi Obata (illustrator of Death Note). Also many artists I follow online.

1st: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

Heidi: Shapeshifting! I read a lot of Animorphs as a kid, but also how awesome would it be to see the world through different eyes?

1st: Anything to say to those who like your art

Heidi: There are people who like my art?! D: Thank you all so much, and I’ll try to work harder at not being such a disappointment.

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