Horror Comic Award winning artist, and Life of Agony bassist, Alan Robert is teaming up with Insight Editions to unleash the official Universal Monsters Coloring Book in 2024. Roberts began creating macabre coloring books back in 2016 with his Beauty of Horror series, as well as a successful tarot deck based on the series, announced the news at last week’s NY ComicCon. We caught up with Alan and asked him about his new project.
We know besides being a horror artist, you are also a big horror fan. What was it like taking on a project with the iconic Universal Monsters? Was it daunting?
Alan Robert: It was honestly a dream job for me. I’m such a huge fan of the old school monsters, it was super important to me to get it right. At first, I was like, “Are you kidding? They’re trusting me with this?” (laughs), but once I started sending finished pages over for review, I was beyond psyched to receive huge thumbs up from the people overseeing the brand. I had a lot of creative freedom and I put a lot of time into planning the page layouts to make sure that the most iconic scenes from the films were represented. I knew that I had to make them fun to color, so I definitely learned a lot about those details from illustrating the many Beauty of Horror books over the years. That experience helped me out with this project tremendously. Most importantly, all the bad ass monsters of the universe are presented in their glory… Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Phantom of the Opera, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man! It was a trip revisiting the films I grew up on to get inspired to draw this. What a huge honor.
Horror News Network: The Beauty of Horror coloring books and tarot deck have been incredibly successful, how does the creative process for coloring book differ from that of creating a comic book?
Alan Robert: Believe it or not, I actually had to re-train myself to illustrate coloring books. There’s a big difference in style, compared to drawing comics. My coloring book designs are made up of delicate linework that allow the colorist to add whatever elements they choose to express their creativity. If you notice, my coloring books are all illustrated using a single line-weight. In contrast, when I ink my comics, I add a lot of heavy, black shadows and cross-hatching to create depth. So, there are other techniques I’ve developed over the years to make the coloring page designs interesting to color. You should see how some colorists bring these pages to life! Just do a quick search on Instagram and thousands of examples will pop up from all over the world.
Horror News Network: Tell us a little bit more about your collaboration with Insight Editions and how that came about?
Alan Robert: An editor friend of mine who worked on some of my past IDW books ended up working over at Insight Editions for a while. Unfortunately, he’s no longer with the company. He brought me in to work on Universal Monsters and another super cool project that we’ll be announcing very soon. I just did my first signing with Insight Editions over at New York Comic Con this past weekend and I had a chance to meet some of the rest of the staff. We hit it off right away…some really great folks over there! I’m excited about the future!
Horror News Network: Thanks Alan!
Be sure to look for Alan’s Universal Monsters Coloring Book from Insight Editions in July of 2024.