Scott Kolins has been drawing comic for Marvel and DC for years. He's worked on books such as The Thing, Avengers, She Hulk, Blue Beetle, and Justice League 3000, to name a few. But it was his work on Flash that solidified him as one of my favorite artists.
Being a lifelong Flash fan, and more importantly a Wally West fan, The Flash run that Scott and Geoff Johns did in the early 00's will forever be, in my opinion, one of the greatest Flash runs of all time. The work that they did was more than a worthy successor to Mark Waid's run. They made Wally an even better, more mature, hero than he already was. They also made the Rogues cool again. Scott redesigned some of the classic Rogues and also helped co-create new Rogues such as Peek-A-Boo, Tar Pit and of course Zoom.
Scott will always be my favorite Flash artist and it's always a treat when he returns to the book. Look out for the Flash Annual coming out in January that he drew, it's sure to be another amazing Flash story. Here's hoping there's more Flash work coming from Scott in the future, because nobody draws the Flash like he does.
Comic Lounge: What was your first introduction to comic books?
Scott Kolins: I first ran across comic books when I was around age 5 or 6 - in a dime store or some sort of store that sold all sorts of stuff. My friends and I were heading in to buy some cheap model airplanes that we would make quickly and most likely play with until we smashed them by days end. As we ran past the shelf of magazines - a bright green monster caught my attention. It was 2 issues of the Hulk - and he was fighting the Wen-Di-Go. I already loved monsters like the Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, King Kong and others - but could only see them on rare occasions when the local T.V. station would play those movies (usually very late at night). Now I had another monster I could read about every month or so (if I could find a copy). My friends found me hours later that day, at home, after I bought the 2 Hulk books and read them - probably a dozen times that afternoon.
Comic Lounge: As a young artist, who did you draw inspiration from?
Scott: I hadn't paid attention to credit boxes (or large captions) for years while buying/reading comics. The first comic book artist i recognized was John Byrne. There were some books I noticed I liked better than others and finally realized it was the artwork that made a big difference. And it was two different John Byrne drawn comics - Iron Fist and X-Men - that made me look and realize they were both drawn by the same guy. That was around the same time I started drawing my own comics and creating my own superheroes. Next would've been George Perez - especially when he moved over to the Teen Titans. I should also mention Herb Trimpe - as he was the artist on Hulk when comics first captured my attention and made me a life-long fan. Those were my main direct influences - before High school. Then I found out about Kirby, and Barry Windsor-Smith and Michael Golden and many others.
Comic Lounge: Your Flash run for DC is and always will be one of my favorite runs in comics. What was it like being able to add so much to the Flash mythos? Did you ever think Zoom would become such an important villain?
Scott: My first Flash run will always be a special time - mostly for the fact I was working with Geoff Johns. Geoff's a great collaborator - and up to that point - the most dedicated comics guy I'd met (besides myself). We lived and breathed everything we did on that book and had a really good time doing it too. Geoff mostly steered the direction, but would ask my opinion on this or that and I was usually the voice of shake things up or make new stuff. Geoff was much more a true Flash fan than I was. He knew all the history - it was his favorite book growing up. I loved nearly everything we did, but I knew the odds were against us as to whether anything we did or created would last longer than the time that we were on the book. Its very cool that much of what we did lasted - even though we were working on Wally West Flash at the time and now its been Barry Allen for over 10 years.
Comic Lounge: Who would you pick as your favorite Flash, Barry or Wally?
Scott: Nearly impossible question. I was raised knowing Barry as Flash and Wally as Kid Flash - even when Wally wasn't a kid anymore - in the Titans. But I was a big fan of Wally stepping up and becoming the Flash after Barry' death in Crisis. And I loved what Geoff and I did on Wally's book. And yet when I think of The Flash in the Justice League, I think of Barry - and am really enjoying the new Barry Flash books I'm drawing with Joshua Williamson writing. And I really really love Jay too! You can't forget Jay. But all that said, Wally is probably my Flash guy. He's a bit more relatable as "the kid who grew into his hero's job".
Comic Lounge: You are amongst the great Flash artists of all time. Do you think you will always go back if the opportunity presents itself?
Scott: Thank you. Probably. It depends what's going on. But I am very glad and honored to be included in a list of notable Flash artists. The Flash was a natural fit for me that hasn't happened on many books.
Comic Lounge: Are there any characters, that you haven't worked on yet, that you would like to work on in the future?
Scott: I've got a slew of my own - but you're probably talking about Marvel and DC. There's a bunch at Marvel - Hulk, Dr. Strange and Fantastic Four - since I've spent most of my time at DC, but there are still characters I'd love to really draw at DC, that I've only had brief encounters with: Wonder Woman ,Aquaman and Shazam probably lead the pack. Hopefully I'll get to most of my own creations as well. So much to do and only so many hours in the day!!
Comic Lounge: Are there any books you're currently working on that you can talk about or tease?
Scott: More Flash stuff right now. After several fill-ins and a Heatwave arc, I'm working on the Flash Annual that's connected to Heroes in Crisis. Pretty big stuff in there. But you'll see my stuff pop up all over DC. If you look at the DC catalogue the last few years, I've gotten to draw short stories in each catalogue. The latest was with Aquaman - which was fun. I've also just drawn a heart warming Green Arrow story for a Winter Holiday
Comic Lounge: What would you say is the most rewarding thing about drawing comics/being an artist?
Scott: Doing a job I love that I hope entertains and brightens someone's day. Comics have always been a friend to me - and i just hope to keep that going.