by Mike Rhode
Arsia Rozegar will be best known to comic book fans for his coloring work on Marvel Comics and with Image Comics' Avalon Studios. Like many cartoonists these days, he's branching out into children's books.
What type of
comic work or cartooning do you do?
I do a variety of stuff. I like to do my own cartooning
and digital art, but I'm most of my more well-known mainstream work has been as
a comic book digital colorist.
How do you do
it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
I work digitally for the most part in Adobe Photoshop.
Sometimes I wish real-life had a Ctrl-Z.
When (within a
decade is fine) and where were you born?
I grew up with Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe and
Can you tell us what your ethnic background is? I've not encountered your first name before.
I'm of Iranian heritage. I was born in Tehran, Iran and came to
the U.S. with my parents when I was about a year and half old.
Iranian-born, American raised, proud citizen of Earth.
"Arsia" is actually a rare name even for Iranians. My parents specifically chose a name that no-one had.
Why are you in
Washington now? What neighborhood or
area do you live in?
I grew up in the Washington, DC area. Had a tenure in
Southern California for a while and then came back this way. I'm currently in Fairfax
What is your
training and/or education in cartooning?
I've been drawing and doing art as long as I can
No formal training. Just
simply had the desire to do it and make it happen.
Who are your
This could be a potentially long list! And it always changes over the years. Some of
my big influences as far as comics and cartooning go off the top of my head are
Shel Silverstein, Akira Toriyama, Jack Kirby, Peyo, Osamu Tezuka, Kevin
Eastman, Frezzato, John & Sal Buscema, Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, early
Charles Schulz, I can probably keep going...
When I was a teenager reading comics, Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen
were big influences. As a comic
colorist, Steve Oliff played a role.
If you could,
what in your career would you do-over or change?
There was a period I had gotten really burnt out on
working on a really popular Marvel title and asked to leave the book. Looking
back that was probably not a wise decision. Oh well!
What work are
you best-known for?
I think I'm best known for my color work
on Marvel's Iron
Man and The Hulk due to those titles' name value.
What work are
you most proud of?
There is an issue
of Marvel's Double Shot
where I colored a Klaus Janson Iron Man story. That was
a lot of fun to do.
I'm also proud of
the work I did with Steve Oliff and Olyoptics on Marvel's Thor Omnibus.
It was an honor to work alongside the Godfather
of Comic Colors.
The most recent comic
I'm coloring is André Araújo's MAN PLUS
which comes out this summer.
What would you
like to do or work on in the future?
I would like to continue working on Shahnameh For Kids, a children's book
based on an ancient Iranian mythology.
I currently have a Kickstarter campaign for
it right now!
I'm working with the
talented Mike Amante on it. I'm very happy with how the book turned out.
It'd be great to do a few more books for it
and make it a series.
Tell us more about your Kickstarter project and why you decided to do it.
Shahnameh For Kids
is a full color illustrated children's book inspired by the Iranian epic poem called the Shahnameh.
has been a project I've been wanting to do for a while now. I wanted to
create a pop version of its stories geared towards younger readers. I
wanted to start with one if its more famous tales, and a personal
favorite of mine, "The Story of Zal & Simorgh."
is the culmination of several years of research of the Shahnameh and ancient Iranian studies. It was important to me that the book presented a
proper visual representation of what true Iranian culture is. This is
something that is rarely shown in mainstream outlets.
I'm really happy with how the book turned out. I think it will appeal to everyone, especially those who love World Mythology.
What do you do
when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
I usually don't have writer's block. There's always so much inspiration around me
at all times. Insomnia is more of an issue rather than writer's block.
What do you
think will be the future of your field?
I would think it would continue to go towards a digital
medium even more-so than it is today.
What local cons
do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments
about attending them?
is always a blast. I will be guest this year
and will also be doing a workshop demonstration on how comics are digitally
I also enjoy going to SPX as a
fan because there are so many great indy comics to check out.
favorite thing about DC?
People take for granted how we have so many amazing museums and
galleries with fantastic works of art to enjoy and appreciate. It's our nation's crown jewel in my opinion.
or museum do like to take visitors to?'
The Freer-Sackler is great because it has lots of
fantastic historical works (I'm partial to the Iranian wing) and the National
Gallery of Art is amazing.
How about a
favorite local restaurant?
Nothing beats a home cooked meal from my mother.
Do you have a
website or blog?