Announced just a couple hours ago at the Women of Marvel panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego, Colorist Laura Martin's work on The Stand and other Marvel projects got the publisher to decide to make sure she sticks around.
The artist, who colored comics like Astonishing X-Men and Thor, becomes the latest Marvel exclusive creator for the company, and will continue to color on The Stand, but will also move with Olivier Coipel to his next big post-Thor project.
"Any publisher would kill to have her exclusive. Every penciler in the industry wants to work with her," said Marvel talent liaison C.B. Cebulski. "Seriously. We were just lucky enough that Laura wanted to Marvel her home. We've developed a great working relationship over the years and the Marvel artists that work with her wouldn't want anyone else colroing them, so formalizing our working relationhsip on an exclusive level was just the natural next step. Everyone's thrilled about having her as teh newest member of the ever-expanding Marvel family!"
Martin told Newsarama that her entry into comics is the result of a friend's advice when she was studying graphic design at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
"A friend of mine, who happened to be a huge comics fan and who was trying to break into comics, took a look at my portfolio and said that I should think about working in comics," she said. "It hadn't occurred to me that comics might be a viable career option; I figured I'd just go work for the design department at one of the theme parks. So I immediately changed all of my senior projects to comics-related stuff. I got my A's, graduated, and went out to visit my friend who had since gotten the job at WildStorm. I took my portfolio with me...and the rest is history."
When the artist was at WildStorm, she had opportunities to work with Marvel on several projects and has been working off and on for the publisher ever since.
"I did a bit of freelancing on the side for Brian Haberlin, so I got to work a little bit on the [then] brand-new Marvel Knights line," she said. "Namely The Inhumans and Daredevil. I had to stop freelancing once WildStorm merged with DC. Then, I announced my intention to resign from WildStorm, and somewhere in my final two weeks, Alex Ross contacted me to color Universe X. So I went freelance and worked for Marvel and other publishers for about a year. I stopped again when I headed to CrossGen for a few years. When it was time to leave CrossGen, Marvel was pretty much ready and waiting for me, and I hopped onto Astonishing X-Men and Ultimates vol 2."
The artist had trouble defining what it is about her work that influenced Marvel's decision.
"That's probably better answered by Marvel -- it's not easy to write your own performance review!" she laughed. "All I can assume is that I have an excellent working relationship with the editors there; I've maintained a level of reliable quality throughout the years; and most of my work is through Marvel anyway, so the exclusive seemed like the natural next step."
Martin will continue on Stephen King's The Stand with penciler Mike Perkins and will be working on a post-Thor project with Olivier Coipel.
"There is one project I will be working on, but I'm maintaining radio silence on that one, as it hasn't been announced yet," she said. "My apologies for teasing! You can expect more Laura goodness on these projects. Hopefully, with the exclusive, I won't be hopping around from project to project quite so much, and can dedicate more time to each page, exploring new palettes and techniques."