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Talented artist finds success in comics

Alex “Ben” Sinclair in his office with just a few of the many comic book titles he has worked on (photo by David Barak)

Talented artist finds success in comics

By David Barak

Scripps Ranch resident Alex “Ben” Sinclair originally planned to be a painter, seeing his works displayed in galleries. But while studying studio art at UC San Diego, he came to the realization that he really wanted to work in the comic book industry. Changing his focus was a wise decision, and he’s been working on comics for nearly 30 years.

As he built his portfolio, Sinclair visited comic conventions, showing his work to editors and artists. All of them praised his work with color.

“A local comic book studio held a talent search for all the different specialties. I decided to send only samples of my color work since that’s what everyone liked. I got a phone call from Jim Lee, head of that studio, a couple weeks later and he invited me to come in and see if I would be a good fit for them,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair’s job is to add color to the already drawn comic book panels. Mostly gone are the days of working with messy paints and colored inks. The majority of the work now is done digitally using Adobe Photoshop. He usually completes work on about three comic books a month, each from 20 to 24 pages long.

“At the time I joined the studio in 1993, we were starting to use Photoshop to color the art. I had to teach myself how to use Photoshop and have been using it since,” he said.

He now contributes to both DC Comics and Marvel Comics. During his time in the industry, he has worked on “Top 10,” “Harley Quinn,” “Batman: Hush,” “Superman,” “WildCATs,” “Gen¹³,” “Divine Right,” “All-Star Batman and Robin,” “Infinite Crisis” and “52.” He’s currently working on “Han Solo & Chewbacca,” “Darth Vader” and “Venom” for Marvel; “Teen Titans Academy” for DC Comics, and will soon begin work on “Astro City” for Image Comics.

Comic books aren’t Sinclair’s only creative outlet. He worked on the artwork for some of the Lego sets that end up as comic book character portraits, and he’s now illustrating a children’s book using traditional colored pencils.

When he’s not working on his art, Sinclair coaches girls soccer for Scripps Ranch Soccer Club and he’s the girls junior varsity soccer coach at Scripps Ranch High School.

Comic books Sinclair has worked on are available in comic book stores and in some magazine racks at bookstores. Comixology sells digital versions, including subscriptions. Check for the availability of print or digital versions at dccomics.com/talent/alex-sinclair. View more of Sinclair’s work on his Instagram page at instagram.com/sinccolor.

Alex “Ben” Sinclair (photo by David Barak)