In the last two and a half years, Coral Martinez has been receiving credit for her work inking Rafael Ruiz' Phantom stories.
She has worked with Rafael on five Team Fantomen stories at the time of this interview. Three have been published by Frew in English, the story details are below:
"The 22nd Phantom, Part 3: The Man in the Shadows"
Frew #1794 (2017) Fantomen 2-3/2017
Frew #1845 (2019)
"The Pit of Doom"
Frew #1853 (2019)
"Eldkraft" (Swedish Title)
"Den gyllene burens fånge" (Swedish Title)
Chronicle Chamber has been lucky enough to interview Coral and learn more about Coral, an inker making a name for herself in a male dominated Phantoms world.
Chronicle Chamber: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself? What country are you from?
Coral Martinez: I am from Galicia, a northern region in Spain, where I can enjoy the frozen waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
CC: And where did you Study art?
CM: I studied Art at Universidade de Vigo, and one year at Universidad de Barcelona. During those five years learning “art” (mainly conceptual art) not one of the teachers encouraged me to keep drawing cartoons or comics, because as you would know... this is not real ART.
In my opinion, it is more important to work on your own path, focusing in the area you are interested about (inking was mine), and work very hard on that area.
Fortunately I found some very good comic professionals who helped me become a better inker, by sharing their experiences, knowledge and advice with me.
CC: That’s wonderful. Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you and influenced your work?
CM: Well, I don’t know if these artists have influenced my work, but they really inspire me. They are Bruce Timm, Mike Mignola, Taiyou Matsumoto, Sandra Hope, Jonathan Glapion, Jordi Tarragona, Kevin Nowlan, Matteo Scalera and Dino Battaglia.
CC: What made you wanting to be an artist? and an Inker?
CM: Wow... This is very difficult to know!
This is not going to be the perfect answer as we are used to reading that since a very young age I knew my future was to be an artist”.
When I was a child I instead dreamed of becoming a great ballet dancer (despite not taking ballet lessons) or maybe an archaeologist. I was very good at drawing, and working on creative things.
I decided go to University and study Art, but my teachers did not value my drawings and accurate strokes. Teachers and students prefered flowing paintings... more chaotically techniques and fresh drawings, directly from the soul to the paper, less academical.
So I thought “there may be a field where I can apply all that accurate strokes made with brush”, and a good friend of mine talked to me about the inkers of the comic industry.
What a discovery!
CC: We’re pleased you made that discovery. Are you able to work full-time as an artist now? What other jobs have you had in the past to supplement your career as an artist?
CM: Today I work as a comic teacher, illustrator and inker.
It is a personal decision, because I really enjoy sharing my knowledge in the comic field with people. I still enjoy day to day work as an inker and illustrator. I published my first book in October 2018. In the past I have worked in fashion and sports stores while I was building my career. CC: What other comic work have you done (prior to The Phantom) that we should become familiar with?