@lonelygod: I would recommend getting a tablet. For a beginner it doesn't have to be a very expensive one, but if you are aiming to do professional work I would recommend a Wacom.
Tracing software has come a long way but making really good vector graphics with tracing software is near impossible (at least in my experience). Doing it in raster is easier though but still not perfect. A tablet is a sound investment for any digital illustrator.
As for the coloring. The pen is basically a substitute mouse. It acts the same way. So as far as coloring goes, it all depends on the software you use to create the illustrations.