On this day in 1927, Rossolav Andruskevitch was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He showed an aptitude for art from an early age, and after attending the High School Of Music & Art in New York City, serving a stint in the Army, enrolling at the Cartoonists And Illustrators School (now known as SVA), and shortening his professional name to Ross Andru, he launched himself into a career in comics that would span six decades, and establish him as one of the industry's finest craftsmen.
Patrick A. Reed
Legendary writer/editor Len Wein was born on this day in 1948. Over the course of a career that began in 1968, he built a reputation as one of the most reliable and consistent creators the medium has ever seen, and he was one of the first of a generation of creators that set out to work in the comics industry instead of simply treating it as stopgap employment, making the leap from the fan press to major publishers in the late 1960s, alongside contemporaries such as Marv Wolfman and Gerry Conway.
Over the course of his career he's written some of comics' best-loved storylines, created and/or developed a number of the medium's most memorable characters, and been a constant and friendly presence at conventions and fan gatherings, known for his clever plot twists, infectious smile, neatly-trimmed beard, and neatly-turned phrases.
There are a number of names that get thrown around when discussing comics' great artists, but Charles Vess is one who stands alone from the pack, occupying a whole category of the conversation unto himself. His work is immediately recognizable, his voice and personality shining through in every project – depicting impossible worlds in a naturalistic way, using a craftsman's eye and skill to channel unbridled imagination onto paper, creating fantastic images that never fail to evoke sincere human emotion.
Wayne Boring was born on this day in 1905, and though his name isn't often trotted out these days when comic fans make "all time greatest" lists, he played a hugely important role in the development of the DC universe, and created a look for Superman that would define the character for the post-war generation.
Bill Sienkiewicz is one of the unquestioned greats of the comic medium, a creator who, over his long and stories career, has constantly pushed the limits of sequential art, blending media, blurring boundaries between seemingly disparate techniques, and creating work that's endlessly innovative and instantly identifiable. And his work hasn't been limited to comics – he's painted cover art for best-selling albums, created animation design, illustrated trading cards, and co-created picture books.
Now he's contributed to a multi-media "post-digital" project entitled H8 Society: How An Atomic Fart Saved The World that combines his visuals with an original sci-fi/comedy ebook by the postmodern duo known as 2Dans. The project also includes a collection of 26 original songs from independent musical artists. It's an ambitiously unorthodox enterprise, and on the eve of its release, we got the chance to sit with Bill and discuss his contribution to the project, his stylistic choices, the balance of artistry and reality, and all manner of other things.
When the first issue of Ian Edginton and Francesco Trifolgi's Hinterkind hit the stands in 2013, this tale of humans and mythological creatures battling one another in a post-apocalyptic future immediately found a passionate and vocal fan base, and became a modern-day example of the offbeat genre-blending fantasy that has become a trademark of the Vertigo line from day one.
Now, after 18 issues of giants and faeries and dragons and other fantastical insanity, the series is drawing to a close, with leading lady Prosper Monday and her band of companions hurtling headlong into their greatest battle – and we're excited to bring you an exclusive five-page preview of the grand finale!
Today, Mad Magazine #533 goes on sale on newsstands and in comic shops nationwide, and it sets itself aside from the previous five hundred and thirty-two issues by being the first-ever issue of the magazine to feature a celebrity guest editor: the legendary (and famously funny) musician, Weird Al Yankovic. A couple of weeks ago, we got the chance to speak with Weird Al and Mad editor-in-chief John Ficarra about this special issue. Our conversation touched on Al's personal connection to the magazine, his comedic influences, and his plans for the future.
This Monday night, the world of comics lost one of its finest: Herb Trimpe, the legendary artist best-known for his work on innumerable Marvel titles of the '70s and '80s. He was the first person to draw Wolverine for publication, he launched Marvel's iconic G.I. Joe title, he pencilled long runs on offbeat titles like Godzilla and Shogun Warriors, and he defined the look of The Incredible Hulk for a generation of readers.
Herb Trimpe, the prolific and talented penciller perhaps best known for his work on Hulk and G.I. Joe, and for being the first artist to draw Wolverine, has passed at the age of 75. With a career that spanned seven decades, he built a reputation as one of the medium's most dependable and distinctive creative voices.
Last autumn, IDW launched The October Faction, a new ongoing series by Steve Niles and Damien Worm that tells the story of Fredrick Allan, a retired monster hunter who finds his well-being and family threatened by long-buried secrets. It's a creepy, atmospheric book, filled with new twists on classic horror tropes. With issue #6 arriving in stores next week, we got the chance to sit down with Niles to talk about how this title came to be and what he has planned for the future.