Joe Jusko is undoubtedly one of the best known Fantasy, Pin-Up and Comic Artists in the world today. His career has spanned almost 30 years, starting with the sale of his very first cover for Heavy Metal Magazine in 1977 at the age of 17. Since graduating that year from NYC’s High School of Art & Design, Joe has worked for almost every major comic book publisher, producing hundreds of images for both covers and interiors. His work has appeared on paperback book covers, calendars, posters, t-shirts, toy packaging and innumerable trading cards, most memorably the multi award winning 1992 Marvel Masterpieces Trading Cards. The popularity of that set has been credited with initiating the painted trading card boom of the 1990’s, and led to his groundbreaking 1995 Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs trading cards. Those 125 paintings have made him the most prolific Burroughs artist ever, producing art based on almost every major book by the famed author.
The son of a construction worker and a homemaker, Joe was born on September 1st, 1959 on the lower east side of New York City. Inspired at a very early age by watching his older brother Danny draw, and by a love of comic books which led to his discovery of the art of John Buscema, Joe knew even then what direction his life would take. He drew incessantly, using every spare moment to try to become as proficient as the artists he admired.
Joe credits the teachers at Art & Design (all former highly experienced commercial artists, including EC Comics great Bernie Krigstein) with teaching him the necessary fundamentals that brought an early polish and modicum of professionalism to his work.
A chance meeting with artist Howard Chaykin in a New York City comic shop led to a five month apprenticeship, during which time Joe sold his first cover painting to the afore mentioned Heavy Metal Magazine, which was the preeminent fantasy magazine of the time.
Several more jobs at Heavy Metal gave him the fortitude to contact Rick Marshall, who was the magazine editor at Marvel Comics. That cover started a run at Marvel that has lasted to this day, with Joe at one time or another painting every major character that Marvel has created, as well as a long running and well remembered stint as one of the main cover artists for The Savage Sword of Conan.
In addition to his work at Marvel over the years, Joe has produced art for many other companies and characters, including DC Comics, Crusade Comics, Innovation Comics, Harris Comics, Wildstorm Comics, Top Cow Productions and Byron Preiss Visuals, to name just a few. He has produced storyboards for ad agencies and advertising campaigns for such notable clients as the World Wrestling Federation, where he designed the art for the 1991-1992 Royal Rumbles and Wrestlemania VII.
His more current work includes a fully painted graphic novel based on Lara Croft, the heroine from the Tomb Raider video game series, which recently won a Certificate of Merit from the prestigious Society of Illustrators, miscellaneous cover paintings for ‘The Oz/Wondrland Chronicles’, ‘Vampirella’, and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, among others, including the normal assortment of painted projects and a proposed gallery show. He is also currently working on a hardcover “Art of Joe Jusko” book, to be released by Desperado Publishing, and a graphic storytelling version of Steve Niles’ supernatural detective Cal MacDonald for Dark Horse Comics.
His work has earned him myriad awards and honors, including two “Favorite Painter” Wizard Fan Awards, multiple trading card awards, a Golden Lion Award from the Burroughs Bibliophiles (previous recipients include Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo) and a Chesley Award nomination for best cover in 2001.
Joe looks forward to meeting all his fans at both the Melbourne and Gold Coast expos in 2013. He will be appearing each Saturday (10.30am to 5.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 5pm) excluding breaks and conducting a general admission Q&A on the Saturday of each weekend.
Guest confirmed health and other commitments pending.