I was born in San Jose, California and grew up on the West Coast. My favorite comics –on the rare occasions I was allowed to read them --were Archie, Stumbo the Giant, Hot Stuff, and Dennis the Menace. My mother shared in the widespread 50s bias against comics. She favored classic children's literature, such as Treasure Island and the Just So Stories.
In junior high school I discovered the wonderful world of Marvel Comics at the drugstore in Felton CA. The Fantastic Four were my favorite. They were a family who had super-powers and helped each other out. I wanted to be part of a family like that. I started writing and drawing my own comics on school binder paper, creating a pantheon of my own, including Radium the robot illustrated here. (My style has matured a bit since then!)
Three and a half years later I started publishing fanzines. In 1971 I left for New York with three friends in a Drive-away car. We may have met Jesus in Iowa who helped us get our stalled car re-started. Our first two weeks we lived in a transient hotel on 33rd Street. The refrigerator was full of cockroaches so we moved to Clifton New Jersey. My first published work was a pin-up of Doc Savage for Marvel.
My professional career took off in 1979 with Ka-zar the Savage, written by Bruce Jones. The Marvel Graphic Novel X-Men "God Loves, Man Kills" followed. Since then I've had a part in creating a wide-ranging list of works, including the innovative cinematic comic, Somerset Holmes, again with Bruce Jones and April Campbell, the heroic space-opera, Strikeforce:Morituri, written by Peter Gillis, and the award-winning Astro City with Kurt Busiek. My more recent credits include J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars, Green Lantern: Legacy, with Bill Sienkiewicz, contributions to New 52 Action Comics #2, and a six-issue stint on the New 52 Phantom Stranger.
I'm pleased to see Astro City being published again, with the opportunity to revisit old characters, as well as create new ones in the world's ever-expanding pantheon. I'm also working on an original graphic novel, El Jaguár, involving a coyote, an immigrant smuggler, who escorts his clients through the land of the dead in their desperate gamble to be reborn into a better life. On a completely different note, I'm in the process of creating a newspaper strip, 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' a comic look at the working class side of suburbia.
My greatest joy in drawing comics comes when I can add nuance to a character with just the right expression and illustrate a scene that captures the perfect moment of mood. When the characters come to life I feel alive. That's why I've dedicated my professional life to creating comics.
I live in northern California. I share my home with three cats, my wife, Shirley, and my eighteen year old son, who will be attending Cal Berkeley this fall.