by Arnie Fenner

"Function is my God."
              —Jim Steranko

As I've said in the past, it's always nice to give a call out to the artists who blazed the trails others are following today, particularly while they're still with us and actively producing. So I'd like to call your attention to Jim Steranko.

Whether his career as an escape artist was inspiring Jack Kirby to create the character of Mr. Miracle;  whether he was drawing (and eventually writing) stories for Marvel featuring Nick Fury or Captain America; whether he was painting paperback covers for the works of John Jakes or Leigh Bracket; whether he was illustrating the work of Harlan Ellison and others for the SF digests; whether he was creating concept art for such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark or Bram Stoker's Dracula; whether he was writing two volumes of perhaps the finest history of the comics field ever published; whether he was creating one of the first modern Graphic Novels with Chandler; whether he was publishing and editing the precursor to many of today's pop culture entertainment magazines with Mediascene and Prevue; whether he was exhibiting his original art at shows in the Louvre or the Sidney Opera House...

Jim Steranko has been there and done that...and expanded the appreciation for fantasy art in whatever form it might take in the process. His intuitive sense of "what works and what doesn't" is second to none and his graphic design skills are rock solid. In a career spanning 55 years (and counting!) Jim has been taking us to school—and we're all much better for it.

So a cheer for Steranko!  One of our best!