Monday, December 17, 2012


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!


  1. The first time I ever saw Steranko's work was his terrific adaptation of "Outland" when it ran in Heavy Metal ('81?), which was just an incredibly strong and graphic piece. It was so bold and sharp, yet with surprisingly dense detail that rewarded closer examination. It really stood out in the magazine and obviously made an indelible impression on me - it's still the first thing I think of when I hear his name more than 30 years later!

  2. All the world is a stage - and Jim knows his way around it better than just about any other visual artist that has come along. A consummate storyteller, performer and nice guy!

  3. Howdy,

    One of the highlights of my first San Diego Comic Con (1980)was meeting Jim Steranko in the lobby of the US Grant Hotel. Super talented and super nice!


  4. Paul Jilbert, who directed the James Bama and Robert McGinnis documentaries, has been working on a Steranko doc for a couple of years now. Should be interesting to say the least!

  5. hey great
    thanks for sharing with us

  6. Any plans to do a Steranko book like the ones you have done for Frazetta?


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