Joe Jusko

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Working as a NYC police officer wasn't tough enough for Joe Jusko, so he decided to become one of the best fantasy artists in the world. He set the standard for painted trading cards with his 1992 Marvel Masterpieces cards, and his awesome 1995 Borroughs cards. He's won two "Favorite Painter" Wizard Fan Awards, several trading card awards, a Burroughs Bibliophiles Golden Lion Award and a Chesley Award nomination for best cover in 2001. He also recently painted a graphic novel based on Lara Croft and won a Certificate of Merit from the Society of Illustrators. And to really rub it in, he's a very nice guy.

Joe's 1979 Heavy Metal calendar painting.

Joe Jusko: The cover sketches were done before any character reference beyond general descriptions were supplied. I was asked to give the covers a 60's paperback feel, so I was just toying with ideas at this point. Even then, I really liked the first sketch.

Joe Jusko: Amazingly, the sketch I liked was the one that was chosen (there were about ten in all) so after I got clothing reference on the characters, I completed the finished working drawing for the painting. This the drawing that I painted directly over for the final piece.

Joe Jusko: This still remains one of my favorite pieces! I'm a HUGE Bob McGinnis fan, and this series of covers were an attempt to capture the "feel" of 60's paperbacks. I love the Film Noir look of the painting.

Joe Jusko: This particular story concerned a girl whose paranormal ability was to make anyone (or thing) fall in love with her with uncontrollable desire. The idea that we wanted to get across on the cover was that 1) the lead character Mickey was seduced by Harmony's power, and 2) Harmony's power becomes so intense that anything in the natural world is drawn to her, including the branches of the tree she's tied to. The sketch is about 4"x5".

Sketch for a t-shirt.

A couple photos of Joe's studio.

To see the complete feature on Joe's art, with many more images and comments, get a copy of Rough Stuff#9 from TwoMorrows!


Copyright Joe Jusko
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