Jim Steranko's eightieth birthday snuck up on me. Hard to believe that number, because he's still out there rollin' like a boss. Jim is possibly the coolest eighty-year-old I know of.
This is a last-minute post, so I'll have to keep things brief. I first became aware of Jim in fifth grade when I encountered one of his iconic Nick Fury covers in a Marvel coloring book. I started tracking down stuff from this "Steranko" guy. Without fail, his work was at least excellent, if not beyond cool. I picked up his landmark work, The Steranko History of Comics. Not long after, I read The Reavers of Skaith with its epic Steranko cover. At that point, I came to the firm conclusion--which has never wavered--that Jim Steranko is a badass.
Here was a guy who came from nothing, had a fairly successful career as an escape artist and illusionist, left all that to become a groundbreaking artist, then went on to publish cool magazines and work with Hollywood types like Lucas, Coppola and Spielberg. Oh, and he was also a guitarist in the early days of rock n' roll.
Most pertinent to DMR blog readers is Jim's work in the field of SFF art. Check out the gallery below. Also check out Jim's top five all-time favorite comic covers here.