Fantasy Muscle: Artist Spotlight on Joe Jusko

Joe Jusko is among the top Fantasy, Pin-up and Comic artists in the world. He is known for his realistic and highly detailed paintings in and out of the comic book industry.

Joe was born on September 1, 1959 on the lower east side of New York City. He began drawing early in life, inspired by his brother and a love of comic books. He drew constantly, saying “All my friends were out playing baseball and football, but I just couldn’t keep from drawing.” He was accepted into the prestigious High School of Art & Design in NYC, the only high school in the country focused on careers in commercial art. By graduation his work showed professionalism, polish and he won the DC Comics Award of Excellence in Cartooning.

Instead of College, Joe began a five month apprenticeship with artist Howard Chaykin. This led the 18 year old to selling his first painted cover to Heavy Metal Magazine. “I would have given them the cover to print”, laughs Jusko, “but I gladly accepted the $250.00 they paid me!” After a few more covers, he gained the courage to contact Marvel Comics. They gave him a shot which started a relationship that lasts to this day.

in the early days, there wasn’t enough of work to support Jusko as a full time artist. For several years, he worked as a NYC Police Officer in the South Bronx. He loved it and while the diversity and action was exhilarating, he ultimately knew that art was his true calling. After that, his career began to take off.

Jusko went on to create hundreds of images for almost every major comic book publisher. His work has appeared on book covers, calendars, posters, t-shirts and toy packaging. He also worked with ad agencies on storyboards and campaigns such as the WWF’s Wrestlemania VII. He had a long run as cover artist for The Savage Sword of Conan and has painted every major Marvel character. With his multi-award winning paintings for the Marvel Masterpieces Trading Cards, Jusko has been credited with starting a trading card boom in the 1990’s. This led to his groundbreaking and prolific art of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creating art based on every major book by the famed author.

Jusko has earned countless awards and honors and continues to work. His recent graphic novel, based on Lara Croft, won a Certificate of Merit from the prestigious Society of Illustrators. His original paintings are held in collections worldwide and the book “Art of Joe Jusko” was released in 2009 to rave reviews. He says, “When I consider where I come from, and how few people actually get to live their childhood dream in their adult life, I feel nothing if not fortunate and very, very blessed.”

See more of Joe Jusko at

Contributing Writer Area Orion

Lori Braun

Lori Braun

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3 Responses to "Fantasy Muscle: Artist Spotlight on Joe Jusko"

  1. MsSarahGreenwich  July 16, 2010 at 12:19 am

    I’m excited to be finally posting online after all these years. There really is no mystery about it, is there? I just dropped by your blog and had to write. I’m a recent college grad, journalism major if you must know, and I love the art of photography. I’ve got my site up but it’s nothing to boast about yet. None of my stuff’s been posted. Soon as I figure out how to do that, I’ll spend the day posting my best pictures. anyways just thought I’d drop a line. I hope to return with more substantial stuff, stuff you can actually use. SPG

  2. Joe Jusko  July 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    WOW!!! I’m really flattered to be featured here! I’m been a bodybuilding fan since high school (Gladys Portugues was a friend and classmate) and still fanatically follow the sport. Thanks for the compliment of posting my work!

    All the best,

    Joe Jusko

  3. James Peter  May 1, 2012 at 1:21 am

    That is one excellent artist. Given the proper subject, I think he could ‘ink’ the idyllic figure of our imaginations, our dreams…


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