Dino FAQ

More info here: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/the-red-hook-vol-2-war-cry-tp

STARCROSS: https://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/star-cross/list?title_no=1599

(photo of Dean Haspiel 2019 by Whitney Matheson)

(Photo by Steve Friedman. Taken at Yaddo, Sept. 2019)

 photo Dino2015 by Stefano Giovannini_zpsksifitd4.jpg


Emmy & Ringo award winner, Dean Haspiel created Billy Dogma, The Red Hook, illustrated for HBO's "Bored To Death," was a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, is a Yaddo fellow, a playwright, and helped pioneer personal webcomics via ACT-I-VATE. Dino has written and drawn many comix for Marvel, DC, Image, Archie, IDW, Dark Horse, Heavy Metal, and LINE Webtoon; including The Fox, The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-men, Deadpool, Batman, Wonder Woman, Godzilla, Mars Attacks, Creepy, SpongeBob SquarePants, Popeye, and semi-autobio collaborations with Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Ames, Inverna Lockpez, Jonathan Lethem, Stoya, and Stan Lee.

Listen to SCENE BY SCENE WITH JOSH & DEAN, the podcast that breaks down American Splendor the movie, Josh Neufeld & Dean Haspiel's relationship with the late/great Harvey Pekar, and growing up in NYC learning to make comix: http://scenebyscenepodcast.com/

Read THE RED HOOK saga for free at LINE Webtoon:
1) THE RED HOOK: http://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-red-hook/list?title_no=643
2) WAR CRY: https://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/war-cry/list?title_no=1247
3) STARCROSS: https://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/star-cross/list?title_no=1599

THE RED HOOK vol.1 New Brooklyn is also available at ComiXology: https://www.comixology.com/The-Red-Hook/comics-series/128047

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deanhaspiel_art/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/deanhaspiel
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/deanhaspiel

Artist's Statement:
No permissions. No apologies.

-Emmy Award winner for title design work on HBO's "Bored To Death."
-Eisner Award nominee for "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" and "Outstanding Webcomic."
-Ringo Award winner for "Best Webcomic 2017" for THE RED HOOK
-Yaddo fellow
-Master Artist at The Atlantic Center for the Arts

Click here for comix, interviews, news, videos, and other essential linksCollapse )

The Day Print Comics Died? I SAY THEE NAY

I still remember the excitement of running across the street every week to my local newsstand to see what new comic books came out. When comic books were still 25-cents. It's where I discovered Spider-man, Shazam!, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Marvel Two-In-One, and Star Wars (BEFORE the movie came out). I remember when Iron Man had a nose.

Today marks the first day in my lifetime that new print comics will not be distributed.

Many of my peers are still producing new work for Marvel, DC, Archie, other I.P. and creator-owned fare, but it is a sobering time for our industry. For everyone, everywhere. We have been crippled by Covid-19.

The good news is that comic book shops and certain publishers have libraries of comic books, collections, graphic novels, mini-comix, zines, etc., for sale. If you like comics they have them. Just like when you finish binge watching a TV show and seek recommendations for more TV shows, the same goes for comic books.

Contact your local comic book shop and ask what they recommended from their stock (here's a link to mine: http://www.jhucomicbooks.com/ ). Ask a friend or someone in the industry for recommendations. Not just the new stuff or the popular stuff. What about the stories that got away? The alternative? The unseen? Give 'em a try. Now is the time. And, by doing that, you will help your comics community in more ways than one.

Not to short shrift digital and webcomics, either. I've been a champion of online comix since 2006. And, guess what? Most ALL of my online comics live a second life IN PRINT.

Right now, today, we need to help save our retailers and our beloved industry from collapsing. I know everyone's finances has been hit hard and we need to pick and choose between food, medicine, and other essentials. But, comic books have been essential to me as oxygen; a life force, since I first ran across the street to my local newsstand.

Please do what you can, when you can. Recommend a comic or two to friends and family, every week.

Thank you.


The things that keeps us away makes us closer.

No matter how many post-apocalyptic comic books, movies and TV shows I've read and watched (and wrestled with in my own work), I wasn't emotionally prepared for what's happening right now on earth. I toggle between a bleak feeling of claustrophobia and semi-panic while feeling crackling bursts of faux-bravado to face what's happening and what's to come. Ultimately, I trust that NO ONE wants to shut it all down but we gotta help crush this deadly health crisis, post-haste! And, that means making sacrifices of every kind. We had to postpone my new play, THE WAR OF WOO. So many dreams and jobs derailed -- across the board. But, we gotta do what's smart, practical, and right -- and hang in there. Let it blow over and pick up the pieces.

I'm currently at my shared art studio alone (everyone else is working from home). Word came in from the NYC mayor warning us that the city will most likely have to "shelter in place." Which means I need to pack up my art table, scanner, art supplies/etc., and SOMEHOW move it from Gowanus to Carroll Gardens, into my PACKED-TO-THE-GILLS apartment, along with my girlfriend and her stuff. Or, lose the ability to draw my one paying gig producing my own post-apocalyptic series, The Red Hook.

As I consolidate, I'm reminded of what I crave most about a shared art studio. The creative energy. The camaraderie. The hot topics discussed passionately yet respectfully. The provocative parlays that keeps us real and authentic. The new ideas and creative innovations by proximity. The family a studio engenders.

I believe it was cartoonist Jessica Abel who nicknamed me "Hugs" Haspiel at the Small Press Expo in the mid-to-late 1990s. I'm a spirited soul who provokes the possibility of people, especially artists. I connect to people via honesty, empathy, and touch. A high-five. A hug. A slap on the shoulder. A meaningful look. It's the way I navigate and negotiate humanity. Over the decades, those kinds of physical interactions diminished to a stand still, a different kind of quarantine, as the monsters of corporate America and toxic individuals were put on blast for bad behavior. Rightfully so. But, I miss my cavalier days of candor. I've learned something from them, too. Now, I hesitate to hug.

These days a cough is akin to an invisible bullet that can lodge into your lungs and suffocate you. So, we're forced to practice social distancing. Physically abandon each other. However, like the days of 9/11, we make more eye contact. You okay?

I know we will get through this isolation. This plague. We have to. Because people need each other. We need our stories. We pass a narrative baton between each other to communicate and connect by device. So, the story expands and never ends. Ironically, the very thing that's keeping us away from each other is making us closer.


The Rise of Webtoon @SKTCHD featuring Dean Haspiel

I had a good talk with David Harper at SKTCHD about my experience, thus far, producing THE RED HOOK for Webtoon. He wrote a phenomenal, comprehensive article about "The Rise of Webtoon."


"Cartoonist Dean Haspiel has always been an advocate of digital comics, embracing the nascent concept in varying forms for years and years. As someone who created or worked with gone-but-not-forgotten digital platforms like ACT-I-VATE and Zuda, Haspiel saw the value, even if it was borne from pragmatism.

“I think part of what it truly was, was that I probably wasn’t good enough to get published by Marvel and DC when I was younger because my artwork wasn’t up to snuff or because maybe my ideas weren’t as commercial,” Haspiel told me about his affinity for webcomics. “I realized that I needed to carve my own path.”

"Webtoon is straight up free for people to use. Haspiel loves that aspect because when people ask what he does, he can tell them that he’s a cartoonist and that his “comic is in (their) pocket right now for free.”

“I think that they’ve made it very easy for anybody to enjoy a variety of comics,” Haspiel added. “Not only do they have the variety, but it’s in your pocket on your phone. You press your thumb a couple of times and you’re scrolling through a comic. What else can you ask for?”

"Haspiel was impressed by how quickly his former studio mate learned to leverage the strengths and mitigate the weaknesses of this format. Brown was a natural with it in a way few Western creators who were hired from traditional comics have been. As Haspiel said, the vertical scroll of Webtoon comics changes “the way you have to think about pacing narratively” with no page turns being factored in."

You can read the entire article here: https://sktchd.com/longform/the-rise-of-webtoon/

Virtual Memories podcast - episode 364 – Stoya

From Gil Roth's show notes:

Performer & producer Stoya joins the show to talk about her upcoming NYC theater appearance in Dean Haspiel‘s new play, The War of Woo (March 19-April 4, 2020). We get into how she’s grown as an actress, why porn is like sketch comedy, her joy in the surprises of live theater, publishing Philosophy, Pussycats & Porn, and the mental benefit of moving the decimal. We discuss her vision for her online erotic magazine, ZeroSpaces, the history of labor exploitation in adult entertainment, running a monthly Sex Lit book club, what she’s learned as the sex & relationship advice columnist at Slate, her interest in higher education and the next stage of her career, the learning curve of identifying and interacting with different segments of her audience, the unexpected obstacles to intimacy with people outside the adult industry, and why reading a novel is her favorite escape.

LISTEN HERE: http://chimeraobscura.com/vm/episode-364-stoya

Publisher's Weekly podcast More To Come 407: Dean Haspiel and The New Brooklyn Superheroes

"Calvin Reid interviews comics creator Dean Haspiel about ‘The Red Hook’, his original Brooklyn-inspired superhero series, its launch as a Webtoon digital series, and in print by Image Comics; and the print release of ‘Red Hook: War Cry’ vol. 2, and ‘Star Cross,’ the new Red Hook installment on Webtoon."

LISTEN HERE: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/podcasts/index.html?channel=2&podcast=1053

Dean Haspiel's THE WAR OF WOO - press release & crowdfund


Seth Gilliam (“The Walking Dead”) and Stoya star in the Philip Cruise-directed production, which opens March 19 at New York’s Gene Frankel Theatre

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2020 — THE WAR OF WOO, a new play from Emmy Award®-winning writer, artist and cartoonist Dean Haspiel, brings a never-before-seen comic-book/Neo-Dada hybrid to New York’s Gene Frankel Theatre March 19-April 4. Directed by Philip Cruise, the cast includes Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead, The Wire) and Stoya (A.I. Rising, Slate’s “How to Do It” column).

The ambitious production, which marks the first time a play has served as a prequel to a graphic-novel series, follows a diverse and dynamic gang of New Yorkers (dubbed “The Bombastic Four”) as they explore the complicated, violent and passionate relationship between Hollywood, Heaven and Hell. Ultimately, this cross-dimensional love story sets in motion the cosmic genesis of New Brooklyn, the setting of Haspiel’s long-running, Ringo Award-winning comic series “The Red Hook.”

Says Haspiel: "My passion for sequential art and the stage finally hit an apex when I realized I’d written a theatrical prequel to my comix series—which makes sense, since THE WAR OF WOO is a play about the unholy merge between the kind and the profane."

THE WAR OF WOO marks Haspiel’s fourth foray into NYC theater and will be produced by Thin Duke/Sparkplug Productions, a theatrical collective created by Cruise, producer/actor Edward Miller and actor/producer Christopher Lee. Cruise and Lee are also part of the cast.

“I love working with Dean,” says Stoya. “His scripts are so complicated and bizarre—there's twists everywhere.” Adds Gilliam: “It's provocative and profane. It's probably gonna be about an hour and a half of a gut-punch of entertainment.”

Lighting, sound and props for the production will be managed by Gemini CollisionWorks, the creative team of Ian W. Hill and Berit Johnson. Set design and construction will be led by Joe Kay, with costumes by Holly Pocket McCaffrey.

"Seth, Dean, Ed and I have been friends and colleagues since we met as teenagers at SUNY Purchase, and Stoya has been performing Dean’s work since 2017,” says Cruise. “When the cast has such a deep understanding of the author’s material, the possibility for fireworks onstage is increased exponentially.”

Tickets for THE WAR OF WOO are on sale at https://warofwoo.brownpapertickets.com/ The Gene Frankel Theatre is located at 24 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette).

Emmy® and Ringo Award winner Dean Haspiel is best known for creating characters The Red Hook and Billy Dogma and illustrating for HBO's Bored To Death. He has written and drawn comics for Marvel, DC, Image, Archie and other major publishers, and his acclaimed collaborations include work with Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Ames and Stan Lee. In addition, he is a Yaddo fellow and webcomics pioneer. Haspiel’s previous plays include SWITCH TO KILL, HARAKIRI KANE and THE LAST BAR AT THE END OF THE WORLD.

Philip Cruise is a New York-based actor, writer and director who formed Thin Duke Productions in 2003. His directorial credits include the political comedy KING GEORGE II and Tom Ellis’ BRIGHT DAY, and he currently serves as a technical director for the Brooklyn Children’s Theatre. An accomplished actor, Cruise’s recent stage credits include LET TRUMP BE TRUMP and playing Hugh Hefner in Kallan Dana’s PLAYDATE (2019). THE WAR OF WOO is Cruise’s third theatrical collaboration with Dean Haspiel.

Whitney Matheson

If you wish to help support the production of the play, please check out our crowdfund campaign. THANK YOU: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dean-haspiel-s-the-war-of-woo--2/x/415949#/


Tom Spurgeon Memorial at The Society of Illustrators

I met Tom Spurgeon in 1996 at Chicago Comicon where Josh Neufeld and I debuted our two-man comic book anthology, KEYHOLE. I believe Tom was quite encouraging. But, my relationship with him didn't start until 2001 when he made fun of me in a review for my comic book, OPPOSABLE THUMBS. He claimed that I was the “Johnny Knoxville of comics.” I was offended and called him something akin to “an obese virgin who couldn't possibly relate to a real man.”

We became pals shortly thereafter and kept in contact. Circling each other from our corners with pride. Always curious yet pleasant.

In 2011, when Tom experienced a serious health scare, I wrote him an email that said:

“Tom-- You better fucking get better. Or, get on the better side of alright. Thank god for comics but Life is about the other stuff, too, and I hope you get to enjoy MORE of the other stuff. Too.”

Tom responded:

“Thanks, Dino. I really appreciate the encouragement. I'm sure I'll see you down the road!”

Down the road, Tom interviewed me during a particularly low time in my life and it was published the first day of 2013 at The Comics Reporter. It was an eye-opening interview that discussed the difficulties of making comix a career.

In Tom's opening statement, he said:

“I met Dean Haspiel at the first comics show I attended as a working funnybook professional, a Chicago convention that I think might have also been Dean's first in support of his own work (Keyhole). I've bumped into him at what seems like one show a year since, striding in close proximity to the cartoonist through our combined young-turk phase all the way to men-a-bit-older-than-the-bulk-of-the-room. The man I talked to was a restless professional deeply curious about his place in the comics world moving forward and still, I think, a bit in love with the medium. I am grateful to Dean for his honesty during our chat.”

I appreciated Tom's candid nature for making me feel comfortable enough to be as authentic and vulnerable as I was in that interview. Lots of peers, including editors, reached out to me and Tom's spotlight got me much needed work that sustained me through some lean years.

I still owe Tom a drink.

When my friend/cartoonist Mike Cavallaro texted me "I think Tom Spurgeon died," I didn't want to except that as fact. But, what gave the tragic news some credence was my last interaction with Tom a little less than a month before he passed away when I saw him at Baltimore Comicon 2019. I was surprised and thrilled to see Tom. It had been awhile. Possibly six years. So, when I saw him, I gave the big guy a big hug.

The next night I saw Tom at The Ringo Awards when he walked up on stage a couple of times to accept some awards and complained, half-jokingly, that walking up three steps winded him. He was afraid of having a heart attack. I wanted to laugh WITH Tom but it was apparent that he was struggling.

When I saw Tom after the award ceremony, he was sitting in a chair. I don't normally express concern for a person's health, especially someone as overweight as Tom could be, but it didn't matter. I asked, "Are you okay, Tom?" He said he was okay, "fighting the flu," and I just wanted him to know that I cared. Tom appreciated the "good looking out" and we discussed my coming to CXC and a few other things before I was taken hostage by Jim Steranko and stories of magic.

Tom spoke and wrote about every aspect of comix in an intelligent, insightful, and compassionate way, even when it sparked spirited debate. He was an advocate of the form but Tom also knew how to push buttons and we had our differences. As did most everyone who knew and loved Tom. But, despite our differences, he alerted the community to our work. He celebrated our birthdays. He remembered us.

And, maybe that was his point. We need to remember each other. Relate to each other respectfully yet honestly.

Years later, I thought about that Johnny Knoxville comparison and I could see it from Tom's eyes. I was a showman. A clown. I liked to entertain but was willing to get hurt – wore my heart on my sleeve – for the love of comix. As did Tom, who didn't suffer fools while suffering comics.

The comix industry was robbed the day Tom Spurgeon died.

We lost a beautiful giant.

Love, Dean

ADDENDUM: After I delivered my piece at the memorial, I realized that I met Tom Spurgeon at his first comicon as a working professional and saw him at his last comicon as a working professional. We came full circle.

"Welcome Home: Friends & Family" group exhibition at Sunny's Bar

I was invited to contribute original pieces to "Welcome Home: Friends & Family" group exhibition featuring art by Krista Dragomer, Jen Ferguson, and a bunch of other local artists. Come check out my two new paintings: "Helicopter Parent" and "The Coney, Self Portrait" at the opening this Friday, January 17th from 6pm – 8pm at Sunny's Bar, 253 Conover Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. On view through February 21, 2020.


Family Car

I remember long trips in my family car. If we weren't driving to visit family in Miami, we were driving to visit family in Grosse Pointe. Eventually, we were mostly driving back-and-forth to our country cabin in East Hampton.

The cars my family drove (in order) were a blue Fiat, a grey Mustang, a red Chevrolet (I think), and others I no longer recall. For my 16th birthday, my father gifted me an old, green Cadillac from the 1970s that he bought for a hundred bucks. It was gorgeous. By the time I got my driver's license at age 41, the Cadillac had collapsed into a busted, rusted home for chipmunks. I never drove that car.

My worst car memory was the time after mom left dad. He was nervously driving my brother and I somewhere on a highway and ordered us to be silent. To sit still. I can't remember why, but my brother was making noise. Perhaps it was the low-blood sugar due to his Juvenile Diabetes. I can't remember. All I know is that my father got so mad that he punched me dead in the face. I hardly had time to feel the pain because I was so impressed with his ability to drive 65 miles per hour while concurrently turning around from the wheel and punching his oldest son in the back seat. Such prowess. Such dexterity. I still can't believe it.

My favorite car memory was when my family was still together. I was napping in the back seat with my brother. We were younger. Smaller. I used to lay sideways, the left side of my face sleeping against the leather seat. Michael would lay his head on top of mine. The warmth of his head was the perfect temperature, the perfect weight. Like a hug. Many family trips I drifted happily asleep in a moving car.

Sometimes, when I'm too tired and can't sleep, I can feel his head against mine.