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

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"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.

How did I write a graphic novel in 30 days?

I can't tell you how to create or what to create. But I can tell you that the best stuff comes from when you HAVE to create — when you've given up and there's nothing left to lose. Some declare it “a calling.” But now that you can identify the curse of creativity, where do you do it? And when?

I am not the best writer and artist. I was never entrusted to take over a major franchise and endow it with my sensibilities. However, I was thrown the occasional bone because I kept showing up and I was acceptable enough to help perpetuate intellectual property. Alas, my adolescent dreams of contributing something substantial to any number of four-color fables I grew up cherishing never came to fruition. But it didn't stop me from sparking my own lore.

As far back as avoiding junior high school homework and jotting down ideas on note pads and bar napkins at part-time jobs, to sitting at desks and art tables at home and in shared studios, I never left a pencil and pen alone too long from filling up a blank page. And, then I learned about artist residencies.

When I applied to Yaddo in 2012, I was surprised to be accepted into the legendary artists’ colony. I didn't think I'd make muster, but someone in the jury of my peers believed in me. And when I showed up and was sobered to the belief that I was entering a non-judgmental workspace, it meant I had to prove myself, to myself.

Jeez … talk about pressure. I'm a frustrated perfectionist who knows, for a fact, that anything I ever made or will ever make won't come close to the people, places, and things I admire and inspire me. I've spent the last decade trying to eradicate most of my influences so as to let deliberate accidents and gut feelings craft my work and mark my territory.

As we get older, we develop shortcuts. A creative shorthand. It's part of adapting your style. But it can prove lazy. The first night at my inaugural Yaddo residency, I wanted to shrug off the rigors of my creative comfort zones, especially if I was going to dedicate precious time to writing an unsolicited novel. But I'm a cartoonist by passion and by trade, so that first evening I took the loose sketch of a character I initially called “The Rascal” and typed a six-page comic book story that would later be developed into The Red Hook. A few months later, that script would be illustrated during my tenure as “master artist” at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

That illustrated effort would later be used as an audition to write and draw a superhero series for a major comic book publisher. My tenure on that franchise coupled with my history as a progenitor and curator of personal webcomics would alert a keen editor to have me pitch and successfully sell an original, creator-owned Red Hook webcomic series. And at age 52, I'm currently experiencing a creative autonomy that I know won't last, which means I need to work even harder.

That first night at my fourth residency at Yaddo in the late summer of 2019, I stared at the blank page and wondered how the hell I was going to crack and complete the script for a 130-page graphic novel in one month. Deadlines are great motivators but there's no guarantee. So I panicked, banged my head against the wall, and then … I did something I never do. I procrastinated. I don't procrastinate very well. 

I also don't like carrots.

Yaddo is famous for slipping a wax bag of sliced carrots into our lunch pails. It's a tradition. For the first three days of my residency, I made myself eat them. But, then my philistine distaste for the sweet, snappy root took over, despite the fact that I'm slowly going blind and EVERYONE knows carrots are good for your eyes. Still, aren’t pain and suffering the bedrock of art?


I accumulated a tower of carrot sticks in the corner of my writing desk which looked down at the colony entrance from the second-floor window. It’s a busy corner where artists, staff, and visitors come and go, including groundhogs, who worm their way around the grassy knolls and disappear into black holes.

A week or so into my residency, I spotted a curious groundhog. So I pocketed my tower of carrots and ran down the stairs and out the front porch door. I ducked behind a column so as to not startle the furry creature and watched as its body heaved and wiggled its way across the parking lot and toward the great lawn behind the mansion. I tiptoed behind the groundhog as it made its way to a tree with a hole and dove into it, disappearing. I slowly opened the crinkly wax bag and sprinkled the sliced carrots next to the hole. I sat a few minutes, hoping the sweet fragrance of the eye-healing vegetable would woo the groundhog from its earthy nest.

Suddenly, its nose appeared, sniffing at the orange snack. I watched as it grabbed and ate each carrot, one by one, staring at me the entire meal. As it consumed the final carrot, I spoke softly to it, trying to make a new friend. “Do you actually like carrots?” He or she blinked. Was that a yes or a no?

I revisited this part of Yaddo a few times a week and alerted other residents of my secret donations before they confessed to me about their own columns of carrot rations. With the amount of carrot peace offerings shared and dispersed thereafter, the groundhogs must've concluded that humans are the evolution of monkeys copulating with rabbits.

My procrastination accomplished, I was forced to do the hard work of staring at the man in the mirror. This 130-page graphic novel wasn't going to write itself. But I'm not composing this to discuss the nuts and bolts of writing, because everyone has a different process. Remember, this essay is a “How did I,” not a “How to.”

Peers ask me, “What is Yaddo like?” It's almost impossible to answer. It's like a microcosm of real life, only not at all. It requires you to let go of familiarity and immediately embrace equal concentrations of inclusion, inquiry, and indifference. It's a little bit like high school. A “Breakfast Club” among introverts, extroverts, masters, and outliers, where an unwritten embargo between the artists and life outside the retreat in the “real world” is a daily negotiation. An olive branch offered to relieve you of the toxicity of the world and surrender to a small, private camp of wildly diverse imaginations. It can be emotional and super-sensitive. The only real rule is that you account your whereabouts for dinner; otherwise, you might just be dead.

When you're not discussing the day's creative struggles and epiphanies among a revolving tribe of rookies, journeymen, and veterans at dinner, you're holed up in your studio, punching and hugging, and sometimes snubbing what brought you here. Circling the idea you were granted free reign to make or break. For me, that involves some soul searching versus the trifecta of proposed merit, value, and universal appeal coupled with personal legacy. And then there's impostor syndrome, a certain kind of torture you'll never witness in a horror movie. But more importantly, it requires work ethic. When you can no longer justifiably ignore your project and need to unpack it; make sense of it. You must engage the blue collar worker in your arsenal in order to get things done.

Are we striving for that eureka moment, that much-heralded lightning in a bottle, or is it okay to rummage, meditate, and vacillate? Dip a toe into the oasis of your brain cloud only to come up snake eyes? They say it's okay to fail as long as you fail hard, but your mileage may vary. Some can see the cliff and decide to stop before jumping off it. Others live on the ledge. And as individual as we are encouraged to be, emboldened to access honesty, excavate the truth and express yourself authentically, what makes us better communication artists IS our community. Our first wave of readers, viewers, and listeners – the front lines of creativity – before we brand ourselves and market our wares to consumers. And, if you're lucky/not lucky: the self-entitled fan.


Most of us have our “people” whom we rely on to render constructive criticism. To pat us on the back and high-five. To tear us apart when necessary. But what Yaddo yields is a group of unlikely artists mashed together (sometimes the good with the bad). Artists you would never have met. Art you may never have occupied on your own. And this kind of tension helps confirm a lifelong commitment to art while creating a testament of life. After all, a lot of artists grow up in public. Warts and all.

Despite the grueling, self-imposed and/or deadline-oriented task of making something that means something, knowing that an institution provides for you – so you don't have to – is comforting. And understanding that respite actually informs the work, you can split the difference between production and play. Find a way to reward yourself – within reason. If you complete a certain amount of work you get to swim in the pool or play ping pong. If you make your daily quota, you get to commiserate in the Drinks Room and engage in word and role-playing games. Or, wholly disengage and watch trashy TV on your laptop under the covers. When you set mini-goals and manage work expectations, you get to play hide and go seek or sneak off-colony for southern fried chicken, bean curd Sichuan-style, Japanese hibachi, and/or visit the local water fountain to sip sulfuric seltzer from the bladder of Saratoga Springs (Instagram-published spit-takes optional).

But how DID I write a graphic novel in 30 days? I didn't. WE did. Sure, I did all the hard work, but  I couldn't have done it without the specialized provocation, privacy, and procrastination.

What Yaddo gifts is a personal deep dive to search and destroy, resurrect and evolve the extraordinary you. To help embellish what already exists by giving you something you don't necessarily know how to give yourself. Creative energy, solitude, community, and a daily dose of clarity in the shape of sliced carrots, waiting for you, right outside your nest.

--Dean Haspiel

The Unrelenting Coolness of Dean Haspiel and Red Hook by Ed Catto at Pop Culture Squad

Big THANKS to Ed Catto for writing nice things about me and my Red Hook series at Pop Culture Squad.


"Dean Haspiel is a certain kind of artist. When you read his work, you can’t help but like what he’s doing. And then the more you learn about him, you can’t help but admire who he is, what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. It’s inevitable that you want to learn more about his focus and his work.

There’s no denying that he’s a cool cat. That’s part of it, but only part. He’s also a passionate believer. He’s the type of guy that’s fighting the good fight. It’s easy to picture him getting into arena each day, doing his best, and then repeating that the very next day. His purposeful work ethic and big dreams shine through every page of his work."

"There’s angst and drama peppered with a healthy dose of “I can’t wait to turn the page and see what happens next”.

Haspiel’s engaging art bursts at the seams with unbridled fun. There’s not a lot of shadowy nuances here; it’s all bombastic and straightforward. Haspiel, like so many of us, grew up with the language of comics and easily bends it to serve his imagination in order to provide something fresh and urgent."

Read the entire article/review: The Unrelenting Coolness of Dean Haspiel and Red Hook: https://popculturesquad.com/2019/12/11/with-further-ado-072-the-unrelenting-coolness-of-dean-haspiel-and-red-hook/

My Newsletter

As I ponder my social media footprint and which platform I am willing to surrender to (as much as I enjoy the chatter of Facebook, I think Instagram is taking the lead), I'd like to invite y'all to SUBSCRIBE to my occasional newsletter. If you like what I make and my brief forays into hot topic territory (nothing too strenuous), please sign up. The future for a lot of freelancers is Patreon and, someday soon, I may have to bite the proverbial bullet and go full frontal crowdfund as long as piracy rules the digital sea. Big Ups to Webtoon, Image Comics, and YOU, for keeping me autonomous the last few years. Let's see how far this can go.


Dean Haspiel guest at Miami Book Fair 2019

I'm a guest at Miami Book Fair 2019, hawking my graphic novel, WAR CRY, The Red Hook volume 2, and participating in a panel:

PULP THRILLS. Murderous socialites, costumed super-thieves, a super-natural force possessing a new father, and an elite unit of boy scouts! Gabby Dunn (Bury the Lede), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook, Volume 2), Celine Loup (The Man Who Came Down The Attic Stairs), and Matt Kindt (Black Badge, Volume 2), come together on a rollicking panel that will delve deep into the dark, the horrific, and the lustful – all the best elements of pulp, in comic form! Moderated by noir author and comics writer Alex Segura (Pete Fernandez Mysteries). Sunday, November 24 @2:30pm in the MAGIC Screening Room (Building 8, 1st Floor), 300 NE Second Ave., Miami, Fl 33132


Miami Book Fair: https://www.miamibookfair.com

DITKO the play

(Me, Tom DeFalco, and Adam McGovern at the DITKO play in NYC)

Adam McGovern reviews DITKO the play at HiLoBrow and quotes me:

“I think…it was four or five times? I went [to see Ditko] not only as a fan, but also to show my work, to just get a review or a thought or something. And I had been working on Cuba: My Revolution at the time for Vertigo. I don’t remember what he said, but he was really intrigued with Castro, and Cuba. And I told him how it was my mom’s friend who had written this story, and he was really interested in that. So I was able to get to talk with him — in the front of his door. He had it cracked open, and he always looked a little disheveled, like he had just buttoned up his shirt, and maybe had one shoe on. The sense you would get was that he was always working, ’cuz that’s what he did. The last time I was near his studio, I elected to not go, because I felt like I would have bothered him at that point. I was just trying to say thank-you. Thank you for all the great work, and for influencing me in some way. And then just trying to talk to a person; get to know this person that famously no one really knows about. … And that’s his right. In a world where everyone is just exposing themselves, 24/7 — he didn’t need to do that.”


RIP Tom Spurgeon

We met 23-years ago in Chicago at my first Comicon with my first professionally published comic book (Keyhole #1 with Josh Neufeld) in 1996. We kept in contact on a regular basis ever since.

When Cav texted me "I think Tom Spurgeon died" I didn't want to except that as fact. I immediately called Cav and we talked briefly about the validity of the terrible news and I hoped it was false. But, what gave the bad news some credence was my last interaction with Tom Spurgeon a little less than a month ago when I saw him at Baltimore Comicon. I was surprised and thrilled to see Tom. It had been a good long while. Possibly six years since the eye-opening interview he did with me for The Comics Reporter in 2013 ( http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/resources/interviews/41821/ ). 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 was genuinely concerned and asked, "Are you okay, Tom?" He said he was okay, "fighting the flu" or a cold, and I just wanted him to know that I cared. Tom appreciated the "good looking out" and we discussed me coming to CXC and a few other things before I was taken hostage by Jim Steranko and stories of magic and thievery.

Comix was robbed today. I can't imagine a comix industry without Tom Spurgeon. He spoke and wrote about every aspect of comix in an intelligent, insightful, and passionate way, even if it meant sparking spirited debate. Tom was an advocate of the form but he also knew how to push buttons and we had our share of differences. As did most everyone who knew and loved Tom.

He was 50. We lost a beautiful giant.

Rest In Peace, Tom Spurgeon.

Another World - A Live Comix Reading at PS122 Gallery, NYC

FANS OF DYNASTY, please join us for Another World, a special reading of their work by New York comix creators, featuring: Jon Allen, Matt Huynh, Derek Marks, Annie Nocenti, Peter Rostovsky, and Dean Haspiel.

Friday, Nov. 15th, 7-9 pm, FREE
PS122 Gallery 150 First Avenue, NYC, 10009

Organized by Dean Haspiel & Peter Rostovsky as part of Dynasty, curated by Amy Goldrich, Christopher K. Ho, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, and Sara Reisman.