Dean Haspiel

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Saturday, May 31st, 2025
12:36 pm - Dino FAQ

(photo of Dean Haspiel 2019 by Whitney Matheson)

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

(photo of Dean Haspiel 2020 by Jen Ferguson)

(Dino selfie, 2020)

(Dino selfie, January 2021)

(Dino selfie, February 2021)

(photo of Dean Haspiel at The Atlantic Center for the Arts 2023 by Whitney Matheson)


Emmy and Ringo Award-winning writer and cartoonist Dean Haspiel is best known for creating Billy Dogma and The Red Hook, illustrating for HBO's "Bored To Death" and founding the pioneering webcomics collective ACT-I-VATE, as well as being a playwright, filmmaker, Yaddo fellow and Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Dean’s comics work includes many titles for Marvel, DC, Image, Archie, IDW, Dark Horse, Heavy Metal, and Webtoon, including The Fox, The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-men, Deadpool, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Conan, Godzilla, Mars Attacks, SpongeBob SquarePants, Popeye, and semi-autobio collaborations with Harvey Pekar (“The Quitter,” “American Splendor”), Jonathan Ames (“The Alcoholic”), Inverna Lockpez, Jonathan Lethem, Stoya, Stan Lee, and Whitney Matheson.

NIGHTWORK Studio is a Brooklyn-based multimedia collaboration project between Dean Haspiel & Whitney Matheson: https://www.nightwork.studio/

Subscribe to Dean Haspiel's free, occasional newsletter: https://deanhaspiel.substack.com/

THERE IS NO TRY, short film written & directed by Dean Haspiel: https://vimeo.com/719629432

PRELUDE TO THE WAR OF WOO, a short film written by Dean Haspiel and directed by Shannon Goldman, co-starring Seth Gilliam & Philip Cruise: https://vimeo.com/395580445

THE TIP, short film co-written & co-directed by Dean Haspiel & Whitney Matheson https://vimeo.com/719628938

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 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
4) BLACKOUT: https://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-red-hook-blackout/list?title_no=2282
5) PTSD: Post-Traumatic Superhero Disorder https://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-red-hook-blackout/ep-27-ptsd-part-1-season-2-premiere/viewer?title_no=2282&episode_no=27

THE RED HOOK promo videos:
Webtoon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSA3jLZVWkk (with original music by Moby)
Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJteYH6WZoU

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deanhaspiel_art/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/deanhaspiel
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeanHaspielArt
Substack: https://deanhaspiel.substack.com/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/deanhaspiel

Artist's Statements:

No permissions. No apologies.

Exploit the narrative real-estate of the blank page while yielding to the collaborative virtues of words and pictures where image is text, too. And design your characters in a way that allows you to know who each one is -- close and afar. Could be as simple as a costume or someone with a big nose or a cleft chin or an eyepatch (etc./etc.).

-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 2012, 2023

Click here for comix, interviews, news, videos, and other essential linksCollapse )
Tuesday, June 6th, 2023
1:15 pm - Among the Spider-verse

I'm looking forward to seeing "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," which looks to feature every Spider-man ever created, thus far. And even though I doubt my contribution to the legendary "menace to society" will appear somewhere in the superfluity of Spider-man's, I'd like to think my geriatric thief cum Spider-man imposter, might make the cut in the voluptuous background of this movie.

13-years ago I was honored to have been asked by then Spider-man editor Stephen Wacker to write and draw an 8-page story that would eventually be published in Amazing Spider-man #692, the 50th anniversary of the famous Marvel wall-crawler. A comic book I've been reading for 45+ years. Stephen gave me one prompt, "What happened to the costume when Peter Parker quit being Spider-man in issue #50?" I went home and thought about it. The only caveat was that the costume had to be returned to the garbage can Peter Parker originally tossed his superhero costume in by the next morning for continuity purposes.

I was semi-inspired by a Roger Stern story written in 1984 called "The kid who collects Spider-man," drawn by Ron Frenz and Terry Austin in issue #248. It was beautiful yet heartbreaking and I wanted to create a spiritual sequel. Suffice it to say, when I submitted my story and art, the editor admitted to shedding a tear.

Anyway -- I highly doubt my busted version of Spider-man will make muster for the Spider-Verse but I won't know til I see it and inspect every frame like so many other aficionados will most likely do. But I look forward to the next installment of this animated franchise like the true fan that I am.

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1:11 pm - THERE IS NO TRY selected for Awesome Con Film Festival 2023

THERE IS NO TRY, a short film I wrote and directed, featuring a Star Wars dilemma, has been selected for the Awesome Con Short Film Festival! It will screen in Washington, DC on Saturday, June 17th from 3:30pm - 5:45pm.


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1:08 pm - DENNY BARRACUDA at the NYC Independent Film Festival 2023

DENNY BARRACUDA, the short film I co-produced, was selected to be in the NYC Independent Film Festival. Written by Whitney Matheson and directed by Shannon Goldman, it will screen 5pm on Saturday, June 10th.


Get your tickets HERE: https://nycindieff.com/films/denny-barracuda/

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1:05 pm - Comics Grinder: Dean Haspiel Talks Comics and COVID COP

I talked to Henry Chamberlain about my Kickstarter comic book, COVID COP, at Comics Grinder.

You can read an article HERE: https://comicsgrinder.com/2023/05/22/dean-haspiel-talks-comics-and-covid-cop/

And/or see/hear our podcast discussion HERE:


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Thursday, May 11th, 2023
3:43 pm - Comics Grinder reviews COVID COP

Big Ups to Henry Chamberlain and his super kind review of my new comic book, COVID COP, at Comics Grinder.


"Drawn in the mock heroic style that Haspiel is known for, this comic book will deliver a weird and entertaining jolt right to the jugular and then some. You probably won’t have nightmares from reading this but I can’t guarantee it."

"This comic will defy your expectations, especially if you don’t really know what to expect, and offers up the most recent example of a cartoonist at the top of his game."

You can read the entire review here: https://comicsgrinder.com/2023/05/10/covid-cop-by-dean-haspiel-review/

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Tuesday, May 9th, 2023
6:33 pm - Arts Gowanus art auction + Patterns Gala 2023

I'm donating this piece to the Arts Gowanus art auction!

Text "agpatterns" to 76278 or go to agpatterns.givesmart.com to bid on my work or buy tickets to the Patterns Gala on May 12th.

By purchasing an auction item, or a gala ticket ($125), you'll help raise funds to help Arts Gowanus continue its important advocacy and community-building work.

The Gala will be held at The Old Stone House, 336 3rd Street in Park Slope, on Friday, May 12 (6–9:30pm). Attendees are encouraged to wear the craziest patterns possible! The auction will end during the Gala at 9pm.

The Patterns Gala is limited-capacity so get your tickets now! Hope to see you there!

@artsgowanus #patternsgala2023 #keepgowanuscreative ##

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Tuesday, April 18th, 2023
1:00 pm - Brooklyn Independent Comics Showcase 2023

I will be a guest at the Brooklyn Independent Comics Showcase on Saturday, April 22nd from 11am - 7pm, located at St. Mark’s Comics, 51 35th Street in the Industry City Courtyard, BK/NY — with copies of Covid Cop for sale! FREE admission.

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12:57 pm - COVID COP is in The House!

It's alive! The print version of COVID COP is in my hands! As are the Church Keys (bottle openers)! I can't wait for everyone to see and read my new comic book. If you skipped the Kickstarter, details on how to get copies are forthcoming.

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Friday, March 31st, 2023
11:52 am - Because of you

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You did it. I did it. WE DID IT!

Not only did we make the initial $5k goal (within the first 3-days of the campaign) but we reached and surpassed my desired $15k goal AND everyone who chose The Vaxx level and/or up are getting a COVID COP CHURCH KEY!

I'm excited to dive into my workload of drawing all 50+ Covid Cop cardboard head shots, set up a fun Covid Cabana Zoom party, consult on some of your comix projects, and rock some heroic commissions. More importantly, I'm excited to finally share my COVID COP COMIC BOOK in both digital and print forms. Because, at the end of the day, I'm a story maker and my story doesn't finish until you've received it.

I look forward to your thoughts once you read and see COVID COP, and I hope you'll be open to my next Kickstarter which will either be a sequel or a return to a couple of Love Titans I've been meaning to revisit.

THANK YOU ALL for your support and cheer and for helping me realize a self-publishing dream.

love, Dean

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Wednesday, March 29th, 2023
11:50 pm - “Wasteland” (Theme from Dean Haspiel’s Covid Cop) by George Folz

Illustrator, cartoonist and musician, George Folz did me the great honor of creating a soundtrack for COVID COP, done in the spirit of John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream (he knows me too well). It’s called “Wasteland” (Theme from Dean Haspiel’s Covid Cop). You can listen to it HERE:


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Tuesday, March 28th, 2023
6:22 pm - HILOBROW: Feeling The Strain with Dean Haspiel & COVID COP

I had a lively and brief parlay with Adam McGovern about COVID COP at HiLoBrow.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

"I designed Covid Cop to satirize modern concerns while discussing man versus virus and nature versus nurture. Ultimately, it’s a horror romance that has fun with words. Something that complements yet gives alternative context to the art with my unique brand of two-fisted aggro-moxie and purple staccato. Edmund may be my middle name but it’s pronounced “bombastic.”

"No matter how many genres I mash up and finesse into something brazen yet sentimental, it’s matters of the heart that truly connect us. If Marvel Comics purports to brandish the “unending story,” I’ve taken it a step further and ignited the oxygen that pumps our blood with flames from our souls."

Read the entire interview here:

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Saturday, March 25th, 2023
12:08 pm - COVID Cop: Dean Haspiel introduces a satirical hero for the pandemic era at The Popverse

I spoke to Sam Stone about COVID COP, my comix Kickstarter at The Popverse!


"No matter the genre, the root of most everything I care to write is a love story. But because there's so much backstory to set up, I didn't have a lot of space to dedicate to romance. So I developed a sentimental shorthand for everyone who comes for the chaos and rage but will leave feeling heartfelt and hopeful. Besides, who hasn't fallen back in love with their Ex while beating the heck out of each other during an acid rain storm?"

"I discovered a long time ago that the best way to confront horror is with humor. It makes the scary stuff easier to deal with and jokes help impart important messages in difficult times. Plus, one of the things comix do best is to spin bombastic yarns. One could posit I'm just following a tried and true, traditional trend of making comix. If I hadn't concocted COVID Cop, someone else would have – starring Sylvester Stallone!"

Read the entire COVID COP interview here:


COVID COP Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deanhaspiel/covid-cop/

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Monday, March 20th, 2023
11:04 pm - ComicsBeat Happy Hour episode one: Dean Haspiel

I enjoyed an hour long parlay with Heidi MacDonald on the inaugural episode of the ComicsBeat Happy Hour, where we discussed Covid Cop, crowdfunding and self-publishing comix.


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Saturday, March 18th, 2023
10:52 am - COVID COP Kickstarter talk with Planet Urf and Mindy Indy!

I chatted about comix and Covid Cop with the fine folks at the Planet Urf Show for an hour.

Click HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHJtUTjqpyA

Cartoonist Mindy Indy and I got sideways for a half hour on Instagram Live and talked about Covid Cop and Kickstarter comix.

Click HERE: https://www.instagram.com/p/CpyjOFCo4js/

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Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
11:44 am - Covid Cop Church Key - stretch goal

Global pandemic gone awry or not, in the future there will always be a sealed bottle of something good buried beneath the crossroads of chaos and salvation. A spirit to quench your parched palette. But you don't want to get caught out there without a way to pry open your libation of choice.

Announcing my $15k STRETCH GOAL: The Covid Cop Church Key (a magnetic can and bottle opener).

This stretch goal is meant to lure The Mask backers into upping their generous pledges. If we reach the $15k stretch goal by March 30th, only the backers who chose The Vaxx and beyond will receive this necessary bar blade alongside their rewards.

The Covid Cop Church Key stretch goal is also meant to deputize y'all into becoming Covid Cop Crusaders; to spread the word and preach. The more citizens we can recruit to the Covid Cop Corps, the healthier the campaign. The better chances of rebuilding society for a new dawn of humanity in future pages of COVID COP.

CLICK HERE for details: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deanhaspiel/covid-cop/posts/3757874

Thanks, as always, for your cheer and support.


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Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
1:43 pm - Conjuring THE VERDICT

As I embark on creating a new character called COVID COP in 2023, a comic book that I'm currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, I couldn't help but think about what brought me here and the very first comic book character I got published in 1987, a collaboration with Kentucky born writer Martin Powell.

It's been over 36-years since we co-created and collaborated on THE VERDICT, a mini-series about an urban vigilante who lived in Thermo City, published by Eternity Comics. A few years later we produced a serialized sequel in the pages of a comix anthology called Caliber Presents that was later collected into a one-shot called The Verdict: The Acolyte (published by Caliber Press). And, with Martin's permission, I even went on to write a third Verdict story that I never illustrated.

Since then, we both moved on in our own diverse comix careers. Martin became a well-honored and accomplished writer, and I eventually worked for all the major and independent publishers on various franchise characters and illustrated other writers semi-autobiographical stories. I also drew my own memoir vignettes and created characters like Billy Dogma and Jane Legit, and The Red Hook.

I've always described The Verdict as a cross between Batman and Boba Fett with an Art Deco flair. That's how I designed our anti-hero, but I wanted to get Martin's side of the story. So I wrote and asked him…

(The Verdict covers by Howard Chaykin, Denys Cowan, Dean Haspiel, and Sam Kieth)

Martin, with the aid of hindsight, what were you thinking and what did you originally intend THE VERDICT to be before I got my grubby mitts on him? Or was The Verdict born wholly from our collective imagination? I don't quite remember the seed that bloomed into our collaboration.

MARTIN POWELL: I know what you mean, I recall some of it like yesterday, while other parts seem vague and prehistoric. Well, you and I met—you probably recall—through an APA (Amateur Press Association), a group of writers and artists with hopeful aspirations for careers in the comic book industry. It was called “The Chain”, and membership grew fast. This was the booming era of WATCHMEN and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and everyone wanted to work in comics.

DEAN HASPIEL: Holy mackerel! That's right! Anybody else you remember taking part in The Chain?

MP: Heh, now that you mention it, thinking back over The Chain’s many members, I believe you and I are the only guys who stuck with it!

DH: Did we discover The Chain via The Comics Buyers Guide?

MP: Hmm…my memory’s a bit foggy there, and I could be wrong, but I think I was introduced to The Chain through a fellow fan when my address was printed in the letters column of an issue of MOON KNIGHT or maybe DAREDEVIL. Not sure which. Maybe both. Anyway, you and I met--through The Chain--when I saw your comics art in one of the mailings. It was a stylishly insane short comics story called “Switch to the Illy Mode” (which I still love). The basic concept of THE VERDICT was already festering in my so-called brain a bit before that--but seeing your art really brought it to a boil. After we exchanged a couple letters and a few (back then, expensive) phone calls, The Verdict and his hellish domain of Thermo City took shape rather rapidly.

DH: It occurred to me that THE VERDICT costume design was based on my original character, a mercenary called SLASH. Dunno if you ever saw the battles my high school pal/cartoonist Josh Neufeld and I used to draw called “Blade versus Slash.” It was a back-and-forth, call and response type thing. BLADE was a character Josh created in homage to DC Comics’ TEEN TITANS villain, Deathstroke. Anyway, I drew SLASH but he didn't have much of a back story. And when we invented THE VERDICT together, I adopted (adapted?) my SLASH design into THE VERDICT.

MP: Really?! Wow, I don't think I ever knew that. Seems like THE VERDICT was lurking inside both us for a while before his official conception. This has very little to do with THE VERDICT, but I remember first getting the hint of an idea for THE VERDICT from a Jamie Hernandez story in an issue of LOVE AND ROCKETS, which was a great favorite of mine in those days. It was the atmosphere really, a noir-ish Alex Toth style. I think the purgatorial Thermo City actually came into being first and then THE VERDICT was naturally born from it. The VERDICT’s name popped into my head, for some unknown reason, after you and I had decided to develop something together. Originally, the character I imagined was a merciless Dick Tracy-type figure wearing a long trenchcoat, very pulpish, but when I saw your design, all that went out the window. The second I opened your letter and saw your sketch, I knew that was THE VERDICT. It was suddenly like he’d always existed.

DH: What were your hopes and dreams for THE VERDICT?

MP: Well, pretty much what happened, didn’t it? You and I worked hard on that first issue while being busy with our regular jobs at that time, and we ultimately completed it. I loved every midnight minute, typing my fingertips raw on a manual portable typewriter, even though I really didn’t know what I was doing. That was perhaps the greatest gift THE VERDICT gave me, the luxury of learning-on-the-job. I still vividly remember how excited we were after you submitted THE VERDICT to Brian David-Marshall at Eternity Comics—and he accepted it. THE VERDICT gave both of us our collective foot-in-the-door in the industry. It gave us a badly needed boost of enthusiasm, if not exactly confidence, and set us on firmly on the path. When the legendary Don Thompson reviewed THE VERDICT in The Comics Buyers Guide, he gave us a grade-A rating, and we were suddenly real. I shudder to imagine where I’d be without that moment.

DH: Martin, if you were to create a new character for 2023, who would it be and what would they do?

MP: I’m focusing more on writing prose novels, featuring my own creations, these days. I do have something going right now, a horror novel for an adult audience, that will somewhat mirror the real horror going on in the world for the past couple years. But I do want to continue to write comics for as long as there are comics. Perhaps, someday, THE VERDICT will rise again—just when we need him.

DH: Perhaps! Thanks, Martin, for roaming down memory lane with me.

Viva The Verdict.

Now go check out COVID COP: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deanhaspiel/covid-cop


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Friday, March 10th, 2023
12:06 am - Pop Culture SquadCast Live - with Special Guest Dean Haspiel

I had a nice long chat with Pop Culture Squad's Bob Harrison and Mike Gold about comix and COVID COP.

You can see and hear it here:


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Thursday, March 9th, 2023
11:58 am - The Jacked Kirby podcast #190: Kickstartin' Covid Cop with Dean Haspiel

I talked to Tommy and Mike D. about my COVID COP Kickstarter and KAMANDI #29 by the late/great Jack Kirby on the Jacked Kirby podcast #190.

You can find it here: https://www.flowcode.com/page/jackedkirby

Or on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0fHluf2op3585bvBUIE1Jl

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11:52 am - Hypothetical Island podcast: Dean Haspiel, Round 2

(artwork by Reilly Brown)

I talked to former studio mates George O'Connor and Reilly Brown about COVID COP on the Hypothetical Island podcast.

Episode description: "Reilly and George welcome cartoonist, playwright and noted-shirt-taker-offer Dean Haspiel back to the Hypothetical Island for a discussion on ghosts, reincarnation, carbuncles, Jack Kirby, Chinese food, Vince Coletta vs Kevin Nowlan, and what to say to famous recluses. Dean also talks about his newest project, Covid Cop (kickstarting now!) and there's a special guest appearance by cartoonist Russ (Amazing Arizona Comics) Kazmierczak."

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0rBMxPVXn1sDUzjGZPVWAR

Or check out their Link Tree here: https://linktr.ee/hypotheticalislandpodcast

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