? ?
Dean Haspiel

> recent entries
> calendar
> friends
> profile
> previous 20 entries

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)

(photo of Dean Haspiel in Red Hook, Fall 2022, photographed 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:

Subscribe to Dean Haspiel's free, occasional newsletter:

THERE IS NO TRY, short film written & directed by Dean Haspiel:

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

THE TIP, short film co-written & co-directed by Dean Haspiel & Whitney Matheson

Check out Whitney Matheson's CONTINUITY ERRORS: and DENNY BARRACUDA (directed by Shannon Goldman):

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:

Read THE RED HOOK saga for free at Webtoon:
5) PTSD: Post-Traumatic Superhero Disorder

THE RED HOOK promo videos:
Webtoon: (with original music by Moby)


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, April 9th, 2024
6:15 pm - The BIG BIG Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #54 "Golden Age Heroes” cover by Dean Haspiel

It was an honor to draw a “Golden Age Heroes” cover for The BIG BIG Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #54. Vice-president of Gemstone Publishing, J.C. Vaughn, offered me the gig at last years Baltimore Comicon and wondered what three “Golden Age Heroes” I wanted to draw. I had to think about it and finally arrived at The Human Bomb, Fantomah, and Wonderman. An unexpected team up I would love to write and draw a story for someday. Anyway, this book will be in shops July 24, 2024.

(comment on this)

6:14 pm - Geiger #3 variant cover by Dean Haspiel

I got the chance to draw a variant cover for GEIGER #3 by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brad Anderson and Rob Leigh, published by Ghost Machine, an imprint of Image Comics, in stores June 12th, 2024. Since Geiger features a nuclear irradiated man, I wanted to pay homage to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s The Incredible Hulk origin while evoking a 1960’s Doom Patrol comic book. I think I pulled it off.

(comment on this)

5:37 pm - PiercingMetal talks to Dean Haspiel at MoCCA Arts Fest 2024
Ken Pierce talked to me about self-publishing comix at MoCCA Arts Fest 2024 via PiercingMetal on YouTube.

(comment on this)

Monday, March 25th, 2024
1:53 pm - What If #11

What does Jack Kirby & Marvel Comics' WHAT IF #11 have to do with THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL?

"What If The Original Members of the Marvel Bullpen had become The Fantastic Four? Where Stan Lee, Sol Brodsky, Flo Steinberg, and Jack Kirby become teammates in one of Marvel's most iconic series. It was also written and drawn by Jack Kirby, my favorite cartoonist. All very tongue-in-cheek but way ahead of its time.

Back in 1977, WHAT IF #11 was a joke. Perhaps an inside joke knowing some of the creator credits and creative rights struggles between Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Marvel Comics. But they must've come to some kind of embargo for Jack to be able to pull this kind of stunt off. After all, Jack was also producing a bunch of Marvel Comics the likes of Captain America, Machine Man, Devil Dinosaur, The Eternals, etc. But I never took that WHAT IF story seriously. Chalking it up to a lost issue of NOT BRAND ECHH (Marvel's 1960s superhero satire book). But the more I think about WHAT IF #11 the more powerful it becomes in my mind. Our dreams and fantasies galvanize our decisions and choices in reality. Or, in the case of WHAT IF, showcases an alternative path. Perhaps a burying of the proverbial hatchet?"

Read the rest at Bleeding Cool:

(comment on this)

Friday, March 22nd, 2024
2:09 pm - Six Weeks

(Me and Ramona Fradon some years ago)

As I was picking up my Chinese food lunch from my local spot in Carroll Gardens, I overheard two gentleman discuss retirement as they gobbled their Pork Lo Mein and General Tso's Chicken. One guy was talking about how a cop can serve for twenty years and "say one wrong thing" and get his retirement compromised. The other guy was pontificating being a plumber for twenty years and "do one wrong thing" and get his retirement compromised. And then I was out the door and onto to my bike to my studio in Red Hook.

Twenty years? Retirement? What were they talking about?

Clearly, I wasn’t thinking about what the cop said wrong or what the plumber did wrong. I was more intrigued by the fact that a person can work for twenty years and then retire. What does that even mean?

The average persons lifespan (in America) is 77 years old. Now, let's say you went to a university to study a vocation. That's no more than four years. Right? And let's say it takes a year to train on a job before you're officially working at that job. Four plus one equals five. Plus, twenty years working at that job (on good behavior) equals twenty five years.

Let's do the math:

77 - 25 = 52

That's FIFTY TWO YEARS of your life that you were either goofing around as a kid and teenager, or spending it on vacations and "retirement."

Wait -- what's a vacation? Is that like a teaser-to-retirement?

Comic book artist Ramona Fradon was 97 years old when she retired from the industry. A vocation she worked at for 65 years. She co-created Metamorpho, and drew Aquaman and Brenda Starr, Reporter for many years.

Her retirement lasted six weeks before she passed away.

I'm 56 going on 57 come end of May. I've worked at my "vocation," making comix for over twenty years. And the concept of retirement is one I can hardly wrap my head around.

While making ends meet, I've dipped my toes drawing and writing occasional Marvel and DC characters. I've plotted and drawn eleven issues worth of Archie Comics' The Fox. And I've produced over 700 pages of The Red Hook. Other than a bunch of semi-autobiographical graphic novels (mostly written by other people), and an Emmy Award for working on a TV show, I don't have anything substantial to recommend me. I may have injected new energy into The Fox but I never changed the way we understand the likes of Daredevil or Batman like Frank Miller. I never got to rock long term commitments to Batman or Superman like Jim Aparo and Curt Swan. I never wrote a life-spanning comic book series like Harvey Pekar's American Splendor. I never created a well-liked independent character like Mike Mignola's Hellboy.

As I inch closer to being sixty years old, I've used more white out and rendered more revisions for my latest comix project, THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL in the last two months than I have in the last twenty years. It upsets me greatly as I begin to lose my confidence. It's harder to see. Harder to draw. My back hurts. My legs. I prefer to write these days but that may be a function of covering up my diminishing abilities to craft comix like I used to.

Listen, I know that comparing myself to a cop or a plumber is unfair and, frankly, obnoxious. What they do is a rough trade that puts their health and mortality in danger. Serving twenty years at those gigs is more than enough. They deserve the break. And I'm sure these folks accrue quite a library of stories which, if they so choose, can share to strangers (kinda like what I do). Their "retirement" could be the beginning of a lucrative career writing and recording books nee Hollywood movies. Or, they can keep their stories to themselves and just travel around the world. Go fishing. Manifest an earned quality of life. And, I guess that's really what I'm trying to figure out here. A better quality of life as I enter my twilight years.

Six weeks.

Those two guys eating Chinese food, talking about retirement, before heading back to their work grind. While I sit here on a sunny day in a windowless room, complaining about doing what I love, luxuriating my feelings next to an art table with a penciled page waiting to be inked.

(comment on this)

Monday, March 18th, 2024
10:41 am - The Virtual Memories Show Bonus Episode: Dean Haspiel

(Whitney Matheson, Gil Roth & Dean Haspiel at MoCCA Arts Fest 2024)

“Comics encompasses it all: it’s theater, it’s cinema, it’s music, it’s literature, it’s art, it’s got it all. And all you need is a blank piece of paper.”

LEAN INTO DEAN! Cartoonist, playwright, schmoozer, etc. returns for a Bonus Episode to talk about his new Kickstarter, (closing March 28, 2024)! We get into why he's making the plunge into Meta-Mem-Noir and bringing Dean Haspiel as a character into his New Brooklyn comics universe, what it's like to be part of the story, and how this podcast is also becoming more autobiographical with each passing week. Plus, we talk about getting old and not being able to stay out all night (even though he tried this weekend), what it's like to treat comics as a reductive art rather than a rendering one, the play Dino's working on, what he's learned from his previous Kickstarter projects, and , why he's holding off on reading the finale of Howard Chaykin's Time2 project, and more!

I talked to Gil Roth about THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL Kickstarter, plus more, for a Bonus episode of The Virtual Memories Show:

(comment on this)

Friday, March 15th, 2024
3:36 pm - Ringo Awards nominations 2024

Calling all comix makers and fans. Please nominate me for “Best Cartoonist” and my comix: COVID COP (and/or) BILLY DOGMA + JANE LEGIT for “Best Single Issue or Story” for the Ringo Awards.

Please nominate me here:

(comment on this)

3:34 pm - Forces Of Geek: Cartoonists Nick Bertozzi and Dean Haspiel interview each other

Stefan Blitz at Forces Of Geek asked me and former roommate and forever friend, Nick Bertozzi, to interview each other about our comix grassroots to crowdfunding comix. Check out “Two Indie-Comix Veterans on Self-publishing in the Age of Authenticity.” It's a spirited parlay that could've gone on for days. Maybe someday I'll write a book.


“The older I get the more I feel like life is a merge between fact and fiction. Our experiences. Our memories. Our dreams. Our stories. I was talking to my mother and she was lamenting about losing her new friends from the TV show, “This Is Us.” She binge watched all six seasons and was emotionally invested. I, too, have enjoyed those feelings with so many of my favorite TV shows, movies, books and comic books. These characters and situations come alive. And while Mom was watching the show the characters became real people. And when she watched the last episode they disappeared. Never to be seen or heard from again. That kind of thing leaves a hole in your heart. Even though they were fabricated, they were real. What is true? I’m not sure I know anymore.”

"I love a good set of constraints. Makes me wanna throw my rulers and white out against the wall, dip my elbows in ink and start thrashing my stories on studio walls.

Maybe that’s where all this is heading towards – performance art. We’re no longer just writers and artists. We’re publishers and promoters. We’re dancing for our food. We’re baring our bums for your attention."

Click here to read the entire conversation:

(comment on this)

3:31 pm - Word Balloon with Dean Haspiel about The Red Hook Kickstarter

I caught up with the always great to talk to John Siuntres on Word Balloon. You can see/hear us talk turkey on Facebook here:

Or on YouTube here:

(comment on this)

Monday, March 11th, 2024
12:31 pm - Lean Into Dean

Every year, "Will Eisner Week” celebrates the man who created The Spirit and practically invented the graphic novel. A champion of alternative and semi-autobiographical comix.

I had the good fortune of meeting Will Eisner thanks to Diana Schutz, who was walking him around the Small Press Expo (SPX) in the year 2000. She wanted Will to meet me and show my work. Will flipped through the pages and ogled my art. When he got to the last page, Will smiled and said "You're the future of comics, Kid!" as he pumped his fist. To say that it made my decade is an understatement. About five minutes later I heard Will pronounce the same decree to another young cartoonist in the far distance and I knew that it was his way of rallying the troops. Encouraging dreams.

When I was twelve years old, my dream was to draw The Fantastic Four.
It took many years of trials and errors, drawing and writing all kinds of comics for Marvel, DC/Vertigo, Archie, and a plethora of alternative comix publishers. Including webcomics. I was starting to carve my own lane when I finally got to draw The Fantastic Four. A dream come true. I was forty-six years old.

And that's when I realized I never dreamed bigger than a work-for-hire paycheck. I was more concerned with expressing myself, communicating my art and making human connections than making money.

And when I discovered that most publishers just pay the printers bill and, maybe, JUST MAYBE, promote the work you put your heart into while taking half your rights, is when I started to think about crowdfunding my personal work.

What would I make? Would anybody care?

Last year I successfully Kickstarted Covid Cop, and Billy Dogma & Jane Legit. And I've been living off the fumes of those two campaigns supplanted by a few freelance gigs. Just enough to squeak by but it told me to lean into Dean.

Right now I'm campaigning for THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL. Where I merge the two genres I'm best known for, superhero and memoir, and have been producing separately for the last 30+ years...until now.

For many years I saw print comics and books I worked on shoved between bookstore racks. When I was producing The Red Hook for Webtoon, I used to joke that my comic is in your pocket and on your phone for free. Now, I create comix that arrive in your mail box for the price of a few slices of pizza and coffee.

By crowdfunding, am I shooting myself in the foot circumventing an old school distribution system to stores that engenders impulse purchases? Alas, I am. By crowdfunding am I losing out on the potential for reviews? Indeed. But that stuff can be worked out. That will change.

These days, I dream for keen ways to communicate my art. Cool ways to grow a community. Smart ways to foment a better quality of life where I can occasionally leave my work desk to hang out with the people I love and indulge the stuff that thrills and inspires me. To live life, experience wonder, and report back the stories I desire to show and tell as a comix publisher.

Will Eisner recognized the spirit of talent, community and entrepreneurship at SPX 2000. He was passing a galvanizing torch to a generation of new cartoonists to ignite an autonomous path for our futures. Where the spirit of independent comix could one day be crowdfunded beyond the confines of hotel conference rooms.

Where my dreams were once small, people like Will Eisner dared to dream big. And so can we.


Please check out THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL campaign that ends March 28th:

NOTE: this essay originally appeared at The Comics Beat on March 8, 2024

(comment on this)

12:26 pm - Blockhead: Cartoonists Talk Comics podcast with Dean Haspiel

I talked to Geoffrey Grogan about comix and crowdfunding for his Blockhead: Cartoonists Talk Comics podcast. You can listen to it HERE:

Listen here:

Watch and listen here:

(comment on this)

Sunday, March 10th, 2024
2:42 pm - Rage Against A.I.

Your old art tool box never stole a job from me. At best, it was your talent and skill set. Your resume and Rolodex that I had to compete with. All good and healthy measures that galvanize every creator worth their salt. Now I'm challenged by a new tool box that steals your old work while stealing new work away from you.

Let me clear my throat: A new tool that steals your OLD WORK while stealing NEW WORK away from you.

A tool box filled with a buffet of graphic collages that cuts production time to near nil. Facilitated by employers and (here's the real slap in the face) other creators. A.I. may just be a tool. But the bristles on your brush never made me bristle like your digital pixels.

Disclaimer: my comix are created with blue pencil and black ink on paper. Aided and abetted by digital grey tones/colors and lettering. Print preferable with a PDF chaser.

(comment on this)

Thursday, March 7th, 2024
3:26 pm - Jacked Kirby podcast episode 239: “Street Code” with Dean Haspiel

I talked to Tommy Lombardozzi & Mike D on the Jacked Kirby podcast, episode 239, about Jack Kirby’s only autobiographical comic, “Street Code,” and my history with the title. Plus, a whole bunch of other fun stuff including my current comic Kickstarter, THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL.

Here’s direct link to the episode:

Here's a link to my THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL campaign:

(comment on this)

3:16 pm - Pop Culture SquadCast - Episode 032 with Dan Parent & Dean Haspiel

I had a great conversation with Bob Harrison and Mike Gold about my new comix Kickstarter, THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL on the Pop Culture SquadCast, Episode 032: with Special Guest Dan Parent of Archie Comics fame.

Check out THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL campaign here:

(comment on this)

Saturday, March 2nd, 2024
12:06 am - Winter Blues

I was invited to participate in a group art show in Brooklyn. I painted a small watercolor featuring “Fireman Mark,” a new character that will debut in THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL ( )

Here’s the art show details:

Join us on Saturday, March 2nd 2024 for BrooklynONE’s first group art event of the new year: “Winter Blues: A Group Art Show”

20+ NYC artists interpret the theme of winter blues in a gallery of original works of art. What are the winter blues to you? Come see what the are for the participating artists.

The family-friendly gallery will open at 2pm and be available to view all day. A reception will take place at 7pm. Artwork will be for sale. Come support the theatre and the arts while awaiting the end of winter.

Get reserve tickets here:
$5 suggested donation at the door (but feel free to donate more!)
Cocktails (21+) and soft drinks for sale.

BrooklynONE’s Tom Kane Theatre
51 35th St., Building 5 (“Imagination Alley”)
Store 17 in Industry City, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Participating artists include:
Alfred Accettura
David Askew
Kathryn Bailey
Allison Conway
Donny David
Rebekah Delaney
Jen Ferguson
Danielle Fisher
Simon Fraser
Zena Gurbo
Eric Hamilton
Dean Haspiel
Miguel Heredia
Alithea Howes
Anastasia Koshik
Aynsley Leonardis
Tommy Lombardozzi
Joseph Milazzo
Letizia Principato
Kieran Quinn
Adam Suerta
Angela Torresi
Ray Wang

(comment on this)

12:03 am - A.I. State Of Mind
A comix writer/entrepreneur I'm pals with posted about his fear of dementia. As my immediate memory isn't very good either, dementia is something I'm afraid of, too. I can remember faces and spaces better than names and places (a symptom of my visual acumen?). But my writer pal is worried he'll never get to write all the stories he has in mind and wanted to know if there was a way to teach Artificial Intelligence his unique style. Devise an App that could manifest his particular set of sensibilities, his creative DNA, so it could step in and take over were his mind to go sideways. And, if successful, perpetuate his legacy long after he's dead.

When I collaborated with the late/great Harvey Pekar, I drew some of his real-life stories for his American Splendor comic book series. When I drew his origin, "The Quitter," I learned that both his parents died of dementia and it made me wonder if the reason Harvey wrote down and conveyed every damned minute detail of his life is because he was worried of losing his mind, too. His comix were his memories. Something for him to read about himself. A creator sharing stories of his former self to a stranger. Alas, Harvey passed away with a healthy mind. So, none of what I posited came true.

On the heels of writing a new play about memory and the fear of dementia, I have to wonder if we're meant to perpetuate our own legacy? Does our work die when we die? Of course not. But do we need to create versions of ourselves to perpetuate our sensibilities long after we're gone? I don't think so.

Television writer David Milch wrote his memoir, Life’s Work. It's pretty damned great and he wrote it (with some help) just as he was entering a dramatic phase of his dementia. I pray no one builds a David Milch robot or App or filter that apes the way he thought and wrote. I'm happy with the work he did on his own.

If I die with a bunch of unproduced ideas in motion, I'll consider myself lucky.

(comment on this)

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024
6:17 pm - The Red Hook X Dean Haspiel

I wanted to let you know about my latest comix Kickstarter:

THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL is a 24 page, black-and-white, limited-edition comic book. New Brooklyn bartender Sam Brosia, aka The Red Hook, faces an existential crisis when he wonders whether he's wearing the superhero mask or is the superhero mask wearing him? Who is Unmarked Bill, and how does Dean Haspiel fit into his own award-winning comix series?

Here’s the direct LINK:

The Red Hook X Dean Haspiel is where I merge the two genres I'm best known for, superhero and memoir, and have been producing separately for the last 30+ years...until now.

Instead of Peter Parker becoming Spider-man, what if Spider-man became Peter Parker? Or, more accurately, Peter Parker became Harvey Pekar. A teenager from Queens transformed by the bite of a radioactive spider into a middle-aged man working as a desk clerk in Cleveland, Ohio. The Amazing Spider-man nee American Splendor.

Peter Pekar?

I've been wanting to take a bombastic superhero concept that slowly becomes a slice-of-life series with occasional surrealist aspects for years. What partially inspired me is that scene in AMERICAN SPLENDOR the movie where actor Paul Giamatti's portrayal of Harvey Pekar crosses over with the real Harvey Pekar. Suddenly, there's this bizarre moment, a hybrid between reality and semi-autobiographical fiction, illustrating how many artists of several mediums have conveyed iterations of Harvey Pekar. Including Harvey himself.

And what happens when you personally insert yourself into your own fantasy?

Please check out the various rewards which features a digital and signed print copy of THE RED HOOK x DEAN HASPIEL comic book, accompanied by "Emotional Ebola," a 24-page, full color digital comic. Other reward tiers include a signed cardboard head sketch of The Red Hook. A signed color print of The Red Hook vs The Invisible Light! A one-on-one virtual comix consultation. A group Zoom party. And an original art commission: a single figure character drawing of your choosing; black ink on Bristol board. Interested in a Dean Haspiel Deep Cut Triptych? Look no further than The Bridge reward featuring limited print editions of The Red Hook, Covid Cop and Billy Dogma.

Please check out the campaign and spread the word.

Here’s the direct LINK:

Thank you.


(comment on this)

Friday, February 23rd, 2024
12:47 pm - Comics Art Workshop: Dean Haspiel
In March 2023 I was interviewed by Ramon Gil for the Comics Arts Workshop.

(comment on this)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024
11:14 am - Squish & Squash

My pal/cartoonist, Niall O'Rourke asked me to draw a variant cover for his series, SQUISH & SQUASH #4, published by Keenspot.

(comment on this)

> previous 20 entries
> top of page