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 )

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.

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