MINUTES WITH: JOSEPH MICHAEL LINSNER
JML's official site:
Joseph Michael Linsner (known to his fans as JML) was born
on December 13th, 1968 and is now one of the comic industry's
premier illustrators. His stunning and lush renderings have
made him a fan favorite and also a much sought after cover
artist. JML is most well-known for Dawn, his personal representation
of the Mother Goddess, prominent in dozens of ancient (and
modern) religions. JML's mix of heartfelt writing and beautiful
art, sprinkled with his personal mix of theology and iconography,
have struck a chord with thousands of fans.
young age he discovered comics, Batman and Conan being a few
of his favorites. JML has said that comics helped save his
life, since they helped teach him to read so he wouldn't be
held back a grade. When he moved to Long Island, he began
to draw regularly. Joe made it into the top 100 applicants
for the New York School of Visual Arts, but "boned" (his words)
his interview. He then decided not to put himself through
the daily hell of class anymore. Dawn was born of JML's mind
way back in 1987, and made her first appearance on the cover
of Cry for Dawn 1 in 1989. But it wasn't until a little later,
when he was illustrating Cry for Dawn 3 that JML realized
that Dawn was the representation of life that he had been
looking for to act as a lover and opposite to Death. Influenced
by the diverse artistic masters Frazetta, Giger, and Vargas,
JML's art evolved into a distinctive and stunning style.
Dawn published 9 issues of the CFD comic, Subtle Violents,
and numerous other one shots and several miniseries by other
creators such as Jim Balent and Kevin Taylor. In October of
1993, Cry for Dawn broke up and so began a nasty legal squabble
over the CFD properties. In June 1994, Dawn rose again in
Drama, published by the brand new Sirius Entertainment. When
Dawn 1 hit the stands, it outsold both Batman and Superman.
The collected Dawn miniseries, Lucifer's Halo, continues to
be a popular collection and its sequel, Return of the Goddess,
was also a popular success and became the first entry into
the Linsner Library.
recently, JML wrote and illustrated a Killraven one-shot for
Marvel Knights, and returned to self-publishing through the
newly founded Linsner.com, which has since published several
prints and books, all of which have been successes. Linsner.com
will continue to publish smaller projects such as prints,
one-shots, and portfolios. JML recently found a home for his
new work and library in Image comics.
Dawn has been around for 15 years. When you first created
her, did you ever think it would gain such stature?
JML: No, of course not. It's good to dream, & I had
hopes Dawn would connect with people. But I know I got damned
lucky ^ she found an audience right out of the gate. That
those fans have stayed with me, many of them for all 15 years,
proves to me that I must be doing something right. I owe a
lot to each & every Dawn fan out there.
Who are your artistic inspirations and influences? How about
as a writer??
JML: I have many artistic inspirations. Frank Frazetta
is the man; I love so much about his paintings. They're rich
in emotion, sometimes even humor. Wally Wood, Jeffrey Jones,
Alberto Vargas, Moebius, Richard Corben; all are artists whose
work has left its mark on me.
to read as many dfifferent types of literature as I can. The
writers I go back to most frequently are William S. Burroughs,
Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski. In comics, it's Kurtzman,
Eisner, Pat Mills and Alan Moore.
DF is releasing its second Dawn trading card series. What
are your thoughts on this process and the creation of exclusive
material? The first was quite successful, thoughts on its
quick sell-out and demand for this second series?
JML: Of course, I'm delighted when Dawn goodies sell
well. Trading cards have always seemed to have a special allure
to fans. Who knows what it is about 'em - the small size,
the large amount of art you can get in one card set, the portability
factor or even the nutty 'collectibility' of them. Gotta get
'em all, right? Card sets can be kind of fun, because you
get to see comic art printed in an out-of-the-ordinary format.
I hope this series proves to resonate with the fans just as
Any more cover work for Dark Horse? Marvel? Will we ever see
a Linsner DC cover? If so, what character would you choose?
JML: Nothing immediately pending with Dark Horse or
Marvel, but I've enjoyed working with them immensely, and
both the Conan and Mystique covers proved hugely popular with
fans. As for a DC cover, who can say? You'd have to ask the
editors over at DC. It's no secret that I love Batman. I'd
really go to town on a Batman painting.
Any more writing for Marvel in the future? What's your favorite
character at Marvel? DC?
JML: I have a really good relationship with the guys
at Marvel, & I definitely see myself doing more work for them
as soon as I am out of Dawnland.
know if I can nail a single favorite character, because that
changes from day to day, but I love all the classic dudes
in their classic costumes; Thor, Iron Man, Galactus, and Adam
What are you reading these days? Listening to? Watching?
JML: I haven't had time to sit down with a good book
for awhile, because I am finishing post-production work on
Dawn. But Dune just came out on audiobook, & I have been enjoying
that while I work.
music, I'll check out divergent bands, depending on my mood.
Today my iTunes has been playing Bow Wow Wow, Cocteau Twins,
Dead Can Dance, David Bowie, Beck and Curve. Tomorrow it'll
likely be completely different.
saw the movie Napoleon Dynamite, that was damned funny. I
don't watch a whole lot of TV, but I do have to confess -
I love the show Mythbusters! I have a pretty large DVD movie
collection; I recently watched Master & Commander - its epic
scope really impressed me. The Incredibles gets my vote as
the best superhero movie of all time.
sure to check out our complete selection of comics and collectibles
Joseph Michael Linsner!
We'll be back next week with another interview
featuring YOUR favorite creator!