Shane Johnson on the art of bringing comic book characters to life


Creating a fictional character in a novel or short story is one thing. But developing a comic book character is something else altogether. The writer needs to work closely with an artist to literally flesh out the character, and that’s where Shane Johnson really shines. His pencil sketches and layouts are as much about exploring a character’s inner life and personality as they are about establishing their physical appearance. That’s why veteran comic writer Steve Bennett asked Shane to help him create the characters for Questers, the young-adult graphic novel series he’s currently developing about a group of teens and a robot who must work together to save the world from extra-dimensional beings. These preliminary sketches—and Shane’s cover art study—will lay the groundwork for other artists as the series evolves. For Shane, whose talents have made him a superstar commercial and editorial illustrator for major national brands and clients, this kind of character development is still some of the most satisfying and creative work of all.