The Art of Walter Simonson

A very special exhibition, running until September 30th at the San Diego Comic Art Gallery.

Walter Simonson was born on September 2nd, 1946, in Knoxville, TN. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1972 and created his first comic book for his senior thesis, the Star Slammers, while attending that institution. In 1972, Simonson was assigned several short stories by DC Comics, launching his professional career. Soon after, his work caught the eye of well-respected writer and editor, Archie Goodwin, who was searching for an artist to draw a new backup feature in Detective Comics. While totaling a mere 70 pages in its entirety, Manhunter went on to win three best story of the year awards for the pair and an outstanding new talent award for Simonson. Additionally, Goodwin won two consecutive best writer awards for the series.

Over the course of his career, Simonson has written and drawn nearly every major character from both Marvel and DC Comics. Notable works include an adaptation of Alien, once again with his Manhunter collaborator and close friend, Archie Goodwin, Star Wars, The Fantastic Four, Orion, and Elric. In the 1980s and 1990s, Simonson resurrected the concepts from his college thesis, creating an original graphic novel and miniseries featuring the Star Slammers.

But if Simonson is most identified with any single series, it would be for his transcendent run on The Mighty Thor from Marvel Comics. Starting in 1983 with issue #337 and continuing for nearly four years, Simonson as writer and artist (on most issues) went on to craft what many consider to be the defining version of the Thunder God, unmatched by any before or since. Not one to rest on past success, Simonson took his lifelong interest in Norse mythology to IDW Publishing on his creator-owned series, Ragnarök.

Today, Walter Simonson remains a vital creator, writing and drawing with the same enthusiasm and energy that has been the hallmark of his entire career. He is currently writing and drawing Ragnarök, a comic book by IDW Publishing. He and his wife, noted comics writer Louise Simonson, make their home in upstate New York.

On display are artifacts from the breadth of Simonson’s distinguished career, including the complete sixth chapter of Manhunter, covers for The Mighty Thor #342 and #345, pages from original graphic novel adaptation of Ridley Scott’s Alien, covers from Marvel’s Star Wars, covers and pages from Ragnarök, pages from Uncanny X-Men/New Teen TitansRobocop Vs. Terminator, and more! Truly a great sampling of pieces from his four decades in the industry that show off the evolution of his style of gorgeous line-work. With such a unique vision and approach to the medium, the San Diego Comic Art Gallery is proud to host Walter Simonson’s artwork. We hope everyone loves the exhibit as much we love having it in the building.

The exhibit will run until September, 30th.