(born January 29
) is a writer
, and graphic designer
living in Brooklyn
, New York
. He is known primarily as a comic book creator
; Wood both writes and illustrates graphic novels
and serialized monthly comic books
for a variety of publishers.
During his comics career, Wood held a day job for several years as a staff designer for Rockstar Games, designing for video game franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Midnight Club, Max Payne, Smuggler's Run, and Manhunt. He has also created covers for Warren Ellis's Global Frequency, his own DMZ and many others.
Wood's illustrations have appeared in Punk Planet, Bail Magazine, The SF Bay Guardian, and short films for Nike.
Career in comics
Born in Essex Junction, Vermont
, Wood moved to New York City
in 1991 and went on to graduate from Parsons School of Design
in 1997 with a Bachelor's Degree in Illustration. His first professional work in comics was the 5-issue miniseries Channel Zero
, published by Image Comics
in 1997, created as part of a final project for graduation from Parsons. Channel Zero
is set in a dystopian
near-future New York City where the tenets of Mayor Giuliani
have grown into a freedom-restricting government initiative called 'The Clean Act'. The protagonist is Jennie 2.5, a DIY media personality. Channel Zero
was orphaned shortly after Image Comics sold out of the first print run of the collection, opting not to return to press. AiT/Planet Lar
acquired it soon afterwards and has kept the graphic novel in print.
Wood was absent from comics for several years, working at a series of internet design jobs during the dot-com boom. In early 2000, Warren Ellis offered Wood a co-writing job on Marvel Comics' Generation X, as part of Ellis's Counter-X run (in which Ellis served as 'Plotmaster'). Wood co-wrote issues #63–70 with Ellis, and wrote #71–75 on his own. The series was canceled as part of incoming editor-in-chief Joe Quesada's attempts to simplify the X-Men franchise.
Wood returned to creator-owned comics between 2001 and 2003, producing several graphic novels and miniseries, including Couscous Express, The Couriers, and Jennie One for AIT, Pounded for Oni Press, and Fight For Tomorrow for DC's imprint Vertigo. He was employed as AIT's art director for roughly six months, creating not only their current logo and branding, but covers for many of the books they published during this time. He also found time to work again with Warren Ellis, creating 14 covers for the critically-acclaimed Wildstorm series Global Frequency.
In late 2003, Wood quit his staff job at Rockstar Games
and teamed with artist Becky Cloonan
to create the monthly series Demo
. Each of the 12 issues told its own complete story, and included eight pages of "backmatter", bonus material that was intentionally left out of the eventual collected edition. Demo
was highly successful, earning two Eisner Award
nominations, many positive press mentions
and multiple editions in foreign languages.
As a career milestone, Demo indicates a shift from Wood's earlier high concept action-adventure work. Demo, and much of his later work, tends towards focused human dramas with strong emotional elements.
2005 and on
format proved so successful that Wood went on to replicate it, with minor changes, for his 12-issue series Local
at Oni Press, begun in 2005 and drawn by artist Ryan Kelly
differs from Demo
in that it includes a focal character, Megan McKeenan, whose character arc is gradually traced through the series, although she is not always the protagonist within each issue. This difference has led Local
down its own path; Wood refers to it as "transcending its 'done in one' format to really be about Megan's story, her life, that progression over time".
2006 also saw the publication of the graphic novel The Tourist from Image Comics, and Supermarket, a 4-issue series from IDW drawn by Kristian Donaldson.
In August 2006, DC announced that Brian Wood has been signed to an exclusive 2-year contract. While an exclusive contract, it still allows for Wood to complete his current commitments to other publishers, including Local at Oni Press, and Dogs Day End with Top Shelf.
Brian Wood's other current work is DMZ, a critically-acclaimed ongoing series from Vertigo, Northlanders, a historical-fiction series set during the Viking Age, and The New York Four, a YA graphic novel, a new Demo miniseries as well as the re-release of the original Demo collection.. all from DC/Vertigo and DC/Minx.
Comics and graphic novels
- Channel Zero:
- Couscous Express (2002), AiT/Planet Lar graphic novel, illustrated by Brett Weldele
- Generation X #63–75 (2000), Marvel Comics, illustrated by Steve Pugh and others; partly co-written by Warren Ellis
- Vampirella/Witchblade #1: Brooklyn Bounce (2003), illustrated by Steve Pugh.
- Pounded (2003), 3-issue Oni Press series, later collected in trade paperback, illustrated by Steve Rolston
- The Couriers:
- The Couriers (2003), AiT/Planet Lar graphic novel, illustrated by Rob G.
- Dirtbike Manifesto (2004), AiT/Planet Lar graphic novel, illustrated by Rob G.
- The Ballad of Johnny Funwrecker (2005), AiT/Planet Lar graphic novel, illustrated by Rob G.
- Demo (2003–2005), AiT/Planet Lar, 12-issue series, later collected in trade paperback; illustrated by Becky Cloonan
- Demo: The Twelve Original Scripts (2004), AiT/Planet Lar, with illustrations by Becky Cloonan
- The Tourist (2006), Image Comics graphic novel, illustrated by Toby Cypress
- Supermarket (2006), 4-issue IDW Publishing series, later collected in trade paperback, illustrated by Kristian Donaldson
- DMZ (2005– ), ongoing DC/Vertigo monthly series, illustrated by Riccardo Burchielli and Brian Wood
- vol. 1 On The Ground (6/2006), collecting DMZ #1-5 (ISBN 1-4012-1062-7)
- vol. 2 Body of a Journalist (2/2007), collecting DMZ #6-12 (ISBN 1-4012-1247-6)
- vol. 3 Public Works (9/2007), collecting DMZ #13-17 (ISBN 1-4012-1476-2)
- vol. 4 Friendly Fire (3/2008), collecting DMZ #18-22 (ISBN 1-4012-1662-5)
- vol. 5 The Hidden War (7/2008), collecting DMZ #23-28 (ISBN 1-4012-1833-4)
- vol. 6 Blood In The Game (1/2009), collecting DMZ #29-34 (ISBN 1-4012-2130-0)
- vol. 7 War Powers (2009), collecting DMZ #35-41
- Local (2005–2008) Oni Press, illustrated by Ryan Kelly, lettered by Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley.
- Northlanders (2007– ), ongoing DC/Vertigo series, art by Davide Gianfelice, Dean Ormston, Ryan Kelly, and Massimo Carnevale
- vol. 1 Sven The Returned (10/2008), collecting Northlanders #1-8 (ISBN 1-4012-1918-7)
- vol. 2 The Cross + The Hammer (2009), collecting Northlanders #9-16
- Fight For Tomorrow (2003, 2008), 6-issue DC/Vertigo series, illustrated by Denys Cowan and Kent Williams
- Demo Vol. 1 (6/2008), DC/Vertigo, illustrated by Becky Cloonan. Reprints the 2005 edition at full-size. (ISBN 1-4012-1621-8)
- The New York Four (7/2008) graphic novel for DC/Minx, art by Ryan Kelly
- Counter-X Vol. 2 (2008), Marvel Comics, co-written with Warren Ellis, illustrated by Steve Pugh. Collects #63-70 of Generation X. (ISBN 0-7851-3305-4)
- Demo Vol. 2 (2009), DC/Vertigo, illustrated by Becky Cloonan. Six-issue miniseries.
- Dogs Day End graphic novel for Top Shelf, illustrated by Nikki Cook, not yet released
- 14 cover designs for the comic series Global Frequency
- Logos for Warren Ellis' comics forum The Engine
- Public Domain: A Channel Zero Designbook (2002)
- Logos and art direction (2003–2004) for San Francisco-based publishing company AiT/Planet Lar
- Package design for Rockstar Games' Manhunt, Midnight Club, Smuggler's Run, Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, State of Emergency, Max Payne.
- Staff designer for Rockstar Games from 1999–2003
- Package design for Eidos' Backyard Wrestling 2
- Logo design for Sandbox Strategies, artbomb.net, ComicBookDB.com
- Book designs for 1000 Steps To World Domination, Bad Mojo, Blackheart Billy, Tales From Fish Camp
- Web designer for ivillage.com, nerve.com, neoplanet.com, agency.com
- Illustration, character and environment design for Nike's Shox campaign (five short films)
- Eisner Award Nomination for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition (2004)
- Eisner Award Nomination for Best Cover Artist (for Global Frequency) (2004)
- Eagle Awards Nomination for Favourite Comic Book Cover (Global Frequency #7) (2004)
- Eisner Award Nomination for Best Single Issue (Demo #7) (2005)
- Eisner Award Nomination for Best Limited Series (Demo) (2005)
- Winner of Grand Jury Best Short Story (Demo's "Emmy"), Lucca Comics & Games, Italy (2007)
- Eagle Awards Nomination for Favourite Black and White Comicbook - American (Local) (2007)
- Eisner Award Nomination for Best Writer (for DMZ, Northlanders, Local) (2008)