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Brian Wood (illustrator)

Brian Wood (born January 29, 1972) is a writer, illustrator, 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

Early career

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

The Demo 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. Local 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

Short comics




  • 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)



External links

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