British comic artist John Royle may be attracting attention for his eye-catching covers for Zenoscope these days, but his career dates back to Marvel UK and, later, work on the much-missed original Marvel superhero titles published by Panini in Britain, including Spectacular Spider-Man.
John has been active in the comic industry for almost 30 years, working with the biggest and best. His comics career began in 1992, with a one-off contribution to Fleetway’s Red Dwarf Smegazine, moving on to work on Marvel UK’s Knights of Pendragon – to be released in a collection from Marvel next year.
His work for the company also included several mini series – Death’s Head II, Die Cut and Death Metal among them – before “The House of Ideas” came calling. He worked for Marvel until 1996 where he produced some high profile work including – Excalibur and Wolverine: Evilution, the latter drawn in collaboration with Mark Texeira.
John also found time to illustrate a couple of Rai fill-ins for Valiant, Robin – Impulse for DC Comics and worked on a number of Malibu’s Ultraverse titles, among them Ultraforce, Prime and, most notably The Phoenix Resurrection.
In 1997 he produced issues of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy for Marvel comics before taking a sabbatical to recover from the high demand for his skills.
Re-emerging at Panini (Marvel UK) fresher and better, he contributed to multiple issues of Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures for the next seven years. He also found time to work on 18 of the first 19 issues of Marvel Rampage and was a major contributor to Stan Lee Alexa, a 2005 iBooks, as a one off.
Then came IDW’s Danger Girl, where John has been a frequent penciller/artist for the mini series.
More recently, he’s been drawing covers for numerous US companies, including IDW, Dynamite Entertainment and Zenoscope.
Here’s some more examples of his art. You can check out more at www.johnroyleart.com
“I only put other artists work on my workroom walls generally,” says John, “but I make the exception with this Spidey cover Joe inked and a cover Terry Austin inked of mine on UltraForce , purely because of the thrill it ws for me to have two of my fav inkers from classic stories I read as a kid dreaming of one day being a comicartist myself, years later ink something il’d drawn, talk about having a dream come true.”
This cover and interior art were for the Uk Marvel/Panini Spectacular Spider-Man stories John worked on for a number of years.
John keeps busy today. Here’s his cover a recent GI Joe Real American Hero (#280), on sale now.
“I had a blast on this cover and when it was finished” says John. “I was super excited when my editor Tom suggested to GIBJoe legend Larry Hama to possibly write a story to tie in with my cover idea, Cool!”
Coming soon is this cover featuring Van Helsing for Zenoscope’s Grimm Universe Retailer Program July 2021 Bronze Exclusive. “It’s always fun to draw her,” says John, “great inks Jagdish Kumar and stunning colours from Ula Mos.”
This shot of the vampire hunter was also, says John, “a fun tip of the hat homage/inspired by a Stephanie Branton Playboy cover.” It’s available to pre-order now from your local comic shop, Diamond Order Code MAY211842.
• Check out more of John Royle’s at www.johnroyleart.com