Jim Steranko

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James "Jim" Steranko (born November 5, 1938) is a illusionist, graphic artist and comic book writer/artist. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, United States.

His most famous comic book work was with the title Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. for Marvel Comics, where he drew lasting acclaim for his innovations in sequential art in the Silver Age of comic books, particularly his infusion of surrealism into the medium. His work was published in many countries and his influence is felt to this day, even on people who don't speak any English.

Steranko also had shorter runs on Captain America and X-Men before ending regular work in the mainline comics industry. During the early 1970s he returned as a regular cover artist for Marvel, and has from time to time contributed individual pages or covers to various comics projects.

Steranko was unable to produce comics work which met his own standards at a pace sufficient to sustain himself economically. He worked as a cover artist for paperback book publishers, most notably illustrating the Pyramid Books reissues of the original pulp novels of The Shadow, and produced one graphic novel, Chandler, in collaboration with Byron Preiss.

He also published two popular oversized volumes in a planned history of the American comics industry, but no further editions have appeared in more than thirty years. Steranko's most widely circulated comics project has been the magazine Comixscene / Mediascene / Prevue, which began as an oversized newsprint magazine reporting on the comics field and evolved in several stages (represented by its changing title) into a general interest, standard format popular culture magazine. The magazine ran from 1972 through 1994, and in its later years was criticized for doing double duty as a catalog for Steranko's retailing business, particularly its erotica.

Steranko's youthful career as an escape artist has been said to be an inspiration for the Jack Kirby character Mister Miracle, as well as Joe Kavalier in the novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

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