December 21, 1975
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Sex Criminals, Prison Funnies, Monster Cops, Extremely Bad Advice|
Chip Zdarsky is the pseudonym of Canadian comic book artist, journalist, illustrator and designer Steve Murray (born December 21, 1975). His comics' fan base knows him as Chip Zdarsky, and he has also used the pseudonym Todd Diamond. He worked for National Post for over a decade, until 2014, as an illustrator and humorist (as Steve Murray) and wrote and illustrated a column called Extremely Bad Advice for the paper as well as The Ampersand, the newspaper's pop culture section's online edition.
He uses the Zdarsky pseudonym for comics-related work, using it to create Prison Funnies and Monster Cops and as artist and co-creator of Sex Criminals with writer Matt Fraction. In November 2014, Marvel Comics announced that Murray/Zdarsky will be writing a new Howard the Duck comic book series with Joe Quinones.
In 2000, Murray created Chip Zdarsky as a pseudonym and alter ego for his persona as a comic book writer and illustrator, developing his own independent projects, such as Prison Funnies and Monster Cops (which can be read online or in print) as well as collaborating on a variety of projects, including Dark Horse Comics titles Fierce and Rumble Royale. About his alter ego, Murray said “I wanted to have a sad-sack cartoonist persona that lives in his mom’s basement, paints figurines for money, has restraining orders against him. And that became a character.” He describes the character as “an idiot who doesn’t know what I’m doing. I’ve had no success in my life. No matter what, I’m going to mess things up.” Murray initially attempted to keep the identities separate and secret.
From 2008 to 2014, Murray penned and illustrated a weekly advice column for the National Post called "Extremely Bad Advice". He also wrote another column in that paper, Tear Jerk, in which he reviewed films to see if they could actually make him "weep like a baby."
In 2010, he also launched a mock campaign for Mayor of Toronto. He was not a real registered candidate, launching his satirical "campaign" through social networking platforms after the deadline had passed to register as a candidate in the real campaign.
Zdarsky recently concluded a comedic "friendship" with his local Applebee's chain on Facebook, which increased his popularity in the U.S.
In June 2013, Image Comics announced that Chip Zdarsky had teamed up with Invincible Iron Man and Hawkeye writer, Matt Fraction, on a new creator-owned series titled Sex Criminals. The first issue was released on September 23, 2013. Sex Criminals was declared number 1 on Time Magazine's list of Top Ten Comics and Graphic Novels of 2013. The first trade collection of Sex Criminals issues #1-5 was released on April 16, 2014.
- "EXTREMELY BAD ADVICE". National Post. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- "Steve Murray Hates Toronto, and Wants to Be Your Mayor". Torontoist, October 1, 2010.
- "Time Magazine's Top Ten Comics and Graphic Novels of 2013". Time Magazine, December 2013
- "Steve Murray insufferable and ‘very proud’ after picking up prestigious Will Eisner award". July 28, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Chip Zdarsky at the Comic Book DB