James O'Barr

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James O'Barr
10.18.09JamesO'BarrByLuigiNovi.jpg
Born January 1, 1960
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Artist
Notable works
The Crow

James O'Barr (born January 1, 1960) is an American graphic artist, best known as the creator of the comic book series The Crow.[1]

Early life[edit]

O'Barr, an orphan, was raised in the foster care system.[2] He studied Renaissance sculpture, live models and photographic still lifes.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

In the 1990s O'Barr was affiliated with the experimental metal band Trust Obey, which was signed briefly to Trent Reznor's Nothing label before the band was dropped.[citation needed] Trust Obey released the album Fear and Bullets: Music to Accompany The Crow in 1993. The album was packaged with a special edition of The Crow graphic novel.

In 1978, O'Barr's fiancée, Beverly, was killed by a drunk driver, and he joined the Marines in an effort to cope with the loss. He was stationed in Germany and illustrated combat manuals for the military. While living in Berlin in 1981, O'Barr began work on The Crow as a means of dealing with his personal tragedy.[3] O'Barr was further inspired by a Detroit newspaper account of the murder of a young couple over a $20 engagement ring.[4] After his discharge from the Marines, O'Barr continued his painting and illustration as well as doing various odd jobs, including working for a Detroit body shop. The Crow sat on a shelf for seven years, but at last someone wanted to publish it: Gary Reed of Caliber Press. In The Crow, the protagonist and his fiancée are murdered by a gang of criminals. He then returns from the dead to hunt their killers.

O'Barr's own hope that his project would result in a personal catharsis went unfulfilled, he told an interviewer in 1994, saying, "[A]s I drew each page, it made me more self-destructive, if anything....There is pure anger on each page".[5] The Crow has sold more than 750,000 copies worldwide.[6]

The book was adapted into a successful film of the same name in 1994, but it resulted in further tragedy. Brandon Lee, who played the main character, was accidentally shot and killed during filming,[7] survived by his then-fiancée Eliza Hutton. O’Barr has been named as a consultant on the reboot.[8]

After the success of the 1994 movie The Crow, O'Barr began planning a post-apocalyptic graphic novel series entitled Gothik. The series was based on The Wizard of Oz and featured "Jonny Z" from his short story "Frame 137" as the main character.[9]

In January 2013 Motionworks Entertainment released O'Barr's western comic, Sundown, which served as their debut motion comic.[10] It is available on iPhone and iPad.[11]

Awards[edit]

O'Barr was the second American to be awarded the "Storyteller Award" by the International Comic Festival held annually in Angoulême, France.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

As of the mid-2000s, O'Barr resides in Dallas with his daughter.[12]

Bibliography[edit]

Title Credits Publisher Date Item type
Amazing Heroes Swimsuit Special #1 Pin-up: The Crow Fantagraphics Books 1990-06 Comic Book
Andi: Sibling #1 Back Cover Sabre's Edge 2001 Comic Book
Anodyne Cover, 5 plates (The Crow) Blue Monkey Graphics 2005 Portfolio
Ashes #4 "Angelman" 15 pp. (inspired by, w/ John Bergin), "Wasp Baby (Morphine Dream #16)" 4 pp. (w/ John Bergin) Caliber Press 1990-08 Comic Book
Ashes #5 "Coyote" 12 pp. (w/ John Bergin) Caliber Press 1990-10 Comic Book
Beat to a Pulp: Round 1 Cover Beat to a Pulp 2010-10 Book (SC)
Best of Northstar #1 "Zeitgeist" preview 3 pp. Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1992-08 Comic Book
Black Dominion Vol. 1 Pin-up: Krishna and Vox (Zeitgeist) Anubis Press 1993-07 Comic Book
Black Dominion Vol. 1 (Limited Edition) Pin-up: Krishna and Vox (Zeitgeist) Anubis Press 1993-07 Comic Book
Black Feathers by The Mag Seven Cover End Sounds 2010-11 Album
Bone Saw #1 Editor (w/ John Bergin), "Slave Cylinder" 32 pp. (w/ Carolyn Bergin and Jeff Holland), "German Film, Blurred" 1 p. (w/ John Bergin), "Recoil (Morphine Dream #21)" 2 pp. (w/ John Bergin) Tundra Publishing 1992 Original Comic Anthology (SC)
Book of Deady Reprints "Here, Kitty Kitty" from Deady the Terrible Teddy Vol. 2 Sirius Entertainment 2006-03 Collected Ed. (SC)
Caliber Christmas, A #1 Cover, "Atmosphere (The Crow)" 6 pp. Caliber Press 1989-12 Comic Book
Caliber Presents # 1 Back Cover, "Inertia (The Crow)" 8 pp., "Io, Part 1: Silo" 12 pp. (as Barbed Wire Halo Studios) Caliber Press 1989-01 Comic Book
Caliber Presents # 2 Cover, "Skinner (Gideon's)" 8 pp. (ill. only, w/ Gary Reed (as Kyle Garrett)) Caliber Press 1989-03 Comic Book
Caliber Presents # 3 Cover (as Barbed Wire Halo Studios), "Io, Part 2: Fleshette" 8 pp. (as Barbed Wire Halo Studios) Caliber Press 1989-05 Comic Book
Caliber Presents # 5 Cover, "Old World" 6 pp. (ill. only, w/ Mark C. Perry and Guy Davis) Caliber Press 1989-07 Comic Book
Caliber Presents #15 Sketchbook 8 pp., The Crow #5 preview 9 pp. Caliber Press 1990-09 Comic Book
Choke Vol. 2 Cover (w/ James Widmark), Reprints "Wasp Baby" from Ashes #4 Anubis Press 1993-08 Comic Book
Choke Vol. 2 (Limited Edition) Reprints "Wasp Baby" from Ashes #4 Anubis Press 1993-08 Comic Book
Cobalt 60 Book 3 Pin-up: Cobalt 60 Tundra Publishing 1992-05 Magazine
Comic Shop News 1990 Winter Preview Cover Comic Shop News 1990 Newsletter
Crow – Special Edition, The Cover, Reprints The Crow #1–4, The Crow Vol. 3, "Inertia" from Caliber Presents #1, "Atmosphere" from A Caliber Christmas, plus additional material. (Note: Revised and expanded, including 30 all-new pages and a new introduction by the author) Gallery Books 2011 Collected Ed. (SC)
Crow, The Cover, Back Cover, Reprints The Crow #1–4, The Crow Vol. 3, "Inertia" from Caliber Presents #1, "Atmosphere" from A Caliber Christmas, plus additional material. (Note: 1,500 S&N copies, some with Slipcase & CD) Graphitti Designs 1993 Collected Ed. (HC)
Crow, The Cover, Back Cover, Reprints The Crow #1–4, The Crow Vol. 3, "Inertia" from Caliber Presents #1, "Atmosphere" from A Caliber Christmas, plus additional material. Kitchen Sink Press 1993 Collected Ed. (SC)
Crow, The Cover, Back Cover, Reprints The Crow #1–4, The Crow Vol. 3, "Inertia" from Caliber Presents #1, "Atmosphere" from A Caliber Christmas, plus additional material. Pocket Books 2002 Collected Ed. (SC)
Crow, The #0: A Cycle of Shattered Lives Cover, "The Crow" 6 pp., "October- The Breath of God: Crow II" 2 pp., "Shadowplay" 1 p., "She Smiles in Pain and Glory" 1 p., "Spine of the Snake" 1 p., "Three Dreams from The Book of Dreams" 3 pp. Kitchen Sink Press 1998-12 Comic Book
Crow, The #1 Cover, "Pain" 32 pp. Caliber Press 1989-02 Comic Book
Crow, The #2 Cover, "Fear" 32 pp. Caliber Press 1989-03 Comic Book
Crow, The #3 Cover, "Irony" 32 pp. Caliber Press 1989-08 Comic Book
Crow, The #4 Cover, "Despair" 32 pp. Caliber Press 1989 Comic Book
Crow, The Vol. 1: Pain & Fear Cover, Back Cover, Reprints The Crow #1–2 Tundra Publishing 1992-01 Comic Book
Crow, The Vol. 2: Irony & Despair Cover, Back Cover, Reprints The Crow #3–4 Tundra Publishing 1992-03 Comic Book
Crow, The Vol. 3: Death Cover, Back Cover, "Death" 64 pp. (Note: Would have been The Crow #5 if published by Caliber) Tundra Publishing 1992-05 Comic Book
Crow: Dead Time, The Back Cover, Story, Reprints The Crow: Dead Time 1–3 Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1997-01 Collected Ed. (SC)
Crow: Dead Time, The #1 Cover, Story Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1996-01 Comic Book
Crow: Dead Time, The #2 Cover, Story Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1996-02 Comic Book
Crow: Dead Time, The #3 Cover, Story Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1996-03 Comic Book
Crow: Flesh & Blood, The Back Cover, Reprints The Crow: Flesh & Blood 1–3 Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1998-02 Collected Ed. (SC)
Crow: Flesh & Blood, The B&W reprints of original covers, Reprints The Crow: Flesh & Blood 1–3 Dark Horse Comics 2004 Collected Ed. (SC)
Crow: Flesh & Blood, The #1 Cover Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1996-05 Comic Book
Crow: Flesh & Blood, The #2 Cover Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1996-06 Comic Book
Crow: Flesh & Blood, The #3 Cover Kitchen Sink Press/Top Dollar Comics 1996-07 Comic Book
Crow Magazine, The #1 Interview 3 pp. Todd McFarlane Productions/Top Dollar Comics 2000-03 Magazine
Crow Portfolio, The Cover, 6 plates (Note: 2,500 S&N copies) Tundra Publishing 1993 Portfolio
Crow/Razor: Kill the Pain, The #1 Cover London Night Studios/Top Dollar Comics 1998-04 Comic Book
Crow/Razor: Kill the Pain, The #2 Cover London Night Studios/Top Dollar Comics 1998-05 Comic Book
Crow/Razor: Kill the Pain, The #3 Cover London Night Studios/Top Dollar Comics 1998-07 Comic Book
Crow/Razor: Nocturnal Masque, The B&W reprints of original covers London Night Studios/Top Dollar Comics 1999-02 Magazine
Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams, The Cover, Editor (w/ Ed Kramer), "Spooky, Codeine and the Dead Man" 8 pp., "The Real Thing" 8 pp. (ill. only, w/ Andrew Vachss), "Jesus Christ's Wrists" 1 p., "Hellbent" 20 pp. (ill. only, w/ A. A. Attanasio), "Darkness and the Shadow of Light" 2 pp. Del Rey 1998-12 Book (HC)
Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams, The Cover, Editor (w/ Ed Kramer), "Spooky, Codeine and the Dead Man" 8 pp., "Shuttlecock" 30 pp. (ill. only, w/ Edward Bryant), "Jesus Christ's Wrists" 1 p., "Hellbent" 20 pp. (ill. only, w/ A. A. Attanasio), "Darkness and the Shadow of Light" 2 pp. Del Rey 1999-10 Book (SC)
Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams, The Cover, Editor (w/ Ed Kramer), "Spooky, Codeine and the Dead Man" 8 pp., "Shuttlecock" 30 pp. (ill. only, w/ Edward Bryant), "Jesus Christ's Wrists" 1 p., "Hellbent" 20 pp. (ill. only, w/ A. A. Attanasio), "Darkness and the Shadow of Light" 2 pp. (Note: 1,500 S&N copies, 39 signatures, 55 ill., traycase) Donald M. Grant 2001-02 Book (HC)
Cybernetic Liberation Front #1 Cover Anubis Press 1993 Comic Book
Dante's Disciples Introduction White Wolf Publishing 1996-08 Book (SC)
Dante's Disciples Introduction White Wolf Publishing 1998-09 Book (SC-MM)
Dark Angel #20 (Alternate Cover) Cover CPM Manga 2000 Comic Book
Dark Fantasies #3 Cover Dark Fantasy Productions 1994 Comic Book
Dark Fantasies #3 (Red foil) Cover Dark Fantasy Productions 1994 Comic Book
Dark Horse Presents #61 "Frame 137 (Gothik)" 4 pp. Dark Horse Comics 1992-04 Comic Book
Dead Boys #1 Cover London Night Studios 1993 Comic Book
Dead Boys #1 (Gold) Cover London Night Studios 1993 Comic Book
Dead Boys #1 (Silver) Cover London Night Studios 1993 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #10 (Graphic) Back Cover, "Give 'Em Enough Rope" 16 pp. (inks only (as Jonny Zero) w/ Jack Herman and Vince Locke) Caliber Press 1988-11 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #10 (Tame) Cover (as Jonny Zero), Back Cover, "Give 'Em Enough Rope" 16 pp. (inks only (as Jonny Zero) w/ Jack Herman and Vince Locke) Caliber Press 1988-11 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #11 (Tame) Cover (as Jonny Zero) Caliber Press 1989-04 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #12 (Tame) Cover (as Jonny Zero) Caliber Press 1989-06 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #13 (Tame) Cover Caliber Press 1989-07 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #14 (Tame) Wraparound Cover Caliber Press 1990-03 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #16 (Tame) Cover Caliber Press 1990 Comic Book
Deadworld Vol. 1, #17 (Tame) Cover Caliber Press 1990 Comic Book
Deadworld Classic Vol. 2 B&W reprints of original covers, Reprints "Give 'Em Enough Rope" from Deadworld #10 Desperado/IDW 2011-07 Collected Ed. (SC)
Deady the Terrible Teddy Vol. 2 "Here, Kitty Kitty (The Crow)" 3 pp. (w/ Voltaire) Sirius Entertainment 2004-12 Comic Book
Death Rattle Vol. 3, #2 "The Crow: Dead Time" preview 4 pp. Kitchen Sink Press 1995-12 Comic Book
Death Rattle Vol. 3, #3 Cover, "The Crow: Lost Pages" 8 pp. Kitchen Sink Press 1996-02 Comic Book
Freaks Amour #2 Cover Dark Horse Comics 1992-09 Comic Book
French Crow, The Cover (Note: French language) Goutte d'Or Productions 2002 Original Comic Anthology (SC)
Fugitive #1 "Where No Madman Has Gone Before" 13 pp. (ill. only, w/ Charles Marshall and Guy Davis) Caliber Press 1989-10 Comic Book
Gasm #4 "Incident on Planetoid 7" 9 pp. (as Zen) Stories, Layout & Press 1978-04 Magazine
Godhead Vol. 2 Cover (w/ James Widmark) Anubis Press 1993-03 Comic Book
Harbonah[13] Card art Last Unicorn Games 1995 Card from Heresy: Kingdom Come
Hard Looks #3 Cover, "Any Time I Want" 14 pp. (ill. and letters, w/ Jerry Prosser and Andrew Vachss) Dark Horse Comics 1992-07 Comic Book
Hard Looks #9 "Joy Ride" 7 pp. (ill. and letters, w/ Neal Barrett, Jr. and Andrew Vachss) Dark Horse Comics 1993-07 Comic Book
Hard Looks: Adapted Stories Vol. 1 Reprints "Any Time I Want" from Hard Looks #3 Dark Horse Comics 1994 Collected Ed. (SC)
Hard Looks: Adapted Stories (2nd Edition) Reprints "Any Time I Want" from Hard Looks #3 and "Joy Ride" from Hard Looks #9 Dark Horse Comics 1996-09 Collected Ed. (SC)
Harpy Pin-Up Special #1 Cover Peregrine Entertainment 1998-04 Comic Book
Heavy Metal Sept.1993 Crow gallery 4 pp. Metal Mammoth 1993-09 Magazine
Horror: The Illustrated Book of Fears #2 "Blood Rape of the Lust Ghouls" 16 pgs (w/ David J. Schow) Northstar Publishing 1990-02 Magazine
Independent Voices #3 Wraparound Cover (w/ Joseph Michael Linsner) Peregrine Entertainment 2001-08 Comic Book
Io Book 0 Reprints "Io, Part 1: Silo" from Caliber Presents #1 and "Io, Part 2: Fleshette" from Caliber Presents #3 (Note: Restored by John Bergin, including new color and textures, framing pages and cover) Negative Comics 2011-12 Comic Book
James O'Barr: Savages #1 Cover, Back cover, Image gallery 12 pp., Sketch galley 15 pp., Reprints "Shadow's Smile" from Tasty Bits #1 Peregrine Entertainment 2001-09 Comic Book
James O'Barr's Art Cards 10 card set Crow Fan Club/Strictly Ink 2003 Trading Cards
James O'Barr's Audio Commentary of "The Crow" starring Brandon Lee Cover, Audio commentary Crow Fan Club 2003 Audio (2-CD Set)
James O'Barr's Audio Commentary of "The Crow" starring Brandon Lee (Pre-Order Edition) Cover, Audio commentary (Note: 20 S&N copies w/ original art) Crow Fan Club 2003 Audio (2-CD Set)
James O'Barr's Sketchbook #1: The Crow Cover, Back Cover, Pin-up/Sketch gallery 24 pp. Blue Monkey Graphics 2004 Sketchbook
James O'Barr's Sketchbook #2: Women Wraparound Cover, Pin-up/Sketch gallery 24 pp. Blue Monkey Graphics 2004 Sketchbook
James O'Barr's Sketchbook #3 Wraparound Cover, Pin-up/Sketch gallery 20 pp. (Note: 50 S&N copies) Blue Monkey Graphics 2004-09 Sketchbook
Kabuki Images Pin-up: Kabuki Image Comics 1998-06 Comic Book
Life and Death in Black, White and Blue: Poems and Stories Cover PublishAmerica 2006-04 Book (SC)
Motor City Comic Con Fall '02 Cover Motor City Conventions 2002-10 Program Guide
Monster Massacre Pin-up: The Reptile House (Gothik) Atomeka Press 1993 Comic Book
Monster Massacre (Silver Edition) Pin-up: The Reptile House (Gothik) Atomeka Press 1993 Comic Book
Monster Massacre Special #1 "Snake Dance (Gothik)" 14 pp. (w/ John Bergin) Blackball Comics 1993 Comic Book
Naiades by Monica Richards Painting (in album booklet) Elyrian Music/BMI 2012 Album
Necromancer #2 Back Cover Anarchy Press 1993 Comic Book
Necromancer #2 (Ashcan) Cover Anarchy Press 1993 Comic Book
Northstar 5th Anniversary Special #1 Pin-Up: Zeitgeist Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1995-03 Comic Book
Northstar Presents #1: James O'Barr Cover, Reprints "Zeitgeist, Part One" from Slash #2 and "Blood Rape of the Lust Ghouls" from Horror: The Illustrated Book of Fears #2 Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1994-10 Comic Book
Northstar Presents #1: James O'Barr (Gold Edition) Cover, Reprints "Zeitgeist, Part One" from Slash #2 and "Blood Rape of the Lust Ghouls" from Horror: The Illustrated Book of Fears #2 Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1995-04 Comic Book
Original Sins #1 Cover, Crow gallery 7 pp., Reprints "Io, Part 1: Silo" from Caliber Presents #1 and "Io, Part 2: Fleshette" from Caliber Presents #3 ACG/Avalon Communications 1999 Comic Book
Pink Dust: Morphine Dreams Cover, Back Cover, "Pink Dust on a Yellow Moon (Morphine Dream #39)" 14 pp., "Wages of Sin" 6 pp., Reprints B&W version of "Slave Cylinder" from Bone Saw #1 Kitchen Sink Press 1998-08 Comic Book
Razor #2 Cover London Night Studios 1993-02 Comic Book
Razor: Tour of Fear #2 Back Cover London Night Studios 1993 Comic Book
Realm, The #20 Jam Cover (w/ 24 other artists) Caliber Press 1990-12 Comic Book
Ride: Inertia's Kiss Sketchbook, The Cover, Back Cover (photos), "History of a Gearhead" 3 pp., Sketch gallery 21 pp., Reprints "Slave Cylinder" from Bone Saw #1 (3 pp. only) and "G" Forces" from Savage Tales #4 12 Gauge Comics 2006 Comic Book
San Diego Comic Con Comics #2 Pin-up: Gothik Dark Horse Comics 1993 Comic Book
Savage Tales Vol. 2, #4 "G" Forces" 4 pp. Marvel Comics 1986-04 Magazine
Slash #1 Cover, "Zeitgeist" preview 2 pp., Reprints "Blood Rape of the Lust Ghouls" from Horror: The Illustrated Book of Fears #2 Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1992-08 Comic Book
Slash #1 (2nd print, Red foil) Cover, Back Cover, Reprints "Blood Rape of the Lust Ghouls" from Horror: The Illustrated Book of Fears #2 Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1993-08 Comic Book
Slash #2 Cover, "Zeitgeist, Part One" 8 pp. Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1992-11 Comic Book
Slash #3 Cover Northstar/Arpad Publishing 1993-02 Comic Book
Sundown "Sundown" preview 2:20 Motionworks Entertainment 2011 Digital Motion Comic
Tasty Bits #1 Cover, "Shadows" 5 pp., "Upon Thy Belly Thou Shalt Go..." 2 pp. (as Zen), Pin-up gallery 14 pp., Reprints "Frame 137" from Dark Horse Presents #61 ACG/Avalon Communications 1999 Comic Book
Terra X #1 Cover, Interview 3 pp. Insta-Graphics 1991 Magazine
Vesper #1A Cover, Back Cover (w/ Hannibal King) Acetylene Comics 2001 Comic Book
Vesper #2A Cover, Pin-up: Vesper (B&W version of cover) Acetylene Comics 2001 Comic Book
Visions: From the Mind of James O'Barr Cover, Sketch gallery 20 pp. (Note: included exclusively with The Crow: The Complete Interactive Collection CD-Rom) Content, Inc. 1996 Sketchbook
The Crow – Skinning the Wolves Story IDW Publishing 2012 Comic Book
The Crow – Curare Story IDW Publishing 2013 Comic Book

References[edit]

  1. ^ Levine, Robert (1994-05-30). "From the Beginning, 'The Crow' Had a Grim Side : Movies: James O'Barr's comic book might have adapted smoothly to the big screen, but it was spurred by personal tragedy.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  2. ^ Dark Dreams: How the Crow was Born : James O'Barr at the Wayback Machine (archived September 9, 2004)
  3. ^ "DIKE BLAIR | Writing". Thing.net. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  4. ^ "KAOS2000 Magazine interview with James O'Barr / The Crow". Kaos2000.net. 2000-07-20. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  5. ^ "Graphic novel". TheCrow.info. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  6. ^ Wizard magazine Link inactive 24 April 2008
  7. ^ "Mercy.Tripod.com". Inner_mercy.tripod.com. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  8. ^ James O’Barr Boards ‘The Crow’ Reboot (EXCLUSIVE)
  9. ^ "Interview With "The Crow" Author, Artist, Musician James O’Barr: "Let The Picture Tell The Story"". Guitar International. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  10. ^ Parrish, Robin (January 21, 2013). "Review: James O’Barr’s Sundown #1". Forever Geek.
  11. ^ "Motionworkscomics.com". Motionworks Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  12. ^ "James O'Barr on The Crow's 20th Anniversary, His New Project and Dallas". Dallas Observer. 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  13. ^ "Heresy Cards by Artist". The Sendai Bubble. Archived from the original on 2003-12-10. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 

External links[edit]