Quesada at the December 21, 2010 press conference to announce the "Fear Itself" event at Midtown Comics Times Square in Manhattan.
January 12, 1962
New York City
|Area(s)||Writer, Penciller, Editor|
|Awards||1993 Diamond Gem Award for Best Cover|
Joseph "Joe" Quesada (born January 12, 1962) is an American comic book editor, writer and artist. He became known in the 1990s for his work on various Valiant Comics books, such as Ninjak and Solar, Man of the Atom. He later worked on numerous books for DC Comics and Marvel Comics, such as Batman: Sword of Azrael and X-Factor, before forming his own company, Event Comics, where he published his creator-owned character, Ash.
In 1998 he became an editor of Marvel Comics' Marvel Knights line, before becoming editor-in-chief of the company in 2000. He was named Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment in 2010 and left his editor-in-chief role in January 2011, being replaced by Axel Alonso.
Quesada was born in New York City to Cuban-born parents, and grew up in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens. The first comic book he became an ardent fan of was The Amazing Spider-Man, which he began reading around issue #98, the last issue of a historic anti-drug storyline, which garnered his father's approval. As the character resonated with him (in part because both grew up in Queens), Spider-Man remains a character he particularly enjoys drawing.
Quesada majored in illustration at the School of Visual Arts, from which he graduated with a BFA in 1984. Though he had drifted away from comics, having come to think of them as a child's medium, his interest in them was renewed at age 25 when a friend who learned of his interest in art showed him Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
Writer and artist
Quesada started out as a freelance artist for Valiant Comics in the early 1990s. His first widely distributed works were for Valiant Comics, specifically penciled interiors and covers for Ninjak, Solar, Man of the Atom and others. His art was heavily influenced by Alex Toth, Mike Mignola and Alphonse Mucha. At DC Comics, he and writer Jack C. Harris co-created an updated version of the Golden Age character the Ray. Quesada co-created the character Azrael with writer Dennis O'Neil in the Batman: Sword of Azrael miniseries in 1992.
Later, he two other people, including his inking partner Jimmy Palmiotti, formed a publishing company, Event Comics, and co-created Ash, a firefighter with superpowers. Quesada cites his editorial experience with Event, and the creators he formed relationships with during that period as that which best prepared him for the later role of Marvel's editor in chief.
In 1998, Marvel Comics, which had just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, asked Quesada to work for Marvel in a more exclusive capacity, and contracted him and his partners to produce a line of Marvel books dubbed Marvel Knights. As editor of Marvel Knights, Quesada worked on a number of low-profile characters such as Daredevil, Punisher, The Inhumans and Black Panther, encouraging experimentation and using his contacts in the independent comics world to bring in creators such as David W. Mack, Mike Oeming, Brian Michael Bendis, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Quesada also illustrated a Daredevil story written by film director Kevin Smith.
Editor in chief
Two and a half years after starting Marvel Knights, Joe Quesada became editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics in 2000, following Bob Harras's departure from the company. Joe Quesada is the first artist to become Marvel's editor-in-chief, and did so at the same time that Bill Jemas succeeded to the presidency of the company. The relationship culminated in the establishment of the Ultimate line of Marvel titles, which were aimed at teenagers and took place outside of the restrictive continuity of the Marvel Universe.
In the mid-2000s, Quesada imposed a moratorium on the practice of creatively bringing back characters thought to be dead, known as "dead is dead". In a January 2008 interview in which he was questioned about numerous characters that had since been resurrected, Quesada clarified that the policy was for writers to exercise forethought and caution before killing off characters or resurrecting them, so that such plots were not produced too frequently or without gravitas, and not that it be entirely prohibited.
Joe Quesada's predecessor as Marvel editor in chief, Bob Harras, canceled and restarted all of Marvel's titles that were not either X-Men-related or at fewer than 100 issues already. This was an effort to shore up sagging sales with a new #1 issue for each of Marvel's popular titles, issued at a time shortly after the bust of the comic book collecting industry, and when Marvel was in the throes of bankruptcy. Quesada reversed this policy first by showing the "old", combined issue numbers beside the "new" numbers on covers (the difference between the two issue numbers shown on the cover would always be the number of issues that the series had before Harras restarted it), and then definitively restoring the "old" numbers for Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers when they each passed the 500 mark.
Joe Quesada has been involved in the creation of three successful imprints:
- Marvel Knights, aimed at older readers, with Jimmy Palmiotti (before his tenure as editor-in-chief)
- MAX, aimed at adult readers, with Brian Michael Bendis
- Ultimate, aimed at teen readers, with Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar
Critics of Quesada's policy of emphasizing trade paperbacks charge that they cannibalize monthly comic book sales, because readers may opt to forego monthly series in order to wait for the cheaper collections, not realizing that monthly sales are an indicator to publishers of interest in such collections.
When confronted with a backlash by some fans due to his decision to dictate a controversial retcon of Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane Watson in the "One More Day" storyline, Quesada participated in a series of interviews on the subject to address the issue of the marriage, comparing it to real life marriages. He also promoted and praised the MC2 title Spider-Girl for continuing to provide fans with a stable marriage and an expanded family, although that title has since been canceled and relaunched multiple times, eventually being cancelled for good in 2010.
In June 2009 Quesada began writing a weekly column for Comic Book Resources called "Cup O' Joe", in which he answers questions every Friday from readers or provides information on Marvel projects.
On February 10, 2010, Quesada apologized for and changed the content of Captain America #602, which depicted an apparent Tea Party movement protest, with its character Falcon, who is black, saying that he would not be welcomed by a crowd of "angry white folks." The cartoon drew the condemnation of national Tea Party leaders.
Chief Creative Officer
On June 2, 2010 Marvel announced that it promoted Joe Quesada to Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. In this position Quesada will help ensure that all portrayals of Marvel's characters and stories remain true to the essence of Marvel history. He will also oversee the creative aspects of media adaptations of Marvel properties, which include participating in story and script development.
On January 4, 2011, Quesada stepped down at editor-in-chief, and was replaced by Axel Alonso. After being given the additional job of CCO, in 2010, Quesada explained to Comic Book Resources, "With my increased travel schedule over the last year plus, I've only been able to work with the publishing division in a more macro sense, or as you put it, a more, "big picture," sense. During this time, Tom and Axel have been handling the more detailed functions of the stories within our comics. My role has been one in which I work on the larger stories and the overall flavor and feel of our books and universe."
Quesada later elaborated on this decision in a 2011 interview with Visual Arts Journal, a publication of his alma mater, the School of Visual Arts, by saying that he always viewed the editor in chief position as a finite one that he would leave after he accomplished what he had set out to, and that the then-recent purchase of Marvel by Disney opened up opportunities he wanted to explore. Quesada contrasted his former editor in chief role as one in which he was solely focused on rebuilding Marvel's editorial division and overseeing its comics content, with his Chief Creative Officer role as one in which he would be involved creatively with several divisions.
Techniques and materials
When illustrating, Quesada begins with sketches much smaller than the actual size at which he will render the final drawing. He employs a Cintiq drawing tablet when he desires to do a "tighter" digital layout of an illustration. When sketching figures, he will sometimes use photographic reference, and incorporate the photos directly into his sketches during the process of finalizing a layout. Once he makes a final decision on a layout, he will then print it out at full size, and use a light box to pencil it, sometimes altering elements in the design such as lighting or other details.
In Kevin Smith's 1995 film Mallrats Quesada is credited as an artist for the opening sequence featuring fictional comic books covers. He appears in the closing scene of Chasing Amy, alongside frequent collaborator and inker Jimmy Palmiotti, signing comic books at a convention. He later appeared as a pizza delivery man in Smith's 2001 film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Quesada was one of a number of comics creators that appeared in Once Upon A Time The Super Heroes, a 2002 documentary about the creation and evolution of comic book superheroes.
- Azrael/Ash (1997)
- Batman: Sword of Azrael, miniseries, #1-4 (1992–93)
- Question Quarterly #3, 5 (1991–92)
- The Ray, miniseries, #1-6 (1992)
- Spelljammer #8-13, 15 (1991)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #544-545, 601 (full art); #641 (along with Paolo Rivera, also writer) (2007–10)
- Daredevil, vol. 2, #1-11, 13-14 (full art); #50 (among other artists) (1998-2003); #12 (writer) (2000)
- Daredevil: Father, miniseries, (also as writer) #1-6 (2004–07)
- Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24 (2007)
- Iron Man, vol. 3, #26-35, Annual 2000 (writer) (2000)
- Marvel Knights Double Shot (Punisher) #1 (2002)
- Midnight Sons Unlimited #1 (1993)
- NYX, miniseries, #1-7 (writer) (2003–05)
- The Sensational Spider-Man #41 (2007)
- Sleepwalker #12 (1992)
- What The--?! #13 (1991)
- X-Factor #87-92; Annual #7 (1992–93)
- X-Force #12-15 (1995)
- Ash #1, 1/2 (also writer) (Event, 1994–97)
- Ash: The Fire Within, miniseries, #2 (also writer) (Event, 1997)
- Deathmate: Epilogue (Image, 1994)
- Ninjak #1-3 (Acclaim, 1994)
- Painkiller Jane #1 (writer) (Dynamite, 2006)
- Painkiller Jane Zero #0 (writer) (Event, 1999)
- X-O Manowar #0 (Acclaim, 1993)
- Jim, Jean (January 1, 2013). "Biography of Joe Quesada". Spiderwebart.
- Comics Buyer's Guide #1650; February 2009; Page 107
- Jennings, Dana. "New York Action Hero". The New York Times. November 23, 2003. Accessed may 28, 2009. "Mr. Quesada also falls squarely in comics' up-by-your-bootstraps, Ellis Island lineage. He grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens (Spider-Man's home borough), the comics-seduced child of Cuban immigrants."
- Glaser, Brian. "Q+A: Joe Quesada". Visual Arts Journal. School of Visual Arts. Fall 2011. pages 50-55.
- Cronin, Brian. "Comic Book Legends Revealed #226". Comic Book Resources. September 24, 2009
- "In the Press: Joe Quesada in The New York Times". School of Visual Arts. October 12, 2011
- Weiland, Jonah. "Father and Child Reunion: Joe Quesada's 'Daredevil: Father'". Comic Book Resources. February 2, 2004
- Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Longtime DC writer/editor Jack C. Harris reworked the Golden Age character of the Ray into a new hero, assisted by future superstar artist Joe Quesada."
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 255: "Azrael, one of the most important characters of the modern Batman mythos, was dropped right under the noses of an unsuspecting reading populace in the debut issue of Batman: Sword of Azrael by esteemed bat-scribe Denny O'Neil, talented young penciler Joe Quesada, and inker extraordinaire Kevin Nowlan."
- Brady, Matt. "Josh Brolin in Line for Jonah Hex". Newsarama. October 10, 2008
- Ash Omnibus. Barnes & Noble. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- David, Peter. "But I Digress..." Comics Buyer's Guide #1401; September 22, 2000. Page 58
- Weiland, Jonah. "The 'One More Day' Interview with Joe Quesada - The Fans". Comic Book Resources. January 28, 2008
- This was also later done with Daredevil, as well as with Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America for each books' respective 600th issues. In the case of Avengers, this reversion to the "original" numbering was short-lived; at writer Brian Michael Bendis's request, Avengers ended with issue 502 and was almost immediately restarted as New Avengers.
- David, Peter (October 21, 2003). "WHAT'CHA WANNA KNOW?". peterdavid.net. Writer Peter David expressed this sentiment in a question-and-answer thread on his blog, in response to an October 21, 2003 5:45 a.m. post.
- Weiland, Jonah. "The "One More Day" Interviews with Joe Quesada, Pt. 3 of 5", Comic Book Resources, January 2, 2008
- Khouri, Andy. "DeFalco Confirms Amazing Spider-Girl Cancellation", Comic Book Resources, October 13, 2008
- "Spider-Girl Returns In Marvel Digital Comics", Comic Book Resources, March 18, 2009
- Quesada, Joe. "Joe Quesada Joins CBR!", Comic Book Resources, June 12, 2009
- Miller, Joshua Rhett. "Tea Party Jab to Be Zapped from Captain America Comic, Writer Says". Fox News. February 10, 2010.
- Itzkoff, Dave. "Stars and Gripes: Tea Party Protests Captain America Comic". The New York Times. February 10, 2010
- "Marvel's JOE QUESADA Promoted to Chief Creative Officer". Newsarama. June 2, 2010
- Moore, Matt. "Marvel Promotes Axel Alonso to Editor-in-Chief". ABC News. January 4, 2011
- Phegley, Kiel. "Alonso Named Marvel Editor-In-Chief". Comic Book Resources. January 4, 2011
- Quesada, Joe. "The Makig of the Cover for 'Amazing Spider-Man' #593". Comic Book Resources. June 12, 2009
- "Cup O' Doodles" Archives. Comic Book Resources, accessed January 10, 2011.
- "Once Upon A Time The Super Heroes". youtube.com. 2002. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- Mala, Elisa. "Espresso and the Incredible Hulk". The New York Times. September 30, 2011
- Quesada, Joe. "Marvel T&A: Tributes & Teasers". Comic Book Resources. September 24, 2010
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Joe Quesada|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Joe Quesada|
- Quesada's homepage
- Joe Quesada at the Comic Book DB
- Santerians The Art of Joe Quesada
- Joe Quesada's Resources at Howtomakecomics.net
- Joe Quesada Roadtrip Nation interview
- lambiek.net entry on Joe Quesada
- Large PopImage interview with Joe, Aug.01
- Inside Quesada's office
- Joe Quesada at the Internet Movie Database
- Joe Quesada's blog on Marvel.com
- Joe Quesada's 2006 Christmas song - EMarvel.net
|Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief
Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern
|Iron Man writer
(with Frank Tieri in late 2000)
|The Amazing Spider-Man artist