Chip Zdarsky

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Chip Zdarsky
BornSteven Murray
(1975-12-21) December 21, 1975 (age 44)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Notable works
Sex Criminals, Prison Funnies, Monster Cops, Extremely Bad Advice, Howard the Duck, Jughead

Steve Murray (born December 21, 1975),[1] known by the pen-name Chip Zdarsky, is a Canadian comic book artist and writer, journalist, illustrator and designer. He has also used the pseudonym Todd Diamonte. 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.[1] Comics attributed to him include Howard the Duck, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Daredevil and Spider-Man: Life Story for Marvel Comics and Jughead for Archie Comics.

Early life[edit]

Steve Murray was born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in Barrie, Ontario.[citation needed]


Murray has illustrated for such clients as The Globe and Mail, New York magazine, CBC and Canadian Business.[citation needed]

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[2] 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.[1]

From 2008 to 2014, Murray penned and illustrated a weekly advice column for the National Post called "Extremely Bad Advice".[3] 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."

Along with Kagan McLeod, Ben Shannon, and Cameron Stewart, he is a co-founder of the studio The Royal Academy of Illustration and Design, which produced Rumble Royale.

In 2010, he also launched a mock campaign for Mayor of Toronto. He was not an officially registered candidate, launching his satirical "campaign" through social networking platforms after the deadline had passed to register as a candidate in the real campaign.[4]

Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction

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.[5]

In 2014, Murray won a Will Eisner Award for Best New Series for Sex Criminals.[6]

Zdarsky wrote the first series arc of the relaunched Jughead comic for the 2015 New Riverdale relaunch.

On February 15, 2017, it was announced that beginning that June, Zdarsky would be writing a brand new "back-to-basics" Spider-Man series Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man that would run alongside writer Dan Slott's run on The Amazing Spider-Man.[7]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  • 2014 Eisner Award – Best New Series (Sex Criminals, with author Matt Fraction)
  • 2014 Harvey Award – Most Promising New Talent
  • 2014 Harvey Award – Best New Series (Sex Criminals)
  • 2015 Harvey Award – Special Award For Humor (Sex Criminals) (rejected by winner)
  • 2016 Harvey Award – Special Award For Humor (Howard the Duck)
  • 2017 Eisner Award – Best Humor Publication (Jughead, with Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Derek Charm)
  • 2017 War Rocket Ajax Intercontinental Championship
  • 2019 Eisner Award – Best Single Issue/One-Shot (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310)
  • 2019 Shuster Award – Best Writer (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-in-One)


  • 2014 Eisner Award nominee – Best Series (Sex Criminals, with author Matt Fraction)
  • 2017 Eisner Award nominee – Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17) (Jughead, with Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Derek Charm)
  • 2019 Eisner Award nominee – Best Writer (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-in-One)
  • 2020 Eisner Award nominee – Best Writer (White Tree, Daredevil, Spider-Man: Life Story, Afterlift), Best Digital Comic (Afterlift with Jason Loo), Best Continuing Series (Daredevil with Marco Checchetto)


Archie Comics[edit]

  • Jughead #1–8 (2015–16)[8]

Image Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "A dream invite from Marvel to resurrect Howard the Duck".
  2. ^ "Chip Zdarsky's Prison Funnies! @ PopImage". Pop Image. Archived from the original on 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  3. ^ "EXTREMELY BAD ADVICE". National Post. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  4. ^ "Steve Murray Hates Toronto, and Wants to Be Your Mayor". Torontoist, October 1, 2010.
  5. ^ "Time Magazine's Top Ten Comics and Graphic Novels of 2013". Time Magazine, December 2013
  6. ^ "Steve Murray insufferable and 'very proud' after picking up prestigious Will Eisner award". July 28, 2014. Archived from the original on November 30, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "Spider-Man Goes Spectacular". News -
  8. ^ Jughead (2015-17
  9. ^ Sex Criminals
  10. ^ Kaptara
  11. ^ Howard the Duck (2015)
  12. ^ Howard the Duck (2015-2016)
  13. ^ Doctor Strange (2015) #1.1
  14. ^ Star-Lord (2016-2017)
  15. ^ Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017-2018)
  16. ^ Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual (2018) #1
  17. ^ Marvel 2-in-One (2017-2018)
  18. ^ Marvel 2-in-One Annual (2018) #1
  19. ^ Namor: The Best Defense (2018) #1
  20. ^ Invaders (2019-present)
  21. ^ Daredevil (2019-present)
  22. ^ Spider-Man: Life Story (2019)
  23. ^ X-Men/Fantastic Four (2020)

External links[edit]