Colleen Doran at the
2016 New York Comic Con
|Area(s)||Writer, Penciller, Inker, Letterer, Colourist|
|Sandman, The Amazing Spider-Man, A Distant Soil, Orbiter, Gone to Amerikay, Mangaman,The Legion of Superheroes, The Book of Lost Souls|
Colleen Doran is an American writer/artist and cartoonist. She illustrated hundreds of comics, graphic novels, books and magazines, including the autobiographical graphic novel of Marvel Comics editor and writer Stan Lee entitled Amazing Fantastic Incredible Stan Lee, which became a "New York Times" bestseller. She adapted and did the art for the short story "Troll Bridge" by Neil Gaiman, which also became a "New York Times" bestseller. Her books have received Eisner, Harvey, and International Horror Guild Awards.
Notable credits include: The Sandman, Wonder Woman, Legion of Superheroes, Teen Titans, The Vampire Diaries comics, Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and her space opera series, A Distant Soil.
She was one of two people listed among the top 25 female comic creators of all-time in both the writer and artist categories, ranking #7 among artists and #21 among writers. Comics Alliance listed Doran as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition.
Doran landed her first work for an advertising agency at age fifteen. She attended Christopher Newport University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and used her professional works for curriculum credit. Science fiction artist Frank Kelly Freas was her mentor, and she apprenticed with him in the early 1980s.
She broke into the comic book industry when still a teenager, scouted by Tom Long for his fanzine Graphic Showcase. Long hired Doran to draw a revival of the 1940s character Miss Fury. Underage Doran quit the assignment due to its adult content. She also contributed illustrations to the Hugo Award nominated fanzine Lan's Lantern.
A Distant Soil was published in fanzines as early as 1979, then scouted by The Donning Company Starblaze imprint before it was contracted by WaRP Graphics. Doran left the company after nine issues due to an acrimonious dispute with WaRP, which attempted to claim copyright and trademark on her work. The WaRP version of the story has never been reprinted despite its unusual all-pencil style, and Doran's ownership of the publishing rights.
Doran discarded the 300 pages of work she did at Warp, and rewrote and redrew the entire A Distant Soil story from scratch, first with Donning, then as a self-publisher. A 1000 page long-form comics narrative, it has been published by Image Comics since 1996. It sold more than 700,000 copies in multiple printings. The production archives were destroyed by the printer, and an extensive restoration process brought the series back to publication in 2013.
Doran was scouted by Keith Giffen to work at DC Comics after he saw her work in the Legion of Superheroes fanzine Interlac. They went on to become frequent collaborators at DC on The Legion of Superheroes projects, Justice League 3001, and the series Reign of the Zodiac. Her art also appeared in Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld #12, multiple issues of Who's Who in the DC Universe and Who's Who in the Legion of Superheroes, Superman: Man of Steel Gallery, Christmas with the DC Superheroes, Captain Atom, Star Trek, and Hawkman Annual. She did art for several Teen Titans and Wonder Woman projects.
She illustrated portions of the "Dream Country" and "A Game of You" story arcs in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series. The character Thessaly in Neil Gaiman's Sandman is based on Doran. Other Vertigo appearances include Shade, The Changing Man, Lucifer (DC Comics), Transmetropolitan and the original graphic novel Orbiter (comics) written by Warren Ellis.
Doran's premiere at Marvel Comics was in 1986, The Swords of the Swashbucklers #9 and 11, with issue 11 having the dubious distinction of being one of the books confiscated in the 1986 Friendly Franks "obscene" comics raid that precipitated the formation of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Swords of the Swashbucklers was eventually excluded from the prosecution proceedings.
Doran worked on other projects at Marvel including The Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #3, The Silver Surfer, Marvel Fanfare, Excalibur #28, Captain America: Drug Wars, Amazing Spider-Man, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, a Power Pack mini-series, Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Mutant X, X-Factor, Marvel Girl Comics, and X-Men Millennial Visions for which she wrote and drew an entry. She also worked in the Special Projects Department on promotional, educational, and greeting card art, sometimes working directly with Stan Lee.
Doran was a web columnist for Wizard Magazine in the early 1990s, and illustrated Super Idol for Warren Ellis in 2001, an early webcomics format experiment at Artbomb.
Doran is featured in the films Ringers (a documentary about The Lord of the Rings fans), Scenes From the Small Press: Colleen Doran by Rich Henn, Sex, Lies and Superheroes, the documentary The Cartoonist about Bone creator Jeff Smith, and Captured Ghosts, a documentary about writer Warren Ellis. She was also featured in the Dec. 12, 2011 episode of "Stalked: Someone's Watching," a Discovery ID television series that profiles stalking incidents, focusing on interviews with victims.
Doran worked as a creator rights activist, as lobbyist in Washington DC, and served on the advocacy committee of the Graphic Artists Guild. Lecture venues include the Smithsonian Institution, The Singapore Writers Festival, the Comics Masterclass in Sydney, Australia, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. She spoke at CREATE: Protecting Creativity from the Ground Up at the Newseum in Washington DC, with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Rick Carnes President of the Songwriters Guild of America, musician Suzanne Vega, and other artists and technology policy specialists.
Doran illustrated best-selling young adult novelist Barry Lyga's first graphic novel for Houghton Mifflin, Mangaman in 2011. It received a starred review at Kirkus Reviews, as well as awards at the New York Book Show and New England Book Builders of Boston, both granted to the design team.
Gone to Amerikay a graphic novel drawn by Doran and written by Derek McCulloch was released in 2012 from DC/Vertigo. It is a "multi-generational Irish saga." It was profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Boing Boing and Irish Echo. Gone to Amerikay themed cover art was featured in the St Patrick's Day edition of Irish Echo, which was then presented to President Obama by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland. An excerpt from Gone to Amerikay was chosen for inclusion in The Best American Comics 2013.
Doran produced cover art for The Walking Dead #1 (2015, Image Comics), Red Sonja (Dynamite, 2014), Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 (2015), and Squirrel Girl #7 (2016). For DC Comics, she wrote and drew stories for The Vampire Diaries (2014) comics based on the TV show, and art for Justice League 3001 #6, 9 and 10 (2015-2016). For IDW's Womanthology (2012), she contributed biographical essays about classic cartoonists Rose O'Neill and Ethel Hays.
She did the art for an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's short story "Troll Bridge" as a graphic novel for Dark Horse released in October 2016. She also worked on issues of Faith and X-O Manowar for Valiant Comics. She was announced as an artist for the upcoming comic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. The series Finality with Warren Ellis was announced with Colleen Doran as artist via Line Webtoon.
Awards and honors
- Wizard World Hall of Legends 2017 
- Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2017 Nominee Non-Fiction: Amazing Fantastic Incredible Stan Lee, Stan Lee, Peter David, Colleen Doran, Young Adult Library Services Association 2017 
- The Best American Comics 2013: Gone to Amerikay excerpt, Derek McCulloch and Colleen Doran, Houghton Mifflin 
- Hugo Award Nominee: Chicks Dig Comics, Best Related Work 2013 (Group Nomination)
- Great Graphic Novels for Teens Fiction: Mangaman 2012, Young Adult Library Services Association
- Best Adult Books for Teens: Gone to Amerikay, Derek McCulloch and Colleen Doran, School Library Journal 2012
- Eisner Award Winner: Tori Amos Comic Book Tattoo (anthology) 2009, Best Anthology (Group Award)
- Harvey Award Winner: Tori Amos Comic Book Tattoo (anthology) 2009, Best Anthology (Group Award)
- International Horror Guild Award: The Nightmare Factory (anthology) 2008, Best Illustrated Narrative (Group Award)
- Eisner Award Winner: Best Archival Collection/Project Comic Books, Absolute Sandman ,Vol 1 (Group Award)
- Women Cartoonist's Hall of Fame, 2007, Friends of Lulu 
- Artist In Residence, Smithsonian Institution May 6–14, 2006 "Capricious Comics", Freer/Sackler Galleries, The Smithsonian Museums of Asian Art
- Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award Top Ten Nominee: Favorite Penciler, Favorite Inker, Favorite Cover Artist, Favorite Comic Book A Distant Soil 2004 
- Chesley Award Nominee, Monochrome Work Unpublished 2002
- American Library Association 2002 featured speaker
- Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee, A Distant Soil, Best Other Work 2001
- Guest of Honor, San Diego Comic Con 1998
- 3rd Annual Japan-US Manga Symposium, Tokyo 1996, Tezuka Productions
- Eisner Award Nominee: Sandman, Best Serialized story 1993 (Group Nomination)
- Eisner Award Winner: Sandman, Best Continuing Series 1993 (Group Award)
- Eisner Award Winner: Sandman, Best Continuing Series 1992 (Group Award) 
- Eisner Award Nominee: Sandman: Dream Country, Best Graphic Album Reprint 1992 (Group Nomination) 
- Dori Seda Award Nominee: Most Promising New Female Cartoonist 1988
- Amazing Fantastic Incredible Stan Lee (2015) original graphic novel artist ISBN 978-1501107726
- Amazing Spider-Man #326 (1989)
- Amazing Spider-Man #600 (2009)
- Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Annual #1 (2007)
- Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Cosmic Adventures (2013) ISBN 978-0785187899
- Spider-Man: Died In Your Arms Tonight (2009) ISBN 978-0785144854
- Spider-Man: The Other (2006) ISBN 978-0785117650
- Spider-Man: Back In Black hardcover (2007) ISBN 978-0785129202
- Art of He-Man and Masters of the Universe (2015) Dark Horse Books, ISBN 1616555920
- She-Ra Princess of Power DVD insert art (2006) A Navarre Corporation 
- Art of Star Wars Galaxy, Vol 2. (1994) Berkeley Publishing Group, ISBN 978-1883313036
- Star Wars Galaxy Magazine #4
- Star Wars Galaxy 4 Trading Cards
- Star Wars Galactic Files 2 Trading Cards
- Star Wars Clone Wars Trading Cards
- Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: A Tale of Enchantment (1992) Disney Comics
- Disney Adventures
- Disney Cartoon Tales: Beauty and the Beast, a Tale of Enchantment (1991) W.D. Publications ISBN 1-56115-267-6
- Disney's Beauty and the Beast Junior Graphic Novel (1992) ISBN 1-56115-343-5
- Disney Princess Treasury Volume I (2015) Joe Books ISBN 978-1926516028
- A Princess Treasury (Step Into Reading) (2010) Random House ISBN 978-0736427722
- The Book of Lost Souls (2005) Marvel Comics/Icon series artist issue #1-6
- A Distant Soil graphic novel editions:
- Late-1980s original color editions:
- 1990s and on black and white reprints:
- A Distant Soil: The Gathering Image Comics (1997) compilation of comic issues 1–13 ISBN 1-887279-51-2
- A Distant Soil: The Ascendant Image Comics (1998) compilation of comic issues 15–25 ISBN 1-58240-018-0
- A Distant Soil: The Aria Image Comics (2001) compilation of comic issues 26–31 ISBN 1-58240-201-9
- A Distant Soil: Coda Image Comics (2005) compilation of comic issues 32–38 ISBN 1-58240-478-X hardcover, November 2005, ISBN 1-58240-525-5
- 2013 and on Digital Remasters and new editions:
- A Distant Soil: The Gathering TPB Volume I Image Comics/Shadowline (2013) digitally remastered compilation of issues 1–13 with new story content ISBN 978-1607067870
- A Distant Soil: The Ascendant TPB Volume II Image Comics/Shadowline (2014) digitally remastered compilation of issues 14-25 with new story content ISBN 978-1607068341
- Justice League 3001 #6,9,10 (2015-2016) DC Comics full issue and short stories
- The Legion of Superheroes Vol 3 #27 (1986) DC Comics
- Tales of the Legion of Superheroes #352 DC Comics
- The Legion of Superheroes Vol 4 #31 (1992) and #100 (1996)DC Comics
- The Legion of Superheroes Annual #5 (1994) #6 (1995) DC Comics
- Who’s Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #1-5, #7 (1988) DC Comics
- Legionnaires #8 (1993) DC Comics
- Valor #14–23 (1994/5) DC Comics
- Teen Titans Spotlight #19 (1985) DC Comics
- New Teen Titans Annual #4 (1988) DC Comics
- The Teen Titans Omnibus #3 (2012) DC Comics 978-1401238452
- New Teen Titans Annual #4 (1988) DC Comics
- Manga, Anime, Manhwa
- Mangaman (2011) Houghton Mifflin original graphic novel artist ISBN 978-0547423159
- Komacon - 2013 Image Comics/Shadowline writer original short story anthology ISBN 978-1607067641
- Robotech Art II (1987) Donning Co Publishers, primary illustrator ISBN 978-0898654172
- Robotech Art II (1987) promotional poster art
- Girl to Grrrl Manga: How to Draw the Hottest Shoujo Manga Impact Books, writer/artist
- Manga Pro Superstar Impact Books. writer/artist
- Manga Mania: How to Draw Japanese Comics Watson-Guptill art book illustrations
- Anime Mania Watson-Guptill art book illustrations
- Call Me Princess CPM Manga cover art
- Aquarium CPM Manga cover
- Anne Rice’s The Master of Rampling Gate: A Graphic Tale of Unspeakable Horror (1991) Innovation graphic novel adaptation ASIN B00SB53P62
- Orbiter original graphic novel artist (2003) DC Comics/Wildstorm HC ISBN 978-1401200565
- Sandman #20, #34 DC Comics/ Vertigo
- Sandman Volume III: Dream Country (1995)(2010) DC Comics/Vertigo ISBN 978-1401229351
- The Absolute Sandman Volume I (2006) DC Comics/Vertigo ISBN 978-1401210823
- The Absolute Sandman Volume II (2007) DC Comics/Vertigo ISBN 978-1401210830
- Sandman: A Gallery of Dreams (1994) DC Comics/Vertigo ASIN B002EAHJN0
- The Death Gallery (1996) DC Comics/Vertigo
- Sandman 20th Anniversary Poster (2008) 
- Sandman Omnibus Volume 1 (2013) DC Comics/Vertigo ISBN 978-1401241889
- Death: Deluxe Edition (2012) DC Comics/Vertigo ISBN 978-1401235482
- Absolute Death (2009) DC Comics/Vertigo ISBN 978-1401224639
- Vertigo Visions: Ten Years on the Edge (2003) Watson Guptill ISBN 978-0823056040
- The Vampire Diaries #1,3 (writer) #6 (writer/artist) (2013) DC Comics
- Wonder Woman #44, #49 DC Comics
- Four Color Images Gallery, New York, NY
- Kunstlerhaus, Stuttgart, Germany
- Porto, Portugal
- Secession Gallery, Vienna, Austria
- Gijon Cultural Center, Gijon, Spain
- San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
- Museum of Cartoon Art, Rye Brook, New York
- Gallery Nucleus: 20 Years of Sandman 2008
- Gallery Nucleus: A Handful of Dust, 25 Years of Sandman
- Krannert Art Museum; Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics
- Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar; Out of Sequence
- "Review: Chicks Dig Comics | Girls Read Comics Too". Girlsreadcomics.com. 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "Wondercon Special Guests"; Comic-Con magazine; Winter 2010; Pages 18–19
- "Top 50 Female Comic Book Writers and Artists Master List - Comics Should Be Good @ CBR". Comics Should Be Good @ CBR.
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- "Doran/WaRP Dispute Now Settled," The Comics Journal #110 (August 1986), p. 17.
- "Donning Sues WaRP," The Comics Journal #123 (July 1988), p. 8-9.
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- "Arts+Labs Hosts: CREATE Protecting Creativity from the Ground Up". Business Wire. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
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