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Valentino at the New York Comic Con in Manhattan, October 9, 2010
|Born||October 28, 1952|
|Area(s)||Writer, Penciller, Inker, Editor, Publisher|
|Guardians of the Galaxy|
Jim Valentino is an American writer, penciler, editor and publisher of comic books, best known for his 1990 - 1992 work on Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel Comics, and for co-founding Image Comics, a company publishing creator-owned comics.
At Image Comics, Valentino produced books such as the superhero vigilante book ShadowHawk, and the 1997 semi-autobiographical black and white book A Touch of Silver. Valentino also served as Publisher of Image from 1999 to 2003, during which he oversaw the diversification of Image's publication through his discovery of creators such as Robert Kirkman, who created the critically and commercially successful book The Walking Dead.
1970s – 1992
Valentino began his career in the late 1970s creating small press and mostly autobiographical comics. The early-mid-1980s saw normalman which first appeared as a back-up story in Aardvark-Vanaheim's Cerebus. Aardvark-Vanaheim's Dave Sim and Deni Loubert (Sim's wife at the time) began publishing normalman as a 13-issue limited series but only did so until #8, when Loubert began her own publishing company, Renegade Press, which finished the series. Renegade also published three issues of Valentino's self-titled series, in the mid-late 1980s.
In the late 1980s Valentino began working for Marvel Comics on their superhero titles. He was writer/ artist on the future-set super-hero series Guardians of the Galaxy, selected issues of What If...?, and fill-ins on most of Marvel's major titles. Valentino, a longtime fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, submitted his pitch for a new series on the group to editor-in-chief Tom DeFalco at the 1989 WonderCon. Coincidentally, DeFalco had already written his own proposal for a Guardians of the Galaxy series, but preferred Valentino's, and approved that proposal instead. That book launched in June 1990 and ran for 62 issues. This series was initially written and illustrated by Valentino, who deliberately gave it an action-oriented, "fun" feel that stood out from the typical "grim 'n' gritty" comics of the 1990s. Though Valentino had plotted the series ahead as far as issue #50, his run was cut short when he co-founded Image Comics. Having taken on two new series and the foundation of a publication company, Valentino asked editor Craig Anderson if he reduce his duties on the book to just writing, but was fired from the series.
He left Marvel in 1992 to co-found Image Comics with Whilce Portacio, Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane and Marc Silvestri. Valentino originated several projects at Image, which he published through his own Shadowline imprint. Unlike at Marvel, where Valentino worked on characters owned by that company, the original Shadowline titles were all creator-owned. His first title under the Image banner was the super-hero series ShadowHawk, on which he was both writer and artist. In 1997 he began another series in black and white called A Touch of Silver, a semi-autobiographical book about a young comic book fan coming of age in the 1960s. Also during this time he repackaged most of his earliest autobiographical work into a trade paperback called Vignettes, with an introduction by Dave Sim.
In 1999 he became the publisher of Image Comics. Under his directorship the company diversified its line considerably. The results were mixed. On one hand, Valentino's efforts led to the discovery of a number of talented creators, including Robert Kirkman and Brian Michael Bendis. On the other hand, with the earlier departure of Marc Silvestri's Top Cow from Image and the 1999 sale of Jim Lee's WildStorm to DC Comics, Image Comics saw a drop in overall sales. Still, he was able to turn the company's first profit in nearly a decade by opening new revenue streams such as sales to traditional book stores and libraries. The company managed to maintain its standing as number three in overall market share.
In 2003, Valentino was replaced as publisher of Image Comics by Erik Larsen, another co-founder of the company. Since then Valentino has resurrected Shadowline, his own arm of Image and has published a wide variety of books including a revived ShadowHawk series, The Collected normalman, a new auto-bio book, Drawing From Life as well as creator owned properties including Bomb Queen, After the Cape and Sam Noir. He also serves on the board of directors of the comic industry charity The Hero Initiative and on its Disbursement Committee. In 2008 Valentino created Silverline Books, an all-ages imprint for original graphic novels.
Valentino has two sons.
- normalman #1–12, Annual #1 (writer and artist, 1984–1986)
- Guardians of the Galaxy #1–29, Annual #1–2 (writer and penciler, 1990–1992)
- ShadowHawk #1–18 (writer and artist, 1992–1996)
- Avengers Vol. 2 #1–4 (1996–1997)
- A Touch of Silver #1–6 (writer and artist, 1997)
- Vignettes: The Auto-Biographical Comix of Valentino (1997)
- Altered Image #1–3 (writer and penciller, 1998)
- normalman 20th Anniversary Special #1 (writer and artist, 2004)
- The Return of ShadowHawk #1 (writer and artist, 2004)
- ShadowHawk vol. 2 #1-15 (writer and artist (#9-15), 2005-2006)
- ShadowHawk One-Shot #1 (writer and artist, 2006)
- Drawing From Life #1 (writer and artist, 2007)
- Image United #1-3 (artist, 2009-2010)
- What If? Vol. 2 #3, 5, 7, #11–12, 25, 30, 41 (writer)
- Silver Surfer vol. 3 #32–33 (writer)
- Buttery, Jarrod (July 2013). "Explore the Marvel Universe of the 31st Century with... the Guardians of the Galaxy". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (65): 29.
- "The History of Image Comics (So Much Damage) Part 4: The Walking Dead". Syfy Wire. November 20, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2018 – via YouTube.
- The Hero Initiative Disbursement Committee Archived June 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved February 20, 2012
- Jim Valentino at the Comic Book DB