January 7, 1959|
Victor, New York
The Adventures of Superman|
Hawk and Dove vol. 2 and 3
Superboy vol. 3
Superman vol. 2
After a friend at college complimented his inking, Kesel began submitting his portfolio to Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Karl Kesel's first work for DC Comics appeared in New Talent Showcase #4 (April 1984). He soon became the inker on Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes - so soon, in fact, that he suspected that he was assigned New Talent Showcase #8 as a test run to see how well he gelled with Tales of the Legion penciller Terry Shoemaker. Kesel was discouraged that inks which looked smooth and clear on his original pages appeared clunky in the printed comics, and with some guidance from Dick Giordano he studied how to draw in a way that would appear better on the printed page. Kesel worked on the lighthearted 'Mazing Man series, as well as providing inks over the pencils of George Pérez on History of the DC Universe and John Byrne on Legends and Superman vol. 2. With his then-wife Barbara Kesel, he co-wrote a Hawk and Dove miniseries in 1988 which was drawn by Rob Liefeld. Kesel and artist Tom Grummett are the creators of the modern Superboy character, Kon-El, who debuted in the "Reign of the Supermen" story arc, starting from The Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993). An ongoing Superboy series was launched by Kesel and Grummett in February 1994. In 1996, Kesel and artist Stuart Immonen produced The Final Night limited series. That same year, Kesel was one of the many creators who contributed to the Superman: The Wedding Album one-shot wherein the title character married Lois Lane. Kesel wrote the Batman and Superman: World's Finest ten-issue limited series (April 1999-Jan. 2000) which explored the Post-Crisis history of the two with each of the ten issues taking place one year after the other. He and artist Terry Dodson launched a Harley Quinn ongoing series in December 2000.
Kesel's first work for Marvel Comics was inking a Vision story in Avengers Spotlight #23 (Oct. 1989). He inked Mark Bagley's cover art for the Japan-exclusive Super Famicom video game The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes in 1995. Kesel wrote Daredevil issues #353–364 (June 1996 – May 1997) and in 2002 wrote the story, "Remembrance of Things Past" in which it was revealed that Ben Grimm, the Thing of the Fantastic Four, is Jewish. Kesel wrote and drew a "lost" Captain America comic strip from the 1940s which was published on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. In 2011, he scripted a Hulk and the Human Torch story which had been plotted by Jack C. Harris and drawn by Steve Ditko in the 1980s. It was published by Marvel as Incredible Hulk and the Human Torch: From the Marvel Vault #1 (August 2011).
Dark Horse Comics
Kesel worked with comic book illustrator Brandon McKinney on issues #6 and #13 of the comic series Aliens: Space Marines published by Dark Horse Comics, which accompanied alien figures in the first line of Alien figures released by Kenner in 1992.
In 2000, Kesel and his former Superboy collaborator Tom Grummett created Section Zero as part of the Gorilla Comics imprint at Image Comics. Gorilla Comics was intended to be a creator owned company financed by a comics related website, eHero.com. The website proved to be a financial failure, leaving the creators to personally finance their own books. Along with the other Gorilla Comics creators, Kesel and Grummett attempted to continue the series they started, but these efforts proved to be unsuccessful. In January 2012, Kesel announced that he and Grummett would be relaunching Section Zero as a webcomic on the Mad Genius Comics website. The previously published stories were posted on the site and new material was added as it was completed. A Kickstarter campaign in 2017 will allow Kesel and Grummett to finish the story.
Comics work (as writer unless noted) includes:
Dark Horse Comics
- Action Comics #692–695, 701 (1993–1994)
- The Adventures of Superman #500–533, 535, 537–550, 552–562, 564–567, #0, Annual #5–7 (1993–1999)
- Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #46–47 (2006–2007)
- Atari Force #20 (1985)
- Batman and Superman: World's Finest #1–10 (1999–2000)
- DCU Holiday Bash III (1999)
- The Final Night #1–4 (1996)
- Guardians of Metropolis #1–4 (1994–1995)
- Harley Quinn #1–25 (2000–2002)
- Harley Quinn: Our Worlds At War #1 (2001)
- Hawk and Dove vol. 2 #1–5 (1988–1989)
- Hawk and Dove vol. 3 #1–25, 28, Annual #1 (1989–1991)
- History of the DC Universe #1–2 (as inker) (1987)
- Legends #1–6 (as inker) (1986–1987)
- Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #2 (2000)
- 'Mazing Man #1–12, Special #1–3 (as inker) (1986–1990)
- New Gods Secret Files #1 (1998)
- The New Titans #68–69 (1990)
- Secret Files President Luthor #1 (2001)
- Secret Origins vol. 2 #43, 49 (1989–1990)
- Secret Origins 80-Page Giant #1 (1998)
- Showcase '94 #6 (1994)
- Showcase '95 #3 (1995)
- Showcase '96 #8 (1996)
- Silver Age: Challengers of the Unknown #1 (2000)
- Silver Age: Green Lantern #1 (2000)
- Sins of Youth: Superman, Jr. / Superboy, Sr. #1 (2000)
- Superboy vol. 3 #1–10, 12–19, 21–30, 50–79, 100, #0, #1,000,000, Annual #1–2 (1994–2002)
- Superboy / Risk Double-Shot #1 (1998)
- Superboy / Robin: World's Finest Three #1–2 (1996)
- Superboy and the Ravers #1–10, 13–19 (1996–1998)
- Supergirl Annual #1 (1996)
- Superman vol. 2 #4–16, 18, 20 (as inker); #54–56 (as writer and inker) (1987–1991)
- Superman & Savage Dragon: Metropolis #1 (1999)
- Superman / Toyman #1 (1996)
- Superman Forever #1 (1998)
- Superman Red/Superman Blue #1 (1998)
- Superman Secret Files #1 (1998)
- Superman: King of the World #1 (1999)
- Superman: The Legacy of Superman #1 (1993)
- Superman: The Man of Steel #69, #1,000,000 (1997–1998)
- Superman: The Wedding Album #1 (1996)
- Tangent Comics / The Joker #1 (1997)
- Tangent Comics / The Joker's Wild #1 (1998)
- Team Superman Secret Files #1 (1998)
- Who's Who in the DC Universe #2–4, 6 (1990–1991)
DC Comics and Marvel Comics
- Challengers of the Fantastic #1 (1997)
- Spider-Boy Team-Up #1 (1997)
- George Pérez's Crimson Plague #1 (Section Zero preview) (2000)
- Section Zero #1–3 (2000)
- All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 (2009)
- Amazing Fantasy vol. 2 #13–14 (2005)
- The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #37 (2010)
- The Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 (2008)
- Captain America / Citizen V '98 (1998)
- Captain America: Patriot #1–4 (2010–2011)
- Captain America The 1940s Newspaper Strip #1–3 (2010)
- Daredevil #353–364 (1996–1997)
- Fantastic Four vol. 3 #51–56 (2002)
- Fantastic Four #514–516, 525–526 (2004–2005)
- Fantastic Four / Fantastic 4 '98 (1998)
- Fantastic Four 2099 #1–5 (1996)
- Human Torch #1–12 (2003–2004)
- Marvel Apes #1–4 (2008–2009)
- Marvel Holiday Special '96 (1996)
- Marvels Comics: Fantastic Four #1 (2000)
- Spider-Man Family #7 (2008)
- Ultimate X-Men #72 (2006)
- Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1 (1995)
- What If Doctor Doom Had Become the Thing? #1 (2005)
- X-Men #187 (2006)
- X-Men Unlimited #34 (2002)
Marvel Comics and DC Comics
- Spider-Boy #1 (1996)
- Unlimited Access #1–4 (1997–1998)
- Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- Greenberger, Robert (April 2014). "New Talent and Bonus Babies". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (71): 69–71.
- Karl Kesel at the Grand Comics Database
- Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 234. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
Written by Barbara and Karl Kesel and drawn by future superstar Rob Liefeld, this five-issue miniseries reestablished the famous pair for a new generation.
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 259: "The issue also featured four teaser comics that introduced a group of contenders all vying for the Superman name...A cloned Superboy escaped captivity in a yarn by writer Karl Kesel and artist Tom Grummett."
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 265: "Superboy set up camp in picturesque Hawaii in his new ongoing title written by Karl Kesel and with art by Tom Grummett."
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 274: "In this four-issue miniseries by writer Karl Kesel and artist Stuart Immonnen, the heroes of the present united with the Legion of Super-Heroes and the New Gods in an attempt to stop a 'sun-eater'."
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 275: "The behind-the-scenes talent on the monumental issue appropriately spanned several generations of the Man of Tomorrow's career. Written by Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, David Michelinie, Louise Simonson, and Roger Stern, the one-shot featured the pencils of John Byrne, Gil Kane, Stuart Immonen, Paul Ryan, Jon Bogdanove, Kieron Dwyer, Tom Grummett, Dick Giordano, Jim Mooney, Curt Swan, Nick Cardy, Al Plastino, Barry Kitson, Ron Frenz, and Dan Jurgens."
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 289: "Batman and Superman reunited in April  in the ten-issue limited series World's Finest...The series was written by Karl Kesel."
- Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 297: "Written by Karl Kesel and drawn by Terry Dodson, the double-sized first issue dealt with Harley's twisted relationship with the Joker."
- Kesel, Karl (w), Immonen, Stuart (p), Koblish, Scott (i). "Remembrance of Things Past" Fantastic Four v3, 56 (August 2002), Marvel Comics
- Hudson, Laura (March 5, 2010). "Exclusive: 1940s Captain America Strip Coming Daily at Marvel Digital". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Armitage, Hugh (April 22, 2011). "Lost Steve Ditko Comic Unveiled". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Yarbrough, Beau (December 28, 2000). "State of the (Ape) Nation: How Healthy is Gorilla?". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Dean, Michael (June 8, 2001). "The Case of the Disappearing Gorilla: The Banana Trust Explains How Not to Start a Comics Line". The Comics Journal #234. Seattle, Washington: Fantagraphics Books. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Parkin, JK (January 3, 2012). "Kesel and Grummett's Section Zero returns as a webcomic". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Kesel, Karl (January 2, 2012). "Back to ZERO!". MadGeniusComics.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Kesel, Karl; Grummett, Tom (2012). "Archive for Section Zero". MadGeniusComics.com. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Staley, Brandon (May 3, 2017). "Kesel & Grummett's Section Zero Finds New Life in Kickstarter Campaign". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 4, 2017.
Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett’s Section Zero may get a second shot at life if a Kickstarter campaign gets the required funding.
- Kesel, Karl (2017). "Section Zero: Ultra-Cool Collector's Edition". Kickstarter. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017.
1,049 backers pledged $65,140 to help bring this project to life.
- "1991 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015.
- "1992 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015.
- "Inkwell Awards Winners, 2016". Inkwell Awards. 2016. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.
- Karl Kesel at Periscope Studio
- Karl Kesel at the Comic Book DB
- Karl Kesel at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Karl Kesel at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
- Karl Kesel interview at Fantastic Four Headquarters
| The Adventures of Superman writer
| Superboy vol. 3 writer
J. M. DeMatteis
| Daredevil writer
| Superboy vol. 3 writer
| Harley Quinn writer
Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Marín,
and Jeph Loeb
| Fantastic Four writer
(with Carlos Pacheco and Rafael Marín in early 2002)
| Fantastic Four writer
J. Michael Straczynski
| Fantastic Four writer
(with Matt Fraction)