Kevin Nowlan

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Kevin Nowlan
Nowlan at Special Edition NYC
Born 1958
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Tomorrow Stories
Awards Inkwell Award for Favorite Finisher/Embellisher (2008)
Inkwell Award for The Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award (2011)[1][2]

Kevin Nowlan (born 1958)[3] is an American comic-book artist who works as penciler, inker, colorist and letterer. He has been called "one of the few artists who can be called 'artists's artist'", a master of the various disciplines of comic production, from "design to draftsmanship to dramatics".[4]

Early life[edit]

Kevin Nowlan was born in 1958 in Nebraska.[5] He has four older brothers and sisters. His brother read comic books, particularly DC Comics titles, and Nowlan has had comics around him since he can remember.[6] As an illustrator, Nowlan is mostly self-taught, but did attend a trade school for approximately a year and a half to learn design and layout.[7]


Nowlan first came to the industry's attention in the early 1980s via illustrations in the fan press, most notably The Comics Journal and Amazing Heroes.[3][7]

Nowlan's first published work for Marvel Comics was Doctor Strange #57 (Feb. 1983).[5][8] He has worked for DC Comics and other comics publishers. He contributed to the adult Penthouse Comix. In 1992, he inked the Batman: Sword of Azrael miniseries which introduced the character Azrael.[9] He drew the short story "The Castle" in Vertigo Jam #1 (Aug. 1993) which featured the Sandman and was part of the "The Kindly Ones" story arc.[10] One of Nowlan's prominent contribution to comics is the creation of Jack B. Quick with writer Alan Moore. This character appeared several times in Tomorrow Stories under the America's Best Comics imprint.[8]

Although the majority of his work is as an inker, he has provided both pencils and lettering for various comics. He is a noted cover illustrator. Nowlan contributed character designs to Batman: The Animated Series, most notably The Penguin, The Mad Hatter and the Man-Bat.

Nowlan has described himself as a "finisher" rather than an inker, although only in specific reference to work "where you see too much of me", and has expressed an ambivalence towards this role, saying "it's not the right way to ink someone else's pencils".[7]

His style gives a strong emphasis towards both facial expression and posture, and in neither case is he constrained by the conventions of the comic-book hero, and his protagonists are often depicted with awkward expressions or body postures.[citation needed]

Steve Gerber's posthumous Man-Thing story The Screenplay of the Living Dead Man, with art by Nowlan, originally planned as a 1980s graphic novel before being left uncompleted by the artist,[11] was revived in the 2010s and appeared as a three-issue miniseries cover-titled The Infernal Man-Thing (Early Sept.-Oct. 2012).[12] The story was a sequel to Gerber's “Song-Cry of the Living Dead Man” in Man-Thing #12 (Dec. 1974).[11]


Nowlan colors and inks unless noted otherwise:

Covers only[edit]

Inking only[edit]



  1. ^ Inkwell Awards 2011 Winners
  2. ^ YouTube - Kevin Nowlan - Heroes Convention 2011
  3. ^ a b "Kevin Nowlan". Lambiek Comiclopedia. May 15, 2009. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ Chiarello, Mark, ed.; Peterson, Scott (1996). Batman: Black & White, Vol. 1. DC Comics. ISBN 978-1401215897. 
  5. ^ a b Solinas, Antonio (2006). "The thin black line: a Kevin Nowlan interview". Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2004). Modern Masters Volume Four: Kevin Nowlan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1893905382. 
  7. ^ a b c Irving, Christopher (n.d.). "More Than Just an Inker: An Interview with Kevin Nowlan". Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. 
  8. ^ a b Kevin Nowlan at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. 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. 
  10. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. New York, New York: DC Comics. p. 270. ISBN 978-1563894657. 
  11. ^ a b Arrant, Chris (September 21, 2011). "The Next Big-Wait Project Emerges: Man-Thing by Gerber and Nowlan". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ Infernal Man-Thing at the Grand Comics Database
  13. ^ Nowlan, Kevin (January 2, 2010). "Gil Kane's WildC.A.T.S./Aliens cover". 
  14. ^ Per Bob Schreck commentary in the "Contents" page, this story was originally intended for publication in Secret Origins vol. 2, however it never saw print as it has mysteriously vanished. After some pressure from Mike Mignola and a few phone calls, Bob Schreck was able to track it down.
  15. ^ Nowlan, Kevin (July 6, 2010). "Hellboy logo rough". 

External links[edit]